Road Rash Reviews

EXECUTION IN AUTUMN (Masters of Cinema) Special Edition Blu-ray Review****-

Cert 15 | 99 mins | 1972

4 Star

Love and Sparing the Rod.

A tale of realization.

Once again, Eureka and Master of Cinema bring us an unprecedented release as Execution in Autumn has never been seen outside Taiwan. Now on Blu-ray restoration as a 2K presentation ready for its 50th anniversary. From the “godfather of Taiwanese Cinema” Lee Hsing  (The Story of a Small Town, The Silent Wife) comes his personal favourite film of his own, and now you get to take part in this masterpiece as his characters pull you in, feeling their plight and then have it turned upside down, and you turn against the character, only to once again change your conclusions.

Execution in Autumn starts with an explanation of the meaning of the title, in that it was decreed that all executions should take place at the Autumn equinox. Our protagonist Pei Gang (Wei Ou, Hometown Plunders, Storm Over the Yangtse River) has just been arrested for the murder of a woman and her two cousins, so he witnesses the convicted be taken away to face the executioners axe. Gang has been a naughty man, he tried to escape before his trial, and now he is being punished by grinding flour, under the constant gaze of the vicious guard (Fei Wang, Three Funny Detectives).

Gang is an angry privileged young man as his grandmother (Bi-Hui Fu, Miss Ghost Goes to Town, Who’s the Ghost in Sleepy Hollow) has doted on him from a young age, due to his parent’s death, and that he is the only male heir to the family line, he must continue the lineage.

Grandma has always promised to sort out any trouble Gang may find himself in, and she is sure that a payment in the right hands will sort out any little problem Gang gets himself into.

But the governor of the jail Lao Tao (Hsiang-Ting Ko, Fists for Revenge, The Dauntless Bumpkin) thinks that killing three people is too serious a crime to get off scot-free.

Grandma’s ace in the hole is a court official that will represent Gang at his trial, “if he follows my cues he will be fine”. But Gang carries the anger of that fateful day and ignores the official’s advice, and he wanted to kill the woman that was blackmailing him. This horrifies Grandma, but they have a year to sort this problem out, and she still has a lot of money to hand out, surely something will get her boy released.

Grandma’s only comfort is Lien Erh (Bao-Yun Tang, Typhoon, Love in the Storm) a young woman that was taken in when her parents died, she has helped Grandma ever since her husband passed away at a young age. She now has her work cut out for her as Grandma goes all out to get her son released, as he spirals out of control from the idea of meeting his demise at such a young age.

Execution in Autumn is my first time seeing the work of Lee Hsing, and I am hoping there is more to come. Another great release from Eureka and The Masters of Cinema. Feel the emotions of a man on Death Row, and a Grandmothers angst.

Execution in Autumn is available on Blu-ray


Eureka Store





Limited Edition O-card slipcase (2000 copies only) | 1080p presentation on Blu-ray from a stunning 2K restoration of the original film elements undertaken by the Taiwan Film Institute | Original Mandarin audio (uncompressed LPCM) | Optional English subtitles, newly revised for this release | New video piece by film critic Tony Rayns | PLUS: A Collector’s Booklet featuring new and archival writing | *All extras subject to change



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DirectorHsing Lee
Available to buy on : Own EXECUTION IN AUTUMN (Masters of Cinema) Special Edition Blu-ray on Blu-Ray