In this week’s film, Legend of the Mountain, it was a lot of fun to watch King Hu experiment with more practical special effects since it was made before the use of CGI. To be honest, when the monk first disappeared with the smoke trailing behind him, for a moment I was like “How did he do that?” but I was too absorbed with following the story to really think about it until it happened a second time. That was when I was like “Oh! He just played the shot backwards!” and I couldn’t help but think how clever that was.
While some of the effects could be seen as cheesy in our present day, I thought it really helped establish the mystical setting and nature of these characters. It really helped set the almost horror story like tone to the movie in comparison to A Touch of Zen where despite the fort being supposedly haunted, it didn’t have that feel at all since it lacked any supernatural effects.
I think my favorite part was when the monk and his master tossed the stones (I think it was stones) into the air and then they came down as instruments. It was a really neat way to show how editing can be effectively utilized to carry the story.