Burning Paradise (1994) – Blu-ray version

Acclaimed director Ringo Lam’s gothic horror-infused martial arts epic. Produced by Tsui Hark, Burning Paradise is a dark fantasy epic, filled with shocking violence and incredible choreography.

Presented for the first time since the VHS era as part of the Eureka Classics range, making a UK debut on Blu-ray from a stunning 2K restoration.

Available from today, 29th May 2023, the first print-run of 2000 copies will feature a Limited-Edition O-card Slipcase and Collector’s Booklet – so order your copy now from Eureka Video or Amazon!



Willie Chi Tin-Sang stars as the legendary folk hero, “Fong Sai-yuk”. In the same year, he also starred as another legendary folk hero, Wong Fei Hung, in “Drunken Master 3”.

Best known for her role as “Xiaolongnu” in the 1995 television adaptation of Louis Cha’s wuxia novel “The Return of the Condor Heroes”, Carman Lee Yeuk-Tung stars as “Tou Tou”. In movies she has co-starred in Stephen Chow’s “Forbidden City Cop”, Donnie Yen‘s “Legend of the Wolf/New Big Boss”, and Jean-Claude Van Damme’s “Knock Off“,

Actor and acclaimed artist, Wong Kam-Kong plays the sadistic “Kung”, a former general who heads the Red Lotus Temple. Wong has appeared in films such as “Tiger Cage 3”, “Blade of Fury”, “White Lotus Cult”, “Bodyguard From Beijing” and “God of Gamblers Returns”.

Stuntman and actor Yang Sheng co-stars as “Hung Hei-gun”, who legend has it was the creator and founder of Hung Ga Kuen kung fu. He worked on a number of notable productions including “Yes Madam“, “Police Story“, “Magnificent Warriors“, “The Peacock King”, “The Killer” and “Thunderbolt“. He sadly passed away in July 2021 aged just 58.


Hunted by the Manchu government, a young Fok Sai-yuk is captured alongside a young street girl, “Tou Tou”. They are imprisoned in the Red Lotus Temple, where Shaolin monks are enslaved and viciously tortured by the sadistic warden Kung.

Thrown into a pit of corpses and left to die, Fong survives and attempts to save Tou Tou and his Shaolin brothers whilst battling a myriad of foes and cunning booby traps.

BURNING PARADISE: Original Hong Kong Trailer


Following a brief depiction of the sacking of the Shaolin Temple we are taken very quickly into a fight in the desert.

The young Fong Sai-yuk performs some excellent wushu moves, weapons work, acrobatics and exciting equestrian stunts, whetting the appetite for what is to come.

BURNING PARADISE: Desert Battle Clip

As the action transfers to the Red Lotus Temple it provides an interesting arena of rope bridges, booby traps and firepits for the choreography to utilise.

Wirework is inevitably employed but it doesn’t detract from the physical skills of the performers or the slick cinematography and editing.

BURNING PARADISE: “You Will Die, Unless You Can Fly” Clip

There is an excellent broadsword versus Guandao fight that, despite the confines of being set in a bedroom, is energetic, frenetic and acrobatic.

Although the martial arts on display are stylish it does not shy away from blood and gore.

Limbs are lopped off, decapitations are frequent, and bright red theatrical blood sprays across the screen like it’s being fired through a fire hose.

As the film builds to its climax there are some spectacular practical effects in the form of large explosions and pyrotechnics, on a scale not often seen in period kung fu films!


I must admit, I was not aware of this film previously. A quick bit of research showed that it was a box office disaster upon its original release in 1994. I wondered if I was going to be in for a tedious 105 minutes of mediocrity. I am happy to report I was completely wrong!

Released in the middle of the Hong Kong movie era that saw classics such as the “Once Upon a Time in China” series, “Drunken Master II”, and “Ashes of Time”, all achieving popularity in the martial arts genre, “Burning Paradise” is somewhat of a hidden gem.

There are plenty of exceptionally well-choreographed fights that make good use of the unique surroundings and cunning traps. The sets for the scenes in the Red Lotus Temple are especially impressive, looking like an ancient Chinese version of the Temple of Doom from the Indiana Jones movie.

The main cast also deliver fine acting performances, especially Wong Kam-kong as the villain. Story-wise director, Ringo Lam gives us something of a darker edge to a genre that can often be presented quite glossily. As with much of his work, the editing and cinematography is very stylish.

BURNING PARADISE: Blu-ray Unboxing Video

Extras include a very informative commentary from film expert Frank Djeng and an interesting and entertaining archival interview with producer Tsui Hark.

The picture quality is excellent, especially so considering that much of the action takes place in darkened dungeons.

It’s a real treat to see the re-release of a film that was considered a failure thirty years ago, and to discover that it’s actually pretty good! If you’re a fan of 1990s Hong Kong wuxia movies, “Burning Paradise” is well worth your consideration.


  • Remake of the 1965 Shaw Brothers classic “Temple of the Red Lotus” starring Jimmy Wang Yu.
  • Although he claimed to have been influenced as a filmmaker by wuxia stories and films, this was Ringo Lam’s only foray into the genre.
  • “Burning Paradise” was a box office flop when originally released.
  • Fong Sai-yuk (aka Fang Shiyu) is a semi-fictional Chinese martial artist and folk hero, often associated with the disputed Southern Shaolin Monastery. He was first mentioned in wuxia stories dating from the Qing dynasty, and has been the subject of various novels. Stories about Fong have been adapted into films and television series since 1949. The most notable ones are the 1993 Hong Kong film “Fong Sai-yuk” and its sequel, which both starred Jet Li.
  • The action choreography was by Chris Lee Kin-Sang, a former member of the Jackie Chan Stunt Team. In the film “Police Story”, Chris famously fell from the front of the bus onto the tarmac, resulting in a coma for six and a half hours.


Film Rating: 7/10

“BURNING PARADISE” is OUT TODAY, 29TH MAY on BLU-RAY – get your copy NOW from Eureka Video or Amazon!

Have you enjoyed these newly restored classics? Are there any kung fu flicks that didn’t do so well first time around that deserve airing to a modern audience? Let us know in the comments below; Like, share and join in the conversation on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter & Instagram!

IF YOU LOVE 90’s HONG KONG ACTION, discover more HIDDEN GEMS in the KINGDOM of FU as well as these Top 10’s, Top 5’s, exclusive interviews, GET into ACTION with KFK gear, and subscribe for more FLAMING-FU on YouTube!

Glen Stanway

Influenced by the movies of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, Glen began training in martial arts and gymnastics in 1995. He made his first of many visits to Malaysia and Singapore in 1998 to learn Chin Woo kung fu under the supervision of Master Teng Wie Yoo. Glen is the author of "The Art of Coaching" and "Fearless The Story of Chin Woo Kung Fu", and runs a kung fu & kickboxing school in Hertfordshire, England.

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