The Battle of the Haunted Mansion

Stephen Teo

in King Hu's A Touch of Zen

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9789622098152
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207110 | DOI:
The Battle of the Haunted Mansion

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This chapter describes a key battle scene during which the heroes employ stratagems, bluff and dummies: a theme that reinforces the male hero's attachment to illusionary endeavors and the female hero's quest for karmic destiny. “The Battle of the Haunted Mansion” is one of Hu's longest battle sequences and its length is shaped by the labyrinthine quality of the action involving both live actors and a mechanized component. The sequence contains examples of the hesitation effect in which the protagonists are invariably caught between the reality and the illusion of the enemy. Yang Huizhen had fulfilled her central mission as the xia nü, by taking revenge on the man who had killed her father.

Keywords: karmic destiny; battle scene; illusion; haunted mansion; hesitation effect; Yang Huizhen; xia nü

Chapter.  4849 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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