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  Seeding of a Ghost From Beyond The Grave
Year: 1983
Director: Chuan Yang
Stars: Norman Chu, Phillip Ko, Maria Jo, Wang Yung, Tien Mi, Wai Kar-Man, Hung Hsin Nan, Bak Man-Biu, Fu Ling-Chi, Erik Chan Ka Kei, Chiang Liang, Jaime Mei Chun Chik, Chin Tien-Chu, Lam Wei, Lee Chuen Sing, Liang Hsin, Liu Chun, Lu Hung, Ouyang Sha-Fei
Genre: Horror, TrashBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: A sorcerer has been digging up graves for his own mysterious purposes and when the locals cotton on one night they assemble into a mob and chase him away, into the path of a taxi driven by Chau (Phillip Ko) who runs the man over. On getting out to see if he is all right, there is no one around, not under his wheels or anywhere (the mob has run away), so he climbs back into his cab only to realise the man is sitting behind him. He informs him that for bumping into a sorcerer Chau is now cursed, but he doesn't believe in all that mumbo-jumbo and simply takes him to his home, waiving the fare. But what he doesn't know is that his accident has effectively doomed his croupier wife Irene (Maria Jo)...

Now wait a minute, Chau did absolutely nothing wrong, he was merely in the wrong place at the wrong time and the mishap could not have been avoided as the sorcerer ran out in front of his cab in the dark, so why does he have to bear the brunt of the curse rather than the crowd who caused the accident in the first place? It was not as if the film presented this as a great injustice of black magic, it accepted the set of circumstances as the way things were when a savvier effort would have been questioning this lack of fairness throughout. But that wasn't the worst of it as it was actually Irene who suffered the most, apparently because she was committing adultery with a gambler she met at work.

He was Anthony Fang (Norman Chu), and he was as much to blame for her fate, if not more so, than her husband as after they indulge in an illicit affair that gave the audience the opportunity to gaze upon former Miss South Korea Maria Jo's unclad form (at the beach, in the shower, and in softcore sex scenes) she was effectively punished for her marital misdemeanour when one of Anthony's late night excursions with her saw them almost crash into a couple of boy racers in a sports car. They cause some low level trouble, the lovers drive off, then fall out, and Irene winds up alone on the street phoning her husband to fetch her - but the racers catch up with her and chase her into a creepy, abandoned mansion.

This being a Hong Kong production, they were more blasé about the presentation of rape than the Western world of the eighties (though the Western world of the seventies was arguably comparable), and while we did not here see the act of violation itself, we saw the lead up to it and the aftermath, which was an extended sequence of abuse for the woman in question, including having her clothes ripped off, getting slapped around full in the face and tumbling down a flight of stairs (not a bad stunt when you're mostly naked and not wearing visible protective padding). Naturally this was intended to give the protagonist all the excuse he needed to exact vengeance, which he did by getting back in touch with the sorcerer and asking him if he did requests; as a matter of fact, he did.

This led into the stuff Hong Kong trash fans were eagerly awaiting, the supernatural horror business that they rubbed their hands together in anticipation for. The hopes would be that the proceedings would be as outrageous as possible, and in many cases that was true enough, but with Seeding of a Ghost, or Zhong gui as it was originally called, the action sputtered and choked for most of the running time. Once it did reach the special effects bonanza there were benefits offered to the hardy souls who had stayed the course, as Chau and his wife's corpse, assisted (some would say enabled) by the sorcerer use various arcane practices to see to it that the rapists and Anthony were truly punished, in such scenes as one thinking he was eating a coconut when he was really eating a brain out of an open skull, though director Chuan Yang went to town with the cheesy, rubbery effects as a pregnant woman exploded and a non-pregnant man did the same, only from the other side. This was utterly ridiculous, but offered some diversion even if it never really got into higher gear, content to allow disgust to carry it to its abrupt climax. Music by Chin Shing Yung and Su Chen-Hou.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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