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Psychotronic Film Society presents: "Come Drink with Me" (Hong Kong, 1966)

  • The Sentient Bean Cafe 13 East Park Avenue Savannah, GA, 31401 United States (map)

Showtime is 8 p.m., with discounts on organic wine and craft beer during the show. Ticket price is $8.

The Psychotronic Film Society’s regular Wednesday night series of underappreciated and/or downright obscure feature films from around the world continues Dec. 27 at The Sentient Bean near Forsyth Park. Their selection that night is neither obscure nor holiday-themed. However, here in the States, it is certainly not well-known by folks who aren’t already into either action films or Asian cinema.

It’s the 1966 Hong Kong gem “Come Drink with Me,” starring Chinese female film icon Cheng Pei-Pei, who most U.S. viewers will know from her high-profile role in Ang Lee’s stunning 2000 martial arts fantasy “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.”

The film, which takes place in ancient China, features Pei-Pei as the character known as Golden Swallow, an expert martial artist who is sent to rescue the kidnapped son of a respected general. Widely considered to be one of the finest films ever made in Hong Kong, this Shaw Brothers production is filled with clever dialogue, above-average acting and thrilling fight sequences which have stood the test of time.

The choreography of these elaborate martial arts battles had a profound impact on decades of films that followed in their wake, but often gave short shrift to character development and engaging back stories. In other words, even if you do not consider yourself a fan of martial arts films, you may want to give this one a try, as it is several cuts above most entries into that often dispiriting genre and at times operates on a rather epic scale.

It’s also worth noting that the film’s director intentionally cast a ballet dancer (Pei-Pei) in the lead role, rather than a martial artist. That’s because many of these films’ action sequences lay out more like elaborate dances than melees. The PFS will show the restored, uncut widescreen version of this feature, which is dubbed in spoken English.