Road Rash Reviews

Burning Paradise (Eureka Classics) Special Edition Review****-

Cert 18 | 105 mins | 1994

4 Star

Brutal Manchu VS Shaolin Monks.

From the dark mind of director Ringo Lam (City on Fire, Full Alert) comes a Martial Arts feast set in the Ching dynasty, when the Manchu were on the hunt for the Shaolin monks for plotting to overthrow the Manchu government. With Lam’s slant on this period, you are in for a dark and twisted view of this time, where Temples are torture places with booby-traps at every turn. You won’t be disappointed with this forgotten gem of a Martial Arts extravaganza.

Emperor Yung-Ching has decreed that the Shaolin temple must be destroyed and everyone inside is to be put to death, this task falls to General Crimson (John Ching, Tricky Brains, God of Gamblers Part III: Back to Shanghai). Two monks manage to escape, Fong Sai-yuk (Willie Chi, Drunken Master III, The 18 Shaolin Golden Boys) and Master Chi Nun, but are pursued across the desert. Sai has to stop and take on the army as his Master tries to get away. This is where we first see Sai’s fighting skills, and what skills, as he leaps around on the huge sand dunes taking on the soldiers and Crimson’s flying guillotine weapon.

With dust in the air, the pair manage to give the pursuers the slip and find a barn. They creep in and believe it is empty, however as they settle down there is a rustling in the stored maize. A young woman emerges, this is Tou-Tou (Carman Lee, War of the Under World, Knock Off). An uneasy alliance is formed, as they hunker down for the night. Sai gets on with Tou, but his teachings forbid him from doing anything about it. The next morning they are for a shock as the army and Crimson are back, this time with cannons and our trio are in for a rude awakening that causes Master Nun to be trapped in the rubble of the destroyed barn. Sai challenges Crimson, and once again swords clash until Tou’s life is put in danger, and Sai is tied up and put with other monks, as they are all led to the Red Lotus Temple. The road to the Temple is littered with strung up and half buried bodies of monks.

As they walk under the words ‘Heaven on Earth’ they enter the Temple, and it is nothing like Heaven on Earth, more like the burning pits of ‘Mordor’ as chained monks toil at furnaces and anvils making weapons for Elder Kung (Kam-Kong Wong, From Beijing with Love, Blade of Fury), the ruler of this hellhole. As Crimson is in charge of the army, Brooke (Chun Lam) is Kung’s right-hand woman within the Temple. There is even a traitor working for Kung, Hong Xiguan (Yamson Domingo, Seven Warriors, Spiritually a Cop), another fierce fighter. With Tou now Kung’s concubine, Sai vows to kill Kung and end his murderous rule.

Burning Paradise is a Martial Art’s tour de force, as blades clash and paint turns to missiles in this fantasy thriller. An awesome release by Eureka Classics.

Burning Paradise is available on Blu-ray Special Edition



Limited Edition O-Card slipcase featuring new artwork by Darren Wheeling (First Print Run of 2000 copies only) | 1080p HD presentation on Blu-ray from a 2K restoration of the films’ original 35 mm camera negative | Cantonese and English audio options (both in their original mono presentations) | Optional English Subtitles, newly translated for this release | Brand-new feature length audio commentary by Asian film expert Frank Djeng (NY Asian Film Festival) | Archival Interview with Tsui Hark | Original theatrical trailer | PLUS: A Limited Edition collector’s booklet featuring new writing by James Oliver (First Print Run of 2000 copies only)

 *All extras subject to change

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DirectorRingo Lam
GenreAction, Adventure, Fantasy
StarringWillie CHI, John CHING, Carman LEE, Quan LIN, Wong KAM-KONG
Available to buy on : Own Burning Paradise (Eureka Classics) Special Edition on Blu-Ray