HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Lookout, The
Black Belt
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
Their Finest
Stella Cadente
Water Drops on Burning Rocks
Replace
Belladonna of Sadness
Aquarius
Erik the Conqueror
Baghead
Guns at Batasi
Gang Story, A
Magnificent Ambersons, The
Climber, The
It's a Big Country
Raw
Last Man Standing
Transfiguration, The
Alien Nation
Kajaki
Certain Fury
Life
Hundra
Wonder Woman
Francesca
Jimi Plays Berkeley
Berlin Syndrome
Cure for Wellness, A
Warriors Gate, The
   
 
Newest Articles
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
Alpha Males and Females - Space: 1999 The Complete Series on Blu-ray Part 1
Animated Anxieties: From the Era of the Creepiest Cartoons
Manor On Movies--Clegg (1970)
Plans for Nigel: The Crunch... and Other Stories on DVD
Let's Get Harry: Repo Man and Paris, Texas
Shut Up, Crime! The Punisher at the Movies
Thunderbollocks: The Golden Age of Bond Rip-Offs
   
 
  Chinese Ghost Story, A Spook DreamsBuy this film here.
Year: 1987
Director: Ching Siu-Tung
Stars: Leslie Cheung, Joey Wong, Wu Ma, Dawei Hu, Jin Jiang, Wai Lam, Siu-Ming Lau
Genre: Horror, Comedy, Martial Arts, Romance, Fantasy
Rating:  8 (from 4 votes)
Review: A Chinese Ghost Story was one of the first Hong Kong movies to really break through to a Western audience in the form it was made – ie. subtitled – finding considerable success on the UK and US arthouse circuits back in the late 80s. Since then, über-producer Tsui Hark has gone on to make dozens of films in the horror, martial arts and action genres, but few combine these elements with quite the same breathless aplomb as this top-rate romp.

The late Leslie Cheung is on great comic form as Ning, a young scholar making some cash by debt collecting. When his debt book is damaged he heads to a seemingly deserted temple in the woods outside town, even though the townsfolk are convinced he may never return. At the temple he encounters a strange bearded monk engaged in combat with another man, but that's nothing compared to the zombies lurking under the floorboards and the beautiful ghost by the name of Nie, who sits by the lake playing haunting melodies on her harp. Being somewhat bumbling, Ning fails to spot the zombies and falls in love with Nie (Joey Wong), blissfully unaware that she's a spirit forced by her evil mistress to seduce men and feed them to the dark lord of the underworld, to whom she is also betrothed.

A Chinese Ghost Story takes place in a world where ghosts exists and people's main concern is staying out of their way. The film isn't scary as such, but throws all the right horror elements at the screen – ghosts, zombies, evil trees, huge demonic tounges, even a bit of head-lopping and blood-letting – and there's some neat martial arts tossed in for good measure. It's all one big rush of ultra-stylised energy that holds together brilliantly so long as you don't question the logic of anything you're watching – Hark and director Ching Siu-Tung seem to delight in the fact that their plot frequently makes little sense.

For all its spectacle however, this is actually quite a small-scale film. Most of the action takes place around the temple and concerns only a handful of characters, principally Ning, Nie, and Master Yan, the bearded monk who turns out to be a retired Mandarin judge and the only man capable of defeating the lord of the underworld. Yan is played with gusto by veteran martial arts star Wu Ma, and he gets to shoot laser beams from his palms and perform a bizarre Taoist rap. Central to the story is Ning and Nie's blossoming romance and this is played out in a series of amusing, quite touching scenes, the best being the sequence in which Ning is forced to hide in a bath tub from Nie's evil sister and mistress. Ning and Yan's quest to rescue Nie from her intended husband takes them into the underworld for a bistering climax, and the film ends on a impressively melancholy note. Outrageous fun.

Aka: Sinnui Yauman
Reviewer: Daniel Auty

 

This review has been viewed 6090 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Ching Siu-Tung  (1953 - )

Hong Kong director and skilled action choreographer. Started working as a fight arranger on films including Tsui Hark's Peking Opera Blues and directed influential kung fu flicks Duel to the Death and The Nepal Affair. 1987's A Chinese Ghost Story was a masterful slice of supernatural lunacy, and Siu-Tung went on to helm two sequels, all for producer Hark. Siu-Tung's other key films include Swordsman 1 & 2 and the stylish New Dragon Gate Inn, and as an action choreographer has worked on modern classics such as The Heroic Trio, A Better Tomorrow II, Shaolin Soccer, Hero and House of Flying Daggers. Recently directed sexploiter Naked Weapon for prolific producer Wong Jing.

 
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
Ian Phillips
Jensen Breck
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Stately Wayne Manor
Paul Shrimpton
  Vikki Sanderson
   

 

Last Updated: