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The Cave of the Silken Web  
|     review    |     notes     |     availability     |     also see      |

DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 3 NTSC
Intercontinental Video Limited
Mandarin Language Track
Removable English, Chinese, and Bahasa Subtitles
Various extras including trailers, color stills and original poster

• Ho Fan, the actor who portrays the holy Tang Priest, went on to become a famous director of erotic films.

Also see:
Monkey Goes West (1966)
Princess Iron Fan (1966)
Land of Many Perfumes (1968)

Chinese: 盤絲洞
Year: 1967
Director: Ho Meng-Hua
Producer: Sir Run Run Shaw
Cast: Angela Yu Chien, Shen Yi, Chow Lung-Cheung, Liu Liang-Hua, Helen Ma, Yu Ching, Tien Meng, Shirley Huang, Ho Fan
The Skinny: In this third installment of the Shaw Brothers' adaptation of Journey to the West, the Monkey King and his merry men do battle with a coven of sexy spider vixens. Hilarity ensues.


The Tang Priest's quest to fetch the scriptures from India continues in this winning sequel to the Shaw Brothers' Monkey King film series. This time around, our faithful heroes (Monkey, Pig, and Friar Sand) must defend their master from the seductive charms of seven spider fairies who dwell in the aptly named Cave of the Silken Web. When the oafish Pig and the venerable monk Xuanzhang are captured by the lethal ladies, Monkey and Friar Sand must find a way to save their imprisoned brethren before they become the main course at the girls' next banquet. But while most of these sexy demons only wish to dine on the chaste monk's tasty, immortality-giving flesh, at least one of the group hopes to have her way with the poor fellow. Can Monkey and company save their master's virtue in time? Well, what do you think?

As with its predecessor Monkey Goes West, this 1967 sequel looks fantastic. While Cave of the Silken Web does contain some actual location footage, a majority of the film is shot in the studio to marvelous effect. There's something oddly charming about a film set in an ancient China that doesn't look the part. Instead, the film looks more like something straight out of the pseudo-James Bond flick Casino Royale (which was released the same year). With their colorful wardrobe, groovy décor, and oh-so-sexy ways, the Seven Spiders seem poised for a starring role in the next Austin Powers flick.

To put it simply, Cave of the Silken Web is wacky fun from start to finish. The musical interludes introduced in the first film are back and just as hilarious. At one point in the narrative, the lusty Pig transforms himself into the spitting image of his master and finds himself engaged in an amusing, flirtatious singing session with a more-than-willing Spider Lady. Actor Ho Fan does an excellent job of portraying the pig-turned-sifu who, unlike his wholly pure master, has few qualms about partaking in the pleasures of the flesh. Add to the mix several more cases of mistaken identity, some unintentionally funny Spider-Man webslinging, and a nifty Taoist flamethrower from heaven, and you've got the ingredients for a sidesplitting, adventure-filled romp that the whole family can enjoy. In other words, I liked it. (Calvin McMillin 2003)

images courtesy of Intercontinental Video, Ltd.
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