The Ginseng King (Review)

The Ginseng King

aka 三頭魔王 aka Three-Head Monster

Written by Chu Yue-Lam and Kwok Cheun-Ming
Directed by Wang Chu-Chin

It’s Taiwanese Kaiju Time again! Today’s installment features the fantastical flick The Ginseng King, the story of a kid and an old ginseng guy, and all the freaky deaky stuff they encounter along the way. Many of which are giant monsters that look like they’re made out of roots and tubers. This is one of the least annoying kids in Taiwanese cinema, probably due to the fact he doesn’t whine all the time nor flying around like a crazy person, he’s just a kid trapped in a world gone to crazytown.

The Ginseng King seems mostly a children’s film, though it does feature a bit of disturbing imagery, and some naked woman behind! So it’s perfect for kids! Ginseng King is a mishmash of influences, and manages to come out with something new and strange. It’s also pretty entertaining, with nary a boring part, and a constant influx of new fantasy creations to see. The shame is it is so hard to get a good copy of The Ginseng King.

Hsiaoming (Chan Ying-Kit) – Young boy whose quest to find herbs to help his sick mother gets him involved in magic ginseng, Nazi zombies, crazy witch women, cloaked fiends, three-headed monsters, giant mythical creatures, and cranky old men. You know, a typical Thursday…
Grandpa Earthgod (???) – Local crazy old man guilted into helping Hsiaoming. He also had nothing better to do, anyway.
1000 Year Old Ginseng (???) – A magical root that turned into human form, and who looks like Dobby from Harry Potter. 1000 Year Old Ginseng is always wandering around ancient Chinese forests for some reason.
Princess Hsiaoli (Cynthia Khan) – Evil Princess leading the goons tracking down the 1000 Year Old Ginseng. Or is she…. Cynthia Khan is also in Tomb Raiders/The Avenging Quartet
Three-Headed Demon King (???) – Three heads are worse than none with this triple-jerk! He leads Devil Mountain after overthrowing Princess Hsiaoli’s mom and imprisoning her, and quests to eat the 1000 Year Old Ginseng in order to get even more powerful!

Continue reading

Tomb Raiders (Review)

Tomb Raiders

aka Ba hai hong ying aka Avenging Quartet

Cynthia Khan (Cynthia Luster) as Lisa
Yukari Oshima as Shoko
Moon Lee as Moon Lee
Michiko Nishiwaki as The Sister-in-law

This is called Tomb Raiders, despite the complete lack of tombs, lack of raiding, and lack of Lara Croft or Angelina Jolie. Any of those things would have helped this movie. In fact, Tomb Raiders is just a title repackage, as this was released under the name Avenging Quartet before, though that name is also misleading, as the women are not on the same side, and only two of them can be counted as avenging anything. At least they didn’t go with another Charlie’s Angels ripoff title, like many other movies some of these girls starred in.

Continue reading