Qian Dao Wan li Zhu AKA Super Dragon AKA Dynasty was the first Hong Kong/Taiwan 3D film, as well as using the Sensurround 8-track stereophonic sound system. That way, the things you’ve come to expect from martial arts films — punches, kicks, swords and flying guillotines — mix up with things you will in no way expect — flying heads, crushed skulls, metal umbrellas as weapons and even a man battling with his amputated knubs — while flying directly at your face.
The prince of the Emperor is accused of treason against the throne by an evil eunuch and his sword-wielding henchman and must fight for his life, which is all the set-up you need for 94 non-stop minutes of fighting. It’s not the best martial arts you’ve ever seen, but it is one of the few that made it into the third dimension.
Director Mei-Chun Chang*also made Young Dragons: Kung Fu Kids and understand that we want to see 3D bust our eyeballs. And serving as the 3D advisor on this? Michael Findlay. Yeah, the very same.
Kino Lorber has released a special edition blu ray of this film, working alongside the 3-D Film Archive to create something that be viewed with either BD3D polarized or traditional red and blue glasses (it comes with one pair). That’s because this blu ray was made with Adaptive Multi-Band Anaglyphic Encoding, which they claim is a vast improvement over any previously used process for red/cyan 3D imaging. I’ll be honest, in my trial of this, it worked perfectly.
The disk also features a restored comic book, some 3D slideshows and a 3D music video.
Here’s to Kino Lorber — you can get this blu ray from them — is planning on releasing more in your face action. This is one of my favorite blu ray releases of the year and is begging to be in your collection.
*Chang also directed another 3D martial arts film, Revenge of the Shogun Women.
PS – This movie played on TV stations across the country with giveaway 3D glasses. In Pittsburgh, it played on Chilly Billy’s Chiller Theater, which got to use the Money Movie set for the evening.