Wuxia is a beautiful artform, predominantly in written format, usually in the form of epic poems and fictional literature of various heroes, as well as the epic heroism of Chinese lore and Culture. Wuxia translates into "Martial Hero" (Wu = Martial, Xia = Hero), and the most recognisable of Wuxia is sometimes romanticised literature from historical figures and stories, like The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, with many of its characters and stories portrayed in countless films. However, while Wuxia was originally confined to just literature, and then later to the film extensions of that literature, it has grown to encompass a variety of films containing the definition of a Martial Hero, whether in popular folklore or historical figures popularised in modern stories and film. There is another variation of Wuxia that is showcased in Chinese-style comic books and art, referred to as Manhua. We won't be talking about Manhua in this article, as this list is for Wuxia of the recent past, but keep an eye out for a Manhua article in the future. For now, read on for 14 (due to some being part of a series) of the greatest Wuxia films from 1978 to 1998...
14. Zu, Warriors From The Magic Mountain
This film, according to writer/director John Carpenter, inspired his cult classic movie Big Trouble in Little China. If you watch this film (now) without having known what it its existence led to the creation of, then the chances are that you will absolutely hate it. It is a wild, confusing, unorganised ride through mysticism, and existentialism. However, for its time, this film was seen as ground-breaking, released to award-winning accolades in Hong Kong. Performances from Yuen Biao and Sammo Hung highlight some of the lesser-developed characters, and the lovely Bridgitte Lin was also among the most noteworthy actors.
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