HEX Hong Kong hor­ror hys­te­ria

SFX - - Reviews -

re­leased OUT NOW! 1980 | 18 | Blu-ray & dVd (dual for­mat) Di­rec­tor Kuei Chih-Hung Cast Tien Ni, Wang Yung, Chen szu-Chia

Hong Kong’s Shaw Brothers stu­dio is rightly fa­mous for its mar­tial arts movies, but it also worked in other gen­res, in­clud­ing hor­ror. Now 88 Films have launched their new 88 Asia Col­lec­tion im­print with a typ­i­cally bonkers ex­am­ple.

This his­tor­i­cal tale sees an abu­sive hus­band and his lover con­spir­ing to scare his wife to death by pre­tend­ing his drowned corpse has re­turned to me­nace her. But then the wife’s spirit – or is it?! – starts haunt­ing the schem­ing cou­ple in re­turn…

Mist-shrouded sets, out­ra­geously melo­dra­matic mu­sic, XL per­for­mances and broad comic re­lief – on see­ing the ghost, a vis­it­ing work­man wets him­self with al­most ex­plo­sive force – com­bine in hugely en­ter­tain­ing style.

But what’s most mem­o­rable is the way the wife’s ghost (or is it?!) is fi­nally cast out, via what’s surely cin­ema’s sex­i­est ex­or­cism. This in­volves her buck naked spirit moan­ing ec­stat­i­cally as she’s whipped and has dog’s blood spat onto her breasts. At frankly un­nec­es­sary length. Ut­terly gob­s­mack­ing.

Ex­tras Hong Kong movie ex­pert Bey Lo­gan dis­cusses the his­tory of Shaw Brothers stu­dios and the lan­guages of HK cin­ema (30 min­utes); trailer; eight-page book­let. Ian Berri­man

The 88 Asia Col­lec­tion’s next Shaw Brothers hor­ror is due for re­lease on 24 Oc­to­ber: 1975 shocker Black Magic.

It was the David Dick­in­son dream again.

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