The Burning Of Red Lotus Temple (original title 火燒紅蓮寺) is a Chinese silent film directed by Zhang Shichuan and produced by the Mingxing Film Company (明星影片公司). With a total running-time of twenty-seven hours, it is among the longest films ever made, and was released as a serial in nineteen feature-length parts between 1928 and 1931.
Adapted from the novel Tale Of The Extraordinary Swordsman, it was one of the first Wuxia movies, and by far the most successful Chinese film of the pre-war years, setting stylistic standards for the genre, and for Chinese cinema generally, that remain influential to this day. Dozens of sequels, spin-offs and imitations were made in the following years. Tragically, no copies of any of its reels survive today.
Contains examples of:
- Action Girl: Honggu.
- Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting: More than four hundred stuntmen were recruited from martial arts schools.
- Implausible Fencing Powers
- Knight Errant: The film practically invented many wuxia film tropes, including the young man who accidentally discovers a secret, and gains special kung-fu powers which enable him to become an omnipotent fighter who rescues the weak and vanquishes evil.
- Kung-Fu Wizard.
- Supernatural Martial Arts: A lot of modern technology didn't exist, but the visual effects are pretty remarkable for the time.
- Wire Fu: One of the earliest examples in film.