Fox Legend (1991)
Reviewed by: ewaffle on 2008-01-08
There is a lot going on in “Fox Legend” and much of it makes sense, at least within the context of the movie itself. The impetus of the action is the imminent reincarnation of the Sky God who has been locked in a reptile skeleton for the past 500 years. The head of the fox demons, with the help of her two beautiful assistants, one of whom is her daughter, is charged with making sure everything is ready for the Sky God to be reborn. Her most important duty is to destroy the Wei family, a group who are her natural enemies since they deal in fox pelts and who killed the Sky God almost five centuries earlier. In order to confirm their destruction she must bring both the Wei family seal and the heart of Shi-lang, the tenth and last son of the current Lord Wei. If things weren’t complicated enough (they never are) the fox demon’s daughter and the last of the Wei’s fall in love. Romeo and Juliet never had it this tough.

Joey Wong as the fox spirit really has an unfair advantage--she not only has some type of special hypnotic powers, shown by the odd glow in her eyes when she first encounters Shi-lang who has been lured onto her floating brothel but is, after all, Joey Wong. She is able to seduce him by removing his clothing with her hands while also playing a beguiling melody on a nearby string instrument by having the wind blow her robe across it. Shi-lang awakes washed up on the shore and makes his way home only to learn that a year has passed since he went aboard the floating brothel, his father is dead and the Wei family enterprises are in disarray.

The fox demon is no closer to her objectives, her fox spirit daughter having won the Wei scion’s heart but having failed to produce the organ. Her main enemy, the Hunt King, has little interest in what is left of the Wei family but is prepared to fight to the death to keep the seal away from the fox forces. It turns out that the seal has magical powers—a fox pelt stamped with it is unable to come back to life. While it isn’t made clear the assumption is that those not stamped will return as foxes. Lord Wei’s most loyal and effective retainer is Moon, an attractive young woman dressed in silks and with a razor sharp at the end of one arm, having lost her hand to the teeth of a fox.

There is some well choreographed and unusual action when the Hunt King initiates Shi-lang as his new disciple, chanting while attacking with the snare, the axe and other tools of the demon hunter’s trade. There is one very quick and funny bit when the Hunt King was in battle with fox demon who is about to use soul magic power on him. He gets into his Taoist approved soul magic power defensive stance then glances at his steepled hands, held in front of the left side of his chest. He does a quick double take and switches them to the right side. It looked like a bit made up on the spot and then left in the final cut. The special effects are on the level of Doctor Who from the Tom Baker days—and escaped fox spirit, for example, looks like a white feather duster on a wire as it zooms around the Wei household, stopping to strangle one of the onlookers.

Worth seeing only for Joey Wong and Wu Ma who plays the Hunt King.
Reviewer Score: 4