HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Leatherface
Grimsby
Caniba
Bedroom, The
Dark Tower, The
Better Watch Out
Beguiled, The
Year of the Comet
Levelling, The
Dog Days
Annabelle Creation
Once Upon a Time in Shanghai
Sssssss
Woman in Question, The
Atomic Blonde
Doulos, Le
Okja
Bob le Flambeur
Wedding in White
Léon Morin, Priest
Napping Princess, The
Scorpions and Miniskirts
Berlin File, The
Beaches of Agnès, The
Blue Jeans
Garokawa - Restore the World
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Gleaners & I, The
Peter of Placid Forest
Golden Bird, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Music, Love and Flowers: Monterey Pop on Blu-ray
The Melville Mood: His Final Two Films on The Melville Collection Blu-ray
Always Agnès: 3 from The Varda Collection Blu-ray
Re: Possession of Vehicles - Killer Cars, Trucks and a Vampire Motorcycle
The Whicker Kicker: Whicker's World Vols 5&6 on DVD
The Empress, the Mermaid and the Princess Bride: Three 80s Fantasy Movies
Witching Hour: Hammer House of Horror on Blu-ray
Two Sides of Sellers: The Party vs The Optimists
Norse Code: The Vikings vs The Long Ships
Over the Moon - Space: 1999 The Complete Series on Blu-ray Part 2
   
 
  5 Billion Dollar Legacy, The Break out the Scooby SnacksBuy this film here.
Year: 1969
Director: Umetsugu Inoue
Stars: Margaret Hsing Hui, Chin Feng, Wang Ping, Kuo Man-Na, Lee Ho
Genre: Horror, Drama, Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Crippled billionaire Lin Zhongyuan mails a letter to each of his long-lost daughters, hoping he’ll find an heir worthy to inherit his vast fortune in Japanese real estate. Good girl Peifang (Margaret Hsing Hui) hopes to enlist daddy’s help and care for her sick mom. Money-grubbing floozy Li Rong Rong (Kuo Man-Na) ditches her day job seducing rich sugar daddies for her thug boyfriend to blackmail. Blind orphan Jingxian (Wang Ping) is just happy to find a family. The sisters finally meet aboard their plane to Japan, where Peifang is also quite taken with handsome Dr. Zhang Bin (Chin Feng), en route to investigate the death of his lawyer uncle in a mysterious hit-and-run.

After an emotional reunion with Lin at his creepy mansion near Mount Fuji, the girls meet cousin Peter, a swarthy, sports car driving, medallion man with a porn star moustache. He isn’t satisfied with a piddling share of uncle’s fortune. He wants the whole enchilada. As does shady lawyer Hei Yinghui (Lee Ho). While Li Rong Rong irks her boyfriend by cosying up to the scheming Peter, Peifang and Jingxian are freaked by spooky sounds at night. Bodies start piling up. And a hideously disfigured monster lurks in the shadows.

Shaw Brothers produced this Scooby-Doo style haunted house murder mystery, a throwback to gothic thrillers like The Cat and the Canary (1927). It’s another leftfield item from Japanese writer-director Umetsugu Inoue (who worked under a Chinese pseudonym at Shaw’s), who made female James Bond caper Operation Lipstick (1967) and sci-fi thriller The Brain Stealers (1968) between his regular output of splashy musicals like Hong Kong Nocturne (1966) and We Love Millionaires (1971) that were very popular with Hong Kong youth audiences in their day.

Inoue takes to the genre with gusto, borrowing from Alfred Hitchcock, James Whale, Agatha Christie and Wait Until Dark (1967) for the nerve-jangling climax. He makes good use of the fog-filled forest and eerily lit mansion, using Dutch angles, garish colours and crash zooms onto the bug-eyed monster to create a comic book mood. However, the pace slackens amidst soap opera romance and his tendency towards heavy-handed moralising. Never a subtle writer, Inoue's heroines might as well have halos over their heads. Sweet-natured Jingxian spends most of her screen time knitting a blanket for daddy’s legs and plans to donate her fortune to the orphanage. Peifang just wants to settle down with nice guy Zhang Bin.

By contrast, Li Rong Rong is a hilariously OTT caricature of a backstabbing bitch, whose attempts to convince Lin she does not want his money (“Oh papa, let me be your legs!”) are unintentionally funny. No surprise she gets knifed in the chest, although oddly the film wheels out another blackmailing hussy (Zhang’s uncle’s mistress) to disrobe for a shower scene before being strangled by the mystery killer. The plot throws a few nice surprises including a big twist near the end that, although guessable, remains satisfyingly perverse in light of the filial theme. Although mostly centred around erstwhile musical stars Margaret Hsing Hui and Chin Feng, it is Wang Ping - who retired after winning a best actress award for Tiger Killer (1982) - who proves the most actively heroic during the well-staged climax. The film has moments to cherish, like the knife fight scored with duelling bongo drums, or a creepy scene where blind Jingxian edges near a window, unaware she is inches away from the monster with the melting face. Yikes!

Click here for the trailer

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 5385 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Robin Askwith
Mark Wahlberg
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
Keith Rockmael
Paul Shrimpton
Ian Phillips
Jensen Breck
   

 

Last Updated: