HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Burning Sea, The
Godzilla Singular Point
Ace of Aces
Innocents, The
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
Skinny Tiger, Fatty Dragon
Benediction
Nezha Reborn
Evil Toons
Worst Person in the World, The
Whirlpool
Hunter Will Get You
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse
Revolver
Men, The
Parallel Mothers
Sadness, The
Bloody New Year
Faye
Body Count
Spider-Man: No Way Home
'Round Midnight
Wild Men
Barry & Joan
Wake Up Punk
Twin, The
Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy
One of These Days
Lift to the Scaffold
Savage Dawn
Rest in Pieces
Innocents in Paris
We're All Going to the World's Fair
Beyond the Door 3
Jules et Jim
Love Jones
Saint-Narcisse
   
 
Newest Articles
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
   
 
  Bride Who Has Returned from Hell, The Consider That A Divorce
Year: 1965
Director: Hsin Chi
Stars: Chin Mei, Ko Chung-Hsiung, Ou Wei, Lau Ching, Dai Pei-Shan, Hsiao Hui, Yue Fan, Hsu Yu, Chou Yo, Chin Tu, Ling Yu, Ding Shiang, Hsiao Pi, Guo Ye Ren, Ke Yo-Min, Wang Man-Jiao, Tien Ming
Genre: Drama, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: The wealthy Wang Yi-Ming (Ko Chung-Hsiung) has just suffered a humiliating tragedy, as his wife has been discovered to be out on a boating trip with another man. He knows this because said boat has been washed up on the shore, with the other man dead inside: however, the wife is nowhere to be seen, presumed drowned. This leaves Mr Wang with much to think on, like an unfaithful spouse and a lack of anybody to look after his young child, therefore he is moved to hire a governess for her, who can also tutor the granddaughter of his housekeeper. This is Miss Bei Sui-Mi (Chin Mei), who is happy for the work, but does not realise what she is letting herself in for, as there are murky goings-on in the clifftop mansion...

This sounds like it is going to be a Gothic like Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca - with which it shared some similarities – except director Hsin Chi did not warm to the possibilities of a stylish horror yarn based in a decadent family, and preferred to keep things, if not prosaic, then verging on the banal, all the better to highlight the plight of the female characters. If this came across more akin to a soap opera that you would have found on Taiwanese television of its day, then for that reason you could legitimately judge it as a missed opportunity, for a full-blooded chiller from this part of the world could have been highly entertaining. As it was, it merely burst into life in fits and starts rather than haring along all the way through the story.

There was actually a tendency towards lack of style with The Bride Who Has Returned from Hell, which undercut the mystery, not completely self-sabotaging, but you would come away from the experience wondering if something more - a lot more - could have been made of the material. Some sources list it as horror, yet the only really horrific aspect occurred near the end where we found out where the wife had gone, otherwise it veered casually from domestic drama, social concerns, light thrills, even wistful songs, and plenty of doting over the two little girls who took up probably too much of the screen time. But there was no real supernatural element (aside from one scene) and the fear factor was limited to the peril Miss Bei was trapped in when the true villain made themselves apparent.

As for those social concerns, they have been the motive for recommending this film, as they were intended, so we're told, to emphasise the plight of the typical Taiwanese woman who struggles to get by in a man's world, at least in the nineteen-sixties when this was created, yet while the drama appeared to be aimed at those members of the population, a plot that pitted them against one another to an extent was perhaps not the most positive of examples of early feminism. Of course, there were allegiances forged as well, and Bei seems to get plenty of support from her young charges, but when romance develops between her and the cold, bad-tempered Mr Wang, it is difficult no to go through mixed feelings. That might have been the intention, but more likely we were supposed to be happy that the heroine had been swept off her feet by the distant man she manages to warm up with her good heart and honesty. However, while it may not be everything its reputation claims it to be, it was a solid, if meandering, little mystery thriller all told. The inclusion of the James Bond theme at the denouement was, on the other hand... not sensible.

[Click here to see the Taiwan Film Festival website where this and other films can be watched, 18th-27th September 2020.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 721 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Enoch Sneed
   

 

Last Updated: