Written by: Michael Den Boer on May 10th, 2006
Theatrical Release Date: Hong Kong, 1990 (Tales from the East), 1989 (Return of the Evil Fox)
Directors: Manfred Wong (Tales from the East), George Leung (Return of the Evil Fox)
Cast: Billy Lau, Joey Wong, Manfred Wong, David Wu, Amy Yip (Tales from the East), Fui-On Shing, Charine Chan, Charlie Cho, Gabriel Wong (Return of the Evil Fox)
DVD Released: April 25th, 2006
Approximate Running Time: 87 minutes (Tales from the East), 90 minutes (Return of the Evil Fox)
Aspect Ratio: 4:3 Full Frame (Tales from the East), 4:3 Full Frame (Return of the Evil Fox)
Sound: Dolby Digital Sorround
DVD Release: Deimos/BCI Eclipse
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $14.98
Tales from the East: A group of friends are partying and having a good time in the woods when an electrical storm erupts. The celestial alignment in the sky only happens every two hundred years and it is being used as a time portal by a young princess who is in possession of a thousand year old pearl. The veil blood clan desperately wants the pearl and they have sent assassins after the princess. The princess is protected by a warrior named Jiang and they are separated during the electrical storm. Will the pearl end up in the hands of the evil veil blood clan or will Jiang save the princess in the nick of time?
Tales from the East unsuccessfully tries to mix comedy with supernatural themes. The film has many solid action sequences and this is the more entertaining moments in the film. The comedy bits in this film are hit and miss with most attempts at humor missing the mark. Manfred Wong who directed this film also has a minor role as an Uncle in the film. Wong’s direct is standard for these types of films from this era in Hong Kong. The acting in this film is nothing special with the only stand out performance being that of Billy Lau. Famous music cues from films’ like Ghostbusters and The Untouchables make an appearance in Tales form the East. Overall Tales from the East’s premise is not that well thought out and the various lead characters are lack any charisma.
Return of the Evil Fox: Three hundred years ago the Evil Fox was injured during a duel with a Maoshan Monk. The Evil Fox transferred its spirit into jasper incense holder were it has remained since healing and waiting to return back to land of the living. Chiang Wu is a direct descendent to the Maoshan monk who injured the Evil Fox. He is now in possession of the jasper incense holder. The Evil Fox must collect 108 souls before it can finally return in the living flesh. One day while Chiang Wu is transporting the jasper incense holder the Evil Fox finds a hiding place in an office building where is will wait and collect the souls needed for its return.
Return of the Evil Fox starts off quickly with a high flying sword fight between a monk and Evil Fox. The story is pretty straight forward with a father and daughter who pretend that are Ghostbusters who can ward off evil spirits. The film really picks up with the entrance of Wang a foster brother played Yuen Chor. Every fight scene that Yuen Chor is in is simple amazing. There are a few typical stereotype characters like an inept security guard and a gang of kids who always out smart him. The film moves along at an even pace with rarely a dull moment as there is some sort of major development every ten minutes or so. Overall Return of the Evil Fox is a solid B movie that never tries to be anything more then that.
Both films are presented in a full frame aspect ratio. These look like open matte sourced transfers as they action and people remain in frame. Tales from the East has above average colors and the image looks reasonably sharp through out. Return of the Evil Fox has strong looking colors and it is sharper and has more detail then Tales from the East.
Both films come with only one audio option an Chinese dubbed audio language track which is presented for this release in a Dolby Digital stereo. Both films have clean and clear audio as the dialog is easy to follow and the music and effects sound evenly mixed. Both films come with burnt in English subtitles that a few times are cropped off screen.
Each film comes on their own single layer DVD and they are in a keep case that comes with an outer sleeve that slips over the main box. The box art for this outer sleeve is exactly the Same art used for the main box.
Deimos latest double feature release collects two entertaining supernatural films Tales from the East and Return of the Evil Fox and like their other releases these two films are available for at a reasonable price.