Deadend of Besiegers

Reviewed by Glenn Satele

Director: Cheung Siu-wai

Stars: Yu Rong Guang, Cynthia Khan, Yu Hai

This period piece/martial arts film is really a treat.   "Deadend of Besiegers" was made and released during the Wuxia/wire-fu boom in Hong Kong, but is totally different in mood and style from films like "Once Upon a Time in China" or the "Swordsman" series.  For starters, there is little wirework used in the fight scenes.  Also (because it was filmed in Mainland China) it showcases beautiful locales and breathtaking images like a towering waterfall and greenish valleys.
The no-nonsense storyline is refreshing too.  Taking the previous descriptions into context, this film reminded me very much of Jet Li's "Shaolin Temple" trilogy.  As a matter of fact, Yu Hai and the eagle claw villain from "Shaolin Temple" (also the lead villain in other Jet Li films like "New Legend of Shaolin" and "Fong Sai Yuk II") are featured here.
Despite the cover of the DVD (with the prominence of Cynthia Khan), Yu Rong Guang is the star here.  He plays Wuwechimatao (or Wu for short), a Japanese warrior who is credited (at least in this movie) for inventing karate. Cynthia Khan plays an expert in "Dog-Fist"(!!!) and Yu Hai is her father.
There is excellent martial arts action, enjoyable interaction between Yu Rong Guang and a cute little girl who plays Cynthia's sister (the little girl is one of the rare non-annoying HK child-actors), and Cynthia herself looks very good.  I wish she appeared in more period films.
It's undiscovered (and unexpected) films like this that keep me interested in Hong Kong Cinema and wanting to search for more gems like "Deadend of Besiegers".
My grade for the film: 8.0
(Pictures are from a VCD copy not the DVD)

DVD information:

Distributed by Yuki Video

The transfer is above average with some artifacting.  The subtitles are in Chinese and English and are burnt into the print, but are fairly easy to read.

The film is NOT Letterboxed

It has a menu but it's only in Chinese.  It's easy to navigate thru though.

9 chapters

Cantonese (default) and Mandarin tracks

Overall the quality of the film overcomes the presentation of the DVD, so it's worth at least a rental if you like "old school" style martial arts films.