One of the reasons that watching Xena is so much fun is that it is influenced by things from many different cultures and eras. One of the most pervasive sources has been Hong Kong action films. (Producer Rob Tapert is an avid fan.)
Many of the touches we lovethe incredible leaps, the fire-breathing, the "whoosh" sounds the weapons makeare also found in Hong Kong films. Additionally, several scenes in Xena episodes have been directly inspired by various Hong Kong movies. For example, the gauntlet scene in THE GAUNTLET [HTLJ #12] is nearly identical, shot for shot, to one in The Bride With White Hair.
The incredible ladder fight with Callisto (CALLISTO [#22]) and the contest fought against Draco on villagers' heads (SINS OF THE PAST [#1]) also have their roots in the genre. And THE DEBT [XWP #52-53] is heavily, heavily influenced by Hong Kong films.
Laura Irvine, a Xenite and Hong Kong film fanatic, has collected these and other parallels in The Xena + Hong Kong Connection. Replete with pictures and witty commentary, this site is a must for anyone interested in this aspect of the show!
Laura and I spoke at the 1998 NYC Xenafest on the influence of HK pictures on Xena. To read more about it, and to see my take on HK films, go to my site, Hong Kong Flu.
Hong Kong action movies are hard to find in many places. Tai Seng Video is the largest and best official source for these films. In addition to a great selection of videos, they offer posters, books, t-shirts, and more. They can be reached online at Tai Seng Video, or at 888-668-8338. Another good source is DDD House, a Hong Kong supplier.