Galore in Hong Kong/Japanese Fantasy
Chinese title MEI SHAN SHOU QI GUAI [Seven Devils Conquered at
starring Li Cheng · Tina Chun-Fei · Ping An · Hung
Wei · Hung Lieh Chen · Yang Yueh (Yan Yu)
the mid '70s, Shaw Bros Studios of Hong Kong - hoping to increase maximum
visibility worldwide - began making International co-production deals.
They partnered with Britain's Hammer Films to make LEGEND
OF THE SEVEN GOLDEN VAMPIRES; in Germany, they made a deal with
Rapid Films for the amazing exploitation movie VIRGINS
OF THE SEVEN SEAS. And in Italy, they matched their biggest
star, Lieh Lo with Lee Van Cleef for STRANGER
AND THE GUNFIGHTER; at the same time, they also tapped director
Alfonzo Brescia for AMAZONS
AGAINST SUPERMEN. They struck an unusual partnership with director
Tesuya Yamanouchi and Michio Mikami to make this film which would be
promoted as a Japanese/Chinese production but shot in Taiwan.
Essentially it was a remake of 1949's Na Zha Mei Shan Shou Qi Guai
(Na Cha Conquered the Seven Devils at Mei Hill) based on a Chinese legend
with no ties to Japan. In fact, Taiwanese Ho Wu-Hsiung was brought in
to be the assistant director and it is believed that he was largely
responsible for most of this shoot. However, the work of art director
Mutsuo Mikimi cannot be ignored. Much of the film's style comes from
him, the man who did special effects for GOKE
BODY SNATCHER FROM HELL.
cast is almost completely from the Shaw Bros stable, headlined by two
of their exotic beauties Li Cheng and Tina Chun-Fei (both from 14
AMAZONS). The only 'outsider' is Yan Yu who receive 'guest star'
status. She was a Taiwanese actress known for her fantasies, especially
GODDESS AND THE SEA DRAGON. The story deals with a child named
Na Cha who shakes a 1000 year old peach tree allowing 7 peaches to fall
to the ground. A collection of critters steal the peaches and - after
eating them - become demons which threaten all humanity. To make amends
for his act, Na Cha is sent to Hell to challenge the seven devils and
save the world.