Ever wonder what films inspire great filmmakers? Our Canadian Spotlight Artist, Yung Chang, hosts Come Drink With Me, a film he first saw on VHS as a little kid.
Long before Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon wowed the western world, Come Drink With Me set an entirely new standard for martial arts movies in the Far East. Director King Hu (a.k.a. Hu King-chuan) not only broke new ground but set the groundwork for all the action films that followed. The film tells the story of a mysterious swordswoman nicknamed “Golden Swallow,” and the even more mysterious swordsman, Drunken Cat. They join forces to free a kidnapped official from a Buddhist monastery run by a corrupt abbot with incredible kung-fu powers. “Golden Swallow” is played by none other than Zhang Ziyi’s evil old nanny from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Cheng Pei-pei. Here, Pei-pei is anything but old and evil, rather a twenty-year-old beauty on the verge of one of the most spectacular careers in Hong Kong martial arts history.
The film is a superb example of how Hu melded the martial aspects of Beijing opera with the stoic brutality of the popular Japanese samurai films to create a whole new lyrical realm in filmmaking and action swordplay. What you can expect from this film is ingeniously staged action scenes and a cast of characters that looks as cool today as when the film burst upon the cinema scene in 1966.