A Touch of Zen (1971)
Reviewed by: Gaijin84 on 2006-08-20
Summary: Excellent film but hurt by a horrible transfer...
What can I say about this movie that hasn't been said already? Tremendous atmosphere, great acting and a terrific plot put this film in the upper echelon of the genre and movies in general. My personal favorite aspects are the soundtrack and Roy Chiao's performance. The wailing, almost siren-like singing draws you into the movie and puts you on edge for most of the film, and the music really sets the scene throughout. Roy Chiao is also terrific as the Abbot Hui Yuan. His presence and aura are dominating in his scenes, and although he rarely uses his abilities, just the look on his face is enough to make adversaries think twice. When forced into action, his movements are quick, fluid and totally effective. Overall an excellent film, but slightly diminished because of the poor transfer to DVD.

I was able to see this film a couple of years ago on the big screen at a festival and it was great but the desire to watch it again forced my hand towards the Tai Seng DVD. The colors were very muted and the contrast was horrible, putting a big dent in my enjoyment of key scenes, namely the night raid scene at the old fort. I hope to review again when a superior transfer is available. It is a travesty that a studio has not paid for the rights to restore and remaster this film. It would be an instant buy for thousands of people. Keeping my fingers crossed for that occasion.
Reviewer Score: 8