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Human Lanterns DVD
King Of The Witches

Human Lanterns DVD

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"This is it: one of the most talked about cult films ever made – a maniacal masterpiece of the macabre, the martial arts, and the just plain weird. Shaw’s first international star Lo Lieh stars as the insane swordsman who makes Chinese lamps from, yes, the skin of his enemies’ sisters, mistresses, and wives. Although insanely conceived, it is beautifully filmed and unashamedly performed by a first rate cast of sexy starlets and kung-fu favorite" - TMDB


"A dazzling fantastical kung fu fantasy full of glowing gore. At the end of the day, the sexual violence is a bit much for me personally, and will probably make me not want to return for the foreseeable future, but that being said, it is indeed a feat of tantalizing color and inhuman choreography. The crafty villain Sasquatch/Skullsquatch is both my favorite part and the source of my previously mentioned issues. He looks like Chewbacca flipping through the air which is of course something any sane person would want, and plot of him using HUMAN SKIN to make lanterns is some wild ass Edgar Alan Poe shit that I am more than down for.

Its one of those movies that has to have at least two colored lights in every shot and its absolutely the right decision! Hell yeah! Also I love that weird half fish eye lens they use throughout...
So again, an immaculately well crafted film that oozes with color and action...and yeah, while it maybe frames some of the events a little too theatrically for comfort, sure, I guess its not like the film is portraying the deeds of this twisted Sasquatch, rapist, gore arts and crafts monster as the right way to be...its just a bit rough at times.
You look great but,
Fuck you Skullsquatch!" - Some Dude On Letterboxd


"A mix of Wuxia, Bava and Hooper joints, as well as Hammer Horror. A skeleton ghoul-man goes to great lengths for the sublimity of commercial success within artistic expression. Switches gears so rapidly and frequently that they manifest physically in the monster's lair. Just stunning to look at and full of impeccable choreography." - Some Other Dude On Letterboxd



Having just recently realised that there is a splendiferous vein of Shaw Brothers Kung Fu movies infused with horror gold, I am pleasantly surprised by another entry from amongst this niche, Human Lanterns.

It includes all of the tropes of many other Hong Kong martial arts films of the time, including its feudal setting of luxurious manors and bustling little villages; ineffectual police forces that are ceaselessly being mocked; extended fight scenes including battle axes, staffs and swords; choreographed wire work as actors leap to and from balconies and boughs; and let's not forget the kapow sound effects!

And between all of the Shakespearean follies of the protagonists, as they participate in one big pissing contest of vainglory and envy, there exists a bizarre man in a monkey mask. He lives between the cracks of their enmity and fans the flames behind the scenes with his evil nefarious machinations.

It is all a part of some epic elaborate revenge plot, which serves as no other purpose than to give his character the motivation to undertake the main conceit of the film, that is the making of a bunch of lanterns out of human skin (spoiler alert I guess, but it is in the title right).

A part of this evil dude's allure is the monkey mask he wears while on the prowl for his victims. It reminds me of the monkeys of Jigokudani in the northern mountains of Japan. The translation is literally Valley of Hell, which is rather appropriate. However, in this case the monkey fluff is red, not white as they are in Japan.

Even so, it is a creepy and distinctive mask, more than equal to near contemporaries from the west such as Leatherface, Jason, Freddy and Roseanne Barr. Although, the villain in this film has a special mannered way of moving about where he makes all of these sudden kind of jerky movements around and towards his prey. It's hard to describe but trust me it's freaky. And probably rooted in some time-honoured eastern theatrical tradition.

Anyways, I really liked this film. I hope it sheds some like on Shaw Brother's horror film for you. And hey, would you mind leaving a light on for me." - Another Dude On Letterboxd