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Xena: Warrior Princess and Hong Kong Movies

I was a fan of Hong Kong movies long before I watched my first Xena: Warrior Princess episode. In fact because of the Hong Kong action influences, I used to have nothing but disdain for Xena:WP until I actually watched it instead of just channel surfing past I'm almost as obsessed with Xena as I am with Hong Kong movies.

The producers and writers of Xena readily admit that HK-style action is an important element of the show. In fact, the show was apparently originally conceived as "Xena does Hong Kong action." Part of the fun for me each week is figuring out what HK movie scene is being "ripped off"--and I mean that in a good way.

According to an interview with producer Rob Tapert (New York Times article, Sunday, May 19, 1996, by William Grimes), Mr. Tapert "looked to the female action stars of Hong Kong cinema, especially Brigitte Lin." But as almost any HK movie fan could tell you, the influences don't stop there. Xena:WP is filled with the type of energy, stunts, visuals, stylized choreography, and over-the-top situations that make Hong Kong movies so exciting.

So, what, you may ask, is the point of this page...well, aside from giving me an outlet for my two obsessions, I would also like to recognize and highlight the Hong Kong elements in Xena:WP, and maybe turn Xena fans on to Hong Kong films and Hong Kong film fans on to Xena. Plus, it's just plain fun--instead of just jumping up and down yelling Hong Kong movie titles at the screen every time I watch a Xena episode, now I can share my oh-so-brilliant observations with both Xena and HK fans.

I was your basic movie fan before I was an obsessed Hong Kong movie fan, so I realize that the creators of most movies and TV shows have many influences, but on this page, I'm only concentrating on the Xena + Hong Kong connection. I have had absolutely no contact with the writers, directors, or producers of Xena:WP, so I really have no inside knowledge as to how many HK movies they have seen or whether they even know who Jet Li and Samo Hung are. But after having seen every episode of Xena:WP and having watched hundreds of HK movies of every genre-- the similarities and influences are evident. I also realize that Hong Kong filmmakers themselves have many influences and often "rip off" elements from other sources as well--but that's another webpage...

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Little picture of Bai Ying poking your eyes out/DRAGON INN (1967)Comments? Email Laura Irvine

The Xena + Hong Kong Connection is a fangirl-obsession, not-for-profit site and is not intended to infringe on the copyrights of Universal Television Enterprises, Inc., MCA, Renaissance, Tai Seng Entertainment or any other legal copyright holders of material contained within. I don't even own the 12-year-old truck anymore, but I have gotten some of the HK movie posters framed.