The Legend of the Golden Pearl (1987)

Detail from UK poster

Directed by Teddy Robin Kwan, written by Philip Cheng, Gerald Liu & Yuen-Leung Poon, starring Samuel Hui, Ti Lung, Teddy Robin Kwan, Joey Wang and Bruce Baron.

Ti Lung, Samuel Hui and Joey Wang
Ti Lung, Samuel Hui and Joey Wang
Fighting on top of a plane!
Fighting on top of a plane!

Also known as THE LEGEND OF WISELY, the film’s hero, Wisely (Hui), helps a very short mate steal a sacred pearl from some monks in Nepal, which involves lots of acrobatic fighting. Wisely, who is an adventurer-photographer-science-fiction writer, then becomes involved with an underworld boss and his sister.

Poster
Poster
A space vessel, with a dragon-shaped head, takes to the sky
A space vessel, with a dragon-shaped head, takes to the sky

The middle portion of this Hong Kong movie is, unfortunately, rather uninteresting, though things get livelier once the action returns to Nepal…

That ain't really a pearl, kid...
That ain’t really a pearl, kid…

Here we get a monk-burning, humanoid alien, who wants the ‘pearl’ back because it is, in fact, a solar piloting computer for his spaceship. Finally, the stellar vessel bursts out of the side of a mountain, in the (basic) shape of a dragon, and flies the nasty alien home.

The nasty extraterrestrial dude sets monks aflame
The nasty extraterrestrial dude (Bruce Baron) sets monks aflame
Immolated monks fall to their doom
Immolated monks fall to their doom
That big spike of ice is gonna break, dudes...
That big spike of ice is gonna break, dudes…

The film boasts some decent sets and includes novel action moments, such as a fight atop an aircraft that’s ready to take off, but the mishmash of genre elements, including kung fu, car chases, exotic location-hopping, science-fiction & adventure, doesn’t really come off and, even though a lot of effort was put into the production, the story just runs out of steam, but effects designer Yiu Yau Hung’s fleetingly seen dragon ship is rather nice to look at.

The 'dragon' ship flies out of the clouds
The ‘dragon’ ship flies out of the clouds

Here are some posters for the movie…

Thai poster
Thai poster
A niiiiiiice UK poster
A niiiiiiice UK poster
A novel Hong Kong poster
A novel Hong Kong poster
German poster
German poster

Some VHS, DVD and Blu-ray covers…

Japanese VHS sleeve
Japanese VHS sleeve
I'm sure there isn't a Star Destroyer in this film...
I’m sure there isn’t a Star Destroyer in this film…
Hong Kong Blu-ray cover
Hong Kong Blu-ray cover
French VHS sleeve
French VHS sleeve
Hong Kong DVD cover
Hong Kong DVD cover

And a final look at the big dragon spaceship…

Cool
Cool

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