Painted Skin

In one of the final works of King Hu before his passing, we see quite a different style from the rest of his earlier films. Ghosts and other-worldly characters, such as the Yin-Yang King, played a prominent role as well as several Taoist priests. King Hu stuck to his area of comfort and included religion with the priests, however, by adding a darker side to a story, King Hu showed dramatic signs of change. Signalling the end of both his career and his life, ‘Painted Skin’ didn’t quite stack up to the greatness of his previous works. Despite a story based on Chinese folklore like several of King Hu’s other films, ‘Painted Skin’ inevitably flopped. It seemed fitting that King Hu’s final production include Sammo Hung who worked very well with King Hu and stuck with him to the end of his career. Even though this film didn’t make the cut like several of his other works, it shows how far he has come as a director and how he evolved Chinese martial arts cinema into something that could be expanded upon while still managing to experiment in other areas like horror-esque films.


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