Human Lanterns – original title: Ren pi deng long “Human Skin Lanterns” – is a 1982 Hong Kong horror/martial arts feature film produced by Shaw Brothers. It was directed by Chung Sun from a screenplay co-written with Kuang Ni (The Killer Snakes; Super Infra-Man; The Mighty Peking Man) and stars Tony Liu, Kuan Tai Chen and Lieh Lo.
Over the years, the film has suffered from censorship problems due to several gruesome skin flailing sequences but the British Momentum Asia DVD released in May 2005 is uncut.
Lung Shu-Ai (Liu Yung) and Tan Fu (Kuan Tai Chen) are two wealthy and rival martial artists who are both determined to win the yearly lantern competition. So Lung Shu-Ai visits lantern maker Chao Chun-Fang (Lo Lieh) to pay him to create his lantern for him, but what he doesn’t know is that Chun-Fang has a secret vendetta against him and will create his lantern using the flesh of all the women in his life, including his sister, wife and even his mistress.
“When the Shaw Brothers floodgates were thrown open, all manner of bizarre creation came pouring out. As bizarre goes, Human Lanterns is in its very own league. If I were to watch another 50 crazy kung-fu movies, I doubt any of them would even approach the insanity that is this film. It needs its own genre” David Johnson, DVD Verdict
“While not on the same level as some of the more insane Shaw Brothers horror films, Human Lanterns has got enough action, chaos and carnage to make it worth a look.” Ian Jane, Rock! Shock! Pop!
Buy Human Lanterns uncut on DVD from Amazon.co.uk