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Heaven & Hell: Shaw Bros Special Edition (1978)

Lo Meng , David Chiang  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Lo Meng, David Chiang, Kuo Chue, Alexander Fu Sheng, Li Yi Min
  • Format: Color, Dolby, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Mandarin Chinese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 8, 2007
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000NO23S0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,930 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

PLUNGE FROM THE HEIGHTS OF PARADISE TO THE DEPTHS OF HELL IN THIS HIGH-FLYING, UTTERLY WILD FANTASY ADVENTURE! WHEN AN ANGEL DECIDES TO HELP TWO OF HIS HEAVENLY COLLEAGUES WHO HAVE FALLEN IN LOVE, THE TRIO LEARN THE HARD WAY THAT EMOTIONAL ATTACHMENTS ARE NOT ALLOWED. SENT TO EARTH TO FULFILL THEIR DESTINIES, THEY FIND THEMSELVES AS AN ILL-FATED COUPLE AND A CAB DRIVER WHO PERFORMS THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE... BUT THEN THEY MOVE TO THE THIRD LEVEL OF THE UNDERWORLD, WHERE GHOSTS AND DEMONS FACE OFF AGAINST THE ANGELS IN A KUNG-FU FRENZY! IT'S A VISUALLY STUNNING, FRENZIED CULT CLASSIC FROM THE SHAW BROTHERS AND THE DIRECTOR OF FIVE DEADLY VENOMS.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Chang Cheh makes a musical...sort of July 9, 2008
Amazon Verified Purchase
OK, I love Shaw Bros., the Venoms & the maestro, the late Chang Cheh, and I kinda like this movie as well. However, I'll be the first one to admit that it's not his best, and it's not for everyone. The Shaw brothers themselves weren't too crazy about it either, the production started in 1976 and kept getting postponed until 1978. Then it wasn't released until 1980.

With close to a hundred films to his credit, he wanted an avant-garde musical thrown into his filmography. Alright, so it doesn't look like it was made by MGM, and the special FX are prehistoric, but ya gotta admire his creativity. Besides, what makes this work for me is the fu. Whether it's Li Yi-min, David Chiang & Chiang Sheng duking it out in "heaven", the late Fu Sheng going fist-to-fist with Johnny Wang, Kuo Chui battling blade-to-blade with Lu Feng (one of the highlights) or the Venoms fighting their way out of "hades", Robert Tai, Liang Ting & Lu Feng deliver the goods in the choreography department. Kudos to them for making some awkward scenes work (for me at least) like when Fu Sheng takes on a gang of thugs (look for Lau Kar-Wing) to protect his wife (his real-life wife Jenny Tseng).

In any case, Image Entertainment does a wonderful job restoring this movie; crisp widescreen picture, re-mastered audio & subtitles. Look, it's like this; if you're familiar with the Shaws & a fan of the late, great Chang Cheh, watch it with an open-mind, and you'll probably like it. If not, then why the "hades" are you reading my review for?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's a little more Heaven than it is Hell, but... December 19, 2007
Amazon Verified Purchase
... the movie is still a trainwreck, but it's a fairly enjoyable trainwreck that follows different characters on their journey through Heaven, Earth, and Hell. Fellow reviewer Morgoth already wrote a great review but I figured I would add my 2 cents(this IS America right?). Heaven And Hell is a bizarre offering from legendary director Chang Cheh (The One-Armed Swordsman, Five Deadly Venoms)that nearly defies category(and should be noted helped introduce the Venom Mob). Featuring martial arts, adrogynous characters(think David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust), torture(including the "Hell of being skinned alive!"), revenge, musical numbers, demons, and more then a few unintentional laughs, Heaven And Hell is a memorable viewing experience if nothing else. The film is broken into 3 segments, the first about Heaven(pretty lame), the next about Earth(filmed completely like a play and featuring props rather than actual backgrounds, dancing fight choreography, and singing?! Everybody will feel diferently about this section...), and the final taking place in Hell(by far the longest segment and easily most enjoyable in my opinion... contains the most fighting too). The movie feels like 3 completely different, and unfinished, productions were cut and pasted together so the results end up being a little mixed(especially with the fight choreography). This won't be for everybody(not even for all martial arts or Shaw Bros. fans), but for those in the mood for a different kind of movie or interested in seeing a filmmaker attempt something unique and creative, this is probably worth a watch(now whether he was successful in his attempt is up to you... truly a question of trash or treasure?).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By morgoth
The story starts out in Heaven and David Chiang is on the run with a woman he loves. Lee I Min plays Xin Ling and is sent to capture David Chiang. He decides to let Chiang go and the Queen of Heaven kills Xin Ling and sends him to Earth as a punishment. He is reincarnated as a taxi driver.

When the movie goes to Earth the story is about Alexander Fu Sheng and his girlfriend played by his real life girlfriend Jenny Tseng. Jenny is currently being held by force by a gangster played by Kong Do. This movie is sort of like a musical and actors will just start singing. While Alexander and Jenny are singing a triumphant song, Kong Do is hiring Johnny Wang Lung Wei to kill Alexander and kidnap Jenny. Xin Ling (Lee I Min) is driving them in his taxi and dies saving them.

Now the story shifts to Hell and Xin Ling gets in all sorts of trouble after he arrives. It gets very boring as they go over all the different chambers of Hell. It is interesting at times, but goes on for way too long. Xin Ling keeps getting sent to a different type of torture and and keeps fighting his way out. This finally ends when the Buddha of Mercy shows up and gives Xin Ling a mission. He is sent to the City of Lost Souls to find 4 people so that they can team up to fight their way out. I don't know one of the actors names, but the other 3 are played by Lo Meng, Sun Chien and Phillip Kwok (also known as Kuo Chui). After Xin Ling finds these 4 people the Buddha of Mercy sits them all down and they talk about how they died in their past lives. This is the highlight of the movie. In Phillip Kwok's flashback he has a magnificent sword fight with Lu Feng.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Shaw Brothers take on reincarnation December 28, 2013
Amazon Verified Purchase
This is a unique perspective on karma and reincarnation. This movie was cut in places that counted for the storyline to be continuous but a decent effort went into this movie!!!
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