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Got something to say about Asian movies
Topic Started: Sep 26 2007, 03:30 PM (10,697 Views)
Deleted User
Deleted User

I do not know how far back your (plural) interest in Hong Kong movies goes, but I still remember well a Shaw Studios Production film entitled BEYOND THE GRAVE, made in 1954 and starring Lucilla Yuming. The story is based on the one in Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio about a romance between a man and a ghost, and was remade later as both THE ENCHANTING SHADOW and A CHINESE GHOST STORY.
Here are some scenes from the film that I have found on the internet.

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Deleted User
Deleted User

I do not think that this film is included in the Celestial re-release of the old Shaw movies of the late 50s and 60s, as it was in B/W and even in 1954 the quality wasn't very good (yes I did see the fim at the cinema at the time). However, the film is still in existence (unlike Cathay-Keris' PONTIANAK and DENDAM PONTIANAK) as it was featured in a retrospective season of old Shaw Studios movies held in Hong Kong in 2003, so there may be hope that eventually it will be released in either VCD or DVD format.

http://www.lcsd.gov.hk/en/ppr_release_det....=20030325&ps=04

Another movie was included in the programme that may be of interest to forum members is entitled MIDNIGHTMARE (SONG AT MIDNIGHT is the Chinese title), which was released in 1962 and starred the late great Betty Ledi of ENCHANTING SHADOW fame. The story line is based on a 1937 Chinese novel, but is very similar to PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, including a disfigured hero scarred in an acid attack and an opera troupe. Here is a link to this film

http://www.geocities.com/lediweb/YBGS1_E.htm
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Deleted User
Deleted User

Have a look at this interview with Maria Menado in which she laments the loss of her first great "hit"

http://star-ecentral.com/news/story.asp?fi...2763&sec=movies

I must say that whereas I can recall the details of the first "Pontianak" very clearly, my memory is a bit hazy about the content of "Dendam Pontianak". The only scenes I can recall were when Pontianak has a magical fight with the old witch ("Nenek Kebayan"), and a scene towards the end of the movie when she is held at bay by a potential victim reciting from the Koran on a prayer mat. Obviously the second film was not as memorable as the first, as far as I am concerned!
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Deleted User
Deleted User

Returning to the theme of Hong Kong ghost and horror movies, the following book is a useful guide in the English language of the genre dating from its heyday in the 80s

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Reviews

http://www.popmatters.com/books/reviews/s/...ters-2004.shtml

http://www.kinocite.co.uk/17/1749.php

Preview (selected pages)

http://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&id=8...Ae82JXA#PPA3,M1
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Deleted User
Deleted User

I do not know if members of this forum are aware that a new version of "Painted Skin", a ghost story from the Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio collection, is being shot at the moment. This movie has as its stars Donnie Yen (better known for his martial arts prowess) and mainland Chinese actress Zhou Xun. As the story is about an effete scholar who becomes enamoured by a demon, it will be interesting to see how super macho Donnie Yen fits into the role!

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This is about the fourth movie version of this story. The previous one was directed by King Hu for Film Workshop, Tsui Hark's production studio (Tsui Hark directed Zu Warriors) in 1992 and starred Joey Wang, better known for her role in the Chinese Ghost Story trilogy from the same studio. I didn't like that version very much, it departed from the simple outline of the original story, resembling more the first Chinese Ghost Story about a ghost in thrall to a powerful demon, and I remember a much creepier (and more faithful to the story) version made in the 1960s (I think by MP & GI) which had a demon/ghost with a green face and big teeth! There was also a version made in Taiwan which I haven't seen.

A first for China is its first proper ghost movie, The Matrimony, released last year, which seems to have borrowed some of its premises from the film The Skeleton Key, but then as Western and Eastern films seem to copy each other's ideas with impunity, that is hardly surprising!

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Deleted User
Deleted User

The new movie is a joint China-Singapore production and will be released early next year. I know some people involved in it, which is why I am aware of it. It promises to up the gruesome stakes, with hearts being torn out and eaten, in true Oriental style! However, this is only following the original storyline! ;) I hope you will enjoy watching King Hu's version, that isn't such a horrorfest as this one promises to be.

Judging from the link you posted, it may be possible that the Taiwan version I referred to and the King Hu version are one and the same film. I only heard about the Taiwan movie from someone else, so I had assumed it was a different film, but I may have arrived at the wrong conclusion.

I have been having a good deal of fun the past few days re-watching some 80s Hong Kong horror/ghost movies which some kind souls have uploaded onto Youtube in their entirety (although in segments). These include:

Mr Vampire (one 10 minute section is missing, but as I have seen the film before that didn't matter)
Mr Vampire 3
Mr Vampire 4
Exorcist Master
The Haunted Cop Shop
Seventh Curse
The Dead and the Deadly
Spiritual Trinity
Mad Mad Ghost
Ghost Snatchers

A few of them are without sub-titles. Since I understand Cantonese and Mandarin that wasn't a problem for me, but I thought I should mention this all the same.

Several others also available, which I haven't got round to watching yet.

So any fans of HK 80s horror/ghost movies can indulge in their favourite pursuit to their hearts' content, courtesy of Youtube!
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