Sien nui yau wan [A Chinese Ghost Story] (1987)

(On VHS, September 2001) Exhilarating picture mixing action, fantasy, romance, comedy and seemingly everything else. It’s gonzo filmmaking in the Evil Dead and Dead Alive vein, with hordes of monsters, impossible stunts, out-of-nowhere twists and turns, full-bore fantasy elements and a whole lot of fun. You head will spin, turns and maybe even hurt trying to piece it all together. Try not to; it’s more fun just to be swept away. The technical polish of the film is a bit lacking, but don’t worry: you might never notice. While maybe a bit overhyped (this review isn’t any exception), A Chinese Ghost Story will delight anyone looking for something dynamic yet not from the same boring Hollywood tradition. One question, though: Looking at the release dates of both films, how much -if any- of A Chinese Ghost Story was influenced by The Evil Dead?

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