A Touch of Zen
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An influential martial arts film and an acknowledged influence on Ang Lee's amazing Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, King Hu's A Touch of Zen opens with young scholar Ku Shen-chai working at his portraiture stand in a small frontier town. He lives with his nagging mother in a supposedly haunted, rundown house at the edge of the abandoned Ching Liu estate. One day, a stranger named Ou-Yang Yin asks for his picture to be painted, and then suddenly leaves. Soon, another stranger -- this time a beautiful woman named Yang Hui-Ching -- suddenly moves into the complex next door. The presence… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The visual style will set your eyes on fire."
‑ Tony Rayns, Time Out
"A Touch of Zen is at the same time a study of rural life, a ghost story, a discussion of philosophical ideas and a thrilling fight film, with each element being handled with rare skill by Hu."
‑ David Parkinson, Radio Times
"It's like Mizoguchi is alive and well and shooting kung-fu epics"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"An awesome kung-fu flick with jaw-dropping fights and beautiful scenery."
‑ , Film4
"[King Hu] has not ignored traditional mayhem here, but he has demonstrated that pictorial artistry, Zen mysticism and the stylized martial arts, can make a fascinating mix."
‑ A.H. Weiler, New York Times
"Looking as fresh as if it was made yesterday, rather than three decades ago, A Touch Of Zen is Eastern cinema at its most dynamic and grown-up."
‑ , Total Film
"Hu fills his dazzling Cinemascope frame with waving foxtails, swirling fog, and stunning architecture. Each shot is like a photograph of China as we might imagine it in a dream."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"A real masterpiece that deserves its place in film history."
‑ Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
"A widely acclaimed martial arts film (1971) by Hong Kong's King Hu, one of the handful of directors to have worked in the genre with artistic ambitions."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"All the lunacy and high-flown imagination you could hope for."
‑ Patrick Peters, Empire Magazine
"Unique and visually stunning martial arts epic is set in the 14th-century Ming dynasty."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
More reviews for A Touch of Zen on Rotten Tomatoes