Legend of the Mountain, a tale of a young scholar beset by a beautiful, yet cruel spirit who schemes to steal a powerful sutra that will give her dominion over other spirits. Yet another first for King Hu as he incorporates elements of wuxia into the genre of horror/supernatural. This film is also the second time he utilizes pyrotechnics for special effects(the first being Sons of Good Earth). Another element he reuses is visual symbolism through montage. During the”sex scene” we also see scenes of insects mating and spiders catching and devouring their prey. This was also done in A Touch of Zen, where he used footage of spiders to foreshadow the entrapment of the Eastern Agency commander and his troops. Like the previous film, the plot line is very consistent and progressively engaging. However, I found the lead antagonist, Melody, to be a more complex character than the hero Ho, who is more or less a victim/bystander in all this. At first, slegend-of-the-mountain-1979-king-hu-shanzhong-chuanqi-03.jpghe is shown to be a typically modest young girl, but soon after Ho meets her, we see a glimpse of her true personality as she plays her drum with a cold and dark expression, putting Ho under her spell. She is also shown to be very manipulative and cunning. After getting Ho drunk, she tricks him into believing that they had spent the night together, and that he proposed to her; she basically¬† “shanghai’s” him into marriage. Though while this film was overall an engaging story, King Hu once again throws us off with the ending. After Ho defeats Melody(and consequently destroys all the other spirits, good and bad), he returns to the temple to deliver the sutra, and the scene abruptly cuts to the shot from the beginning of the film where he stands at the edge of the sea.

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