HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Abraxas, Guardian of the Universe
Victoria the Great
Dave Made a Maze
Desire and Hell at Sunset Motel
Prayer Before Dawn, A
Ragewar
Lowlife
Fashionista
Elizabeth Harvest
Moulin Rouge!
Free Solo
Mifune: The Last Samurai
Stan and Ollie
Girl in the Spider's Web, The
Up from the Depths
Guardians of the Tomb
November Man, The
Overlord
Sebastiane
Lifechanger
Circle of Two
Hell Fest
Oklahoma!
Nutcracker and the Four Realms, The
Vigilante Force
Haunting of Sharon Tate, The
Paradox
Peppermint
Sharkwater Extinction
Isn't It Romantic
   
 
Newest Articles
Killer Apps: The Rise of the Evil 60s Supercomputers
How 1970s Can You Get? Cliff Richard in Take Me High vs Never Too Young to Rock
A Perfect Engine, An Eating Machine: The Jaws Series
Phwoar, Missus! Sexytime for Hollywood
He-Maniacs: Ridiculous 80s Action
All's Welles That Ends Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 1 on DVD
Shut It! The Sweeney Double Bill: Two Blu-rays from Network
Network Sitcom Movie Double Bill: Till Death Us Do Part and Man About the House on Blu-ray
No, THIS Must Be the Place: True Stories on Blu-ray
Alf Garnett's Life After Death: Till Death... and The Thoughts of Chairman Alf on DVD
Balance of Power: Harold Pinter at the BBC on DVD
Strange Days 2: The Second Science Fiction Weirdness Wave
Strange Days: When Science Fiction Went Weird
Ha Ha Haaargh: Interview With Camp Death III in 2D! Director Matt Frame
Phone Freak: When a Stranger Calls on Blu-ray
   
 
  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 6110 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
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Stately Wayne Manor
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
   

 

Last Updated: