October 11, 2020
Consider this Cheh Chang's struggle for relevance. With the appeal of the Shaw Bros martial arts films dwindling, people like Chang finally had to reinvent themselves. Heaven and Hell is a mix of fantasy, martial arts and even some musical elements, but it takes a while to come into its own.
Five martial arts experts are unjustly thrown into hell. Not willing to give up, they struggle through the various levels of hell in order to reach Buddha. Once there, they plead to be resurrected. Buddha grants them their wish, but each of them has to fight and conquer the men who got them thrown into hell.
The hell scenes are the obvious stand-outs, though it's clear Chang isn't quite as gifted as Chor. The action is decent but not that remarkable, the musical bits early on feel superfluous. Luckily the film gets better as time passes and the second half is pretty fun, sporting some rather atypical Shaw Bros scenes.