Photo of the day: Zhang Yimou’s CGI Fiends

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1:12 AM HKT, Thu November 2, 2017

This week’s photo theme: CREATURE FEATURES. Ghosts, demons, monsters, aliens, and indefinably uncanny entities, all from the annals of Chinese literature, film and art.

Did you see The Great Wall, veteran Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou’s latest big-budget play for Hollywood glory? Or did you skip it out of rebellion against Matt Damon’s, erm, anachronistic presence?

Well, spoiler alert: the climax involves a whole bunch of CGI monsters. And not just any monsters, but Tao Tie, an evil fiend of Chinese myth that might date as far back as 3000 BCE.

In her epic Chinese ghost list, Xueting Christine Ni describes Tao Tie as:

A monster with a human face, goat body, tiger teeth and eyes near its armpits. It eats humans and likes to lure its prey with infant-like cries. Upon seeing one, it’s best to run, no use walking round its back. Tao Tie is also a Chinese adjective for “gluttonous.”

They certainly look ravenous in Zhang Yimou’s framing. Here’s an extended clip:

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