A Chinese Ghost Story (1987) / Action-Fantasy
aja Sien nui yau wan
MPAA Rated: Not rated, but probably PG-13 for violence and scary images
Running Time: 98 min.
Cast: Leslie Cheung, Joey Wang, Wu Ma
Director: Stanley Tong
Screenplay: Yuen Gai Chi (based on the novel by Pu Songling)
Review published September 14, 1996
A young drifter decides to stay in an temple outside of town when a series of rainstorms ruin the travel worthiness of the weather. Bad idea since the temple is haunted. He meets a lovely young woman who is apparently being stalked by a Taoist swordsman. They begin a romance and he helps her to evade the swordsman with murderous intentions, but things become complicated when he learns that the woman is also a ghost.
The film starts off bad, with some hackneyed attempts at humor and an unconvincing romance. It soon picks up major speed by the last third when it becomes imaginative and fun. Impressive special effects from such a low-budget Hong Kong film, and likeable characters help add to the zany mayhem. Recommended, but enjoyable only if you stick with it until the end.
©1996 Vince Leo