The Story of Muk Kwai-ying, Part One
Dir: Wong Hok-sing Scr: Lee Siu-wan
Set Design: Chan Ki-yui
Cast: Yam Kim-fai, Yu Lai-zhen,
Leung Sing-po, Poon Yat On
1959 / Colour / D Beta / Cantonese / 96min
Muk Kwai-ying is both a woman warrior and the chief of Mok Oi Fortress. She’s also adamant in proclaiming her love for the man she desires. This explains why she almost immediately incarcerates General Yeung Chung-bo upon their first encounter and makes him a captive, if not a sex toy. And what’s more, she’s all ready to sacrifice herself for him when he is trapped by the Heaven Gate Formation laid by the Liao troops, fighting against all kinds of weird creatures. The Story of Muk Kwai-ying, Part One is a cross-over between Cantonese Opera and the fantastic genre. Yu Lai-zhen, the female lead, has starred in several of this kind of films, such as The Headless Empress Bears a Son and The Crab Beauty (both 1957) and excels in such farfetched roles. Chan Ki-yui must have had a great time in designing a full-range of implausible but imaginative sets, each guarded by various strange beasts, trolls and monsters. Despite occasional crudeness, one must admit that this is entertainment in its purest form.
||Cinema, Hong Kong Film Archive
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