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  • Warning: Spoilers
    BLACK LIZARD is a typically convoluted film from Shaw Brothers director Chor Yuen, made during the studio's transition from straight kung fu fare into more mystical magically-focused oddities. This one's quite straight forward for Chor Yuen, but the plot involves the titular monster that's hundreds of years old and demands a sacrificial victim every now and then.

    Given the director's pedigree, it's no surprise that the thrust of the plot is more about involvement in the martial world, with all of the intrigue you'd expect. Derek Yee teams up with underutilised Venoms star Sun Chien to investigate the mystery and come up against various dark or sinister personalities, including a cameoing Yuen Wah and a sweaty Yueh Hua. The sets are dark, the characters brooding, the women beautiful, but the lack of involving action and less horror content than expected means that this isn't one of the director's best.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    No sooner does Long Fei (Derek Yee) get engaged than he's off for a two-year trip. Upon his return, he finds out that there have been several murders during his absence. Who murdered who and why is revealed late in the going, but in the interim we have spectral figures moving ghostly about the now-darkened mansion of Xiao (Yueh Hua), a monster in red attacking everyone and everything that moves, and more twists and turns and secret passageways than in a dozen fright films. Xiao's wife, it turns out, was a victim (apparently) of the monster in red (the apparent reincarnation of the spirit of a black lizard found in the Lizard Lake). Constable Tieh (Sun Chien) enters the picture and helps Long Fei make sense of the mysterious (and apparently supernatural) goings on. The closer they come to the truth, the more touch-and-go things become. The final resolutions are about as convoluted as they come, with secret after secret revealed in the closing minutes of the movie. THE BLACK LIZARD is a worthy who-done-it, with a martial arts twist (or two or three). Worth a look.
  • midnightmosesuk7 July 2019
    Warning: Spoilers
    Scooby Doo Kung Fu.

    Secret passages. Rubber Masks. People pretending to be monsters. Spooky mansion. It ticks all the Hannah Barbera boxes. All it needed was Scrappy Doo to annoy everyone and it would've been like a lost episode.

    Despite not understanding the majority of what was going on I persisted if only for the strange goings on, hoping it'd all be clear by the end. It wasn't.
  • The narrator explains that Lizard Lake is a spooky place. Cut to an engagement party. Derek Yee is the future groom and Yueh Hua is the security chief. (Too many people to remember are quickly introduced.) Derek is supposed to be off on a long mission. They have a ceremony releasing lizards into a lake. Every three years a big red lizard appears and it has something to do with deaths. Derek comments this should occur when he returns. Cut to Derek arrives at an inn and receives a message on a dart. The "messenger from Hell" asks to meet him at a pavilion. He tells him his fiancée will soon die. They fight a bit and then Derek rushes back home. He encounters a red caped man carting a coffin. Inside is a woman who at first appears to be his fiancée but then turns to wood. They fight and red cape escapes with the coffin as if he is carrying it as a purse. On returning home he finds Auntie was killed though he saw her (ghost) at the front door. Derek is joined by Sun Chien, playing a constable, and they investigate at Yueh Hua's estate.

    The first time I watched this movie I only got about thirty minutes into it and gave up because I could not understand what was going on and failed to care. Before trying to watch it again I read a few reviews and they all agreed the movie was hard to follow and probably didn't make sense either.

    I did watch the whole movie for this review. It is mostly a mystery and I felt it just was not that interesting. The fights were few and they all seemed the same. I can only rate it below average and do not recommend it.