Back into the world of foreign films, we look at the oddly engaging Flying Swords of Dragon Gate.

Zach on Film subreddit:


A Ming Dynasty freedom fighter (Jet Li), a female warrior (Zhou Xun) and a corrupt eunuch (Kun Chen) are among those who converge on a remote desert hostel that sits atop a city of treasures.

FLYING SWORDS OF DRAGON GATE – Trailer :: Opens 22 December 2011

“Flying Swords of Dragon Gate” picks up three years after the infamous Dragon Inn was burnt down in the desert when its innkeeper JADE vanished. A new gang of marauders had taken over: innkeepers by day, and treasure hunters by night.

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Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. great episode, i always love when you guys tackle the kung fu movies. just a little background, a lot of chinese movies (including the warlords/old-timey period combat movies) may not necessarily be directly funded by the chinese government, but they definitely have to play by the rules content-wise, much like how you’ve talked about the Hays Code, or (to use a comic comparison) the early days of the Comics Code. it’s always important (from the standpoint of the mainland chinese government) to always be super black and white, the good guys are always good and always seem to be fighting for the greater interest/keeping the kingdom together (ie, pro-chinese, anti-individualism), while always showing the “bad guys” being killed, or punished for their evilness. so Stephen’s half-right. and that’s why you notice Hong Kong movies, who didn’t have to “follow the rules” up til recently, having more nuanced, ambiguous characters (corrupt cops, noble gangsters with a moral code, etc).

    if you wanna check out some Shaw Brothers movies, any of the Venom flicks are a hoot (Five Deadly Venoms and Five Element Ninjas are especially wacky), and are very superhero-influenced…a lot of characters with cool powers, costumes/masks, and weapons. Avenging Eagle makes use of a little bit of wirework, and also has a bit of superhero influence (especially the bad guys with their codenames and costumes). if you’re looking for a lot of wirework/flying people type movies, that didn’t really fire up til the late 80’s, early 90’s. if you want to tie some Hong Kong flicks into modern day comic/superhero movies, Iron Monkey is a great touchstone, very Batman/Robin Hood influenced.

  2. Well I was thinking Columbo for an American detective, but he certainly doesn’t cover the butt-kicking criteria. (Does the Top Five cannoli as cookie clause apply?) After that, though, nothing comes to mind. Maybe a Magnum PI? Not alot of fighting, but at least a little bit.

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