If Touch of Zen was King Hu's Once Upon a Time in the West, then this is his Duck, You Sucker and, believe it or not, that's one hell of a compliment. So much fun.
My memory of the first viewing is a hazy one. It is as if I was hypnotized during the film or dreamt it instead. So, the second viewing actually helped sorting all the thematic puzzle pieces together. Fascism, guilt, oppression, witches and the turbulent 70's all fit in a coherent way now.
Needless to say, it's still an amazing audio-visual treat and the film itself is shamelessly in love with itself to an extend where you could say it's pretentious, but it wouldn't be even half as interesting any other way.