-

Kick'em In The Ghoulies

"It's The Only Way To Survive"

Hong Kong Classic Review

Member Review

 About our Reviewer

 Jay Morey is a freelance writer living in London who also happens to be a Sammo Hung fanatic ,so when she is not watching our Sammo.She has her own columns which she writes about Music and Sport.As well as film reviews.This is the second review from Jay for the site .

Here at K.I.T.G. we thank Jay Morey for the use of her review and hope she will contribute many more.

Encounters of a Spooky Kind - 1980


Certificate: 15

Running time: 98 minutes (approx)

Director: Sammo Hung

Starring: Sammo Hung, Chong Fatt, Chan Long, Lam Ching-Ying

Genre: Supernatural/Horror Martial Arts

Studio: Bo Ho Films

Format: DVD (HKL / Media Asia)

Country: Hong Kong (1980)

 

 

 

 

To be credited with the creation of an entire sub-genre in the world of cinema is a desirable and enviable addition to any CV. Already an established and innovative actor, director, and stunt choreographer, Sammo Hung decided to expand on his repertoire with this classic of Hong Kong film, delivering supernatural/horror kung-fu to the world. Sam Raimi's Evil Dead even dropped a nod to this masterpiece.

 

Encounters opens in a black and smoky backdrop with two skeletons in broken funeral jars discussing ways to escape from hell. They spy our story protagonist, a drunken Bold Cheung. They decide to attack him as his flesh may be a way out. One bites away a lump of his leg and thoughtfully chews whilst the other tries to strangle him...

 

Snapping awake and realizing it was an awful dream; Bold faces the reality of another day of a low-paid job and arguments with a pernickety spouse. She sees him as quite worthless and taunts him with her new silk clothes, perhaps bought by a much wealthier lover?

 

Bold lives in near poverty in1800s China working as a driver for respected wealthy magistrate Mr. Tam, who like to frequent the local brothels. Bold distracts himself from his marriage troubles by making bets with his fellow eccentric drivers during his breaks. As his name suggests he's a braggart and won't back away from a challenge, even if it's based in the occult.

 

A scene mildly familiar to fans of future horror classic Candyman? sees Cheung visit a ramshackle and supposedly haunted house to play Peel-Apple. He's to skin the fruit without breaking the rind in front of a mirror. A good-humoured prank soon turns sinister as a real ghostly lady, half deformed, reaches through the glass and across the room for his soul. Bold manages to escape, this time, but unlucky events seem to be stacking against him.

 

Using a lunch break to try and catch his wife cheating, Bold spies through a crack in his front door to see her being caressed. After battling to break down the door, he finds her dressed and denying all knowledge. Again she goads him for his stupidity and sees he is carrying a cleaver. Whilst taunting him to kill her in front of their nosy neighbours the cuckold finds a shoe that doesn't fit him ? does he finally have the evidence he needs?

 

An offer to stay locked in a Temple overnight with corpses is made by a stranger who knows of his reputation. Unable to resist the prize of some ten taels of silver if he succeeds, Bold sets off. A good wizard named Tsui (Fatt) makes his acquaintance in the woods to offer advice of how to stay alive? it's a night with animated corpses. The corpses are an extension of an evil wizard, Hoi, who's been paid to kill Bold?.

 

Surviving the night dazed, he is let out of the Temple by the stranger. In a near-catatonic state he agrees to another night and it starts to become clear to him he is not just gambling for money, he's gambling with his life. Enlisting the help of the friendly Tsui, Bold makes repair for another night with chicken eggs and a wooden bowl of black dog legs and blood. The first fight scene sees Bold trying to keep the staccato corpses at bay with these ingredients and some high-energy martial arts.

 

After his trials in the dusty Temple, Cheung comes home to find no wife but blood. Wrongly accused of his wife's apparent murder, Bold is arrested by police chief (Lam Ching-Ying). He escapes prison to go on the run with not only the police Chief after him but also Hoi, both determined he should die.

 

Inspired dextrous fight sequences allow Hung to enlist his superior physical prowess and control. A tea-house fight scene features expert swordplay, whilst spiritual body possession sees a mish-mash of styles, such as monkey, facing off with spear-work and acrobatics. Hung's unrivaled comedy vision adds its customary dash of fun with an anachronistic game of YMCA with a freshly animated maggot-ridden corpse.

 

?Encounters? effects are a victim of the era, but they charm the viewer rather than elicit derision. An example being the spectre of a lady who reaches for our hero through the mirror - the elongated arms stretching for Bold evoke more of a smile than any terror. The blood of his? murder victim? is an off-colour runny paint, and the demonic manifestations seem too human and alive, yet this helps the movie's abundant charm filter through. These minor niggles contrast with wonderful mood lighting, period 1800s settings and dress, and incidental music reminiscent of? The Shining?.

           

?Encounters Of The Spooky Kind? gives us an entertaining and ground-breaking example of a genre the East is now renowned for. 

 

4/5    

Jay Morey


 

Revised Review by Jay Morey

To be credited with the creation of an entire sub-genre in the world of cinema is a desirable and enviable addition to any CV. Already an established and innovative actor, director, and stunt choreographer, Sammo Hung decided to expand on his repertoire with this classic of Hong Kong film, delivering supernatural/horror kung-fu to the world. Sam Raimi's Evil Dead even dropped a nod to this masterpiece.

 

Encounters opens in a black and smoky backdrop with two skeletons in broken funeral jars discussing ways to escape from hell. They spy our story protagonist, a drunken Bold Cheung. They decide to attack him as his flesh may be a way out. One bites away a lump of his leg and thoughtfully chews whilst the other tries to strangle him...

 

Bold (Hung) lives in1800s China in near poverty with a pernickety cheating wife and a low-paid job ferrying Mr. Tam, a wealthy resident, to and from the local brothels. As his name suggests he’s a braggart and won’t back away from a challenge, even if it’s based in the occult. 

 

The film follows Bold’s battles against an evil wizard, employed by his wife’s lover, trying to survive stays in haunted Temples and battles against manifestations of evil spirits. Aided by friendly wizard Tsui (Fatt), can he defeat those who’re out to kill him, or will the underworld have their wicked way?

 

‘Encounters' effects are a victim of the era, but they charm the viewer rather than elicit derision. An example being the spectre of a lady who reaches for our hero through the mirror – in a scene mildly familiar to fans of future horror classic 'Candyman'- elongated arms stretching for Bold evoke more of a smile than any terror. The blood is an off colour runny paint, and the demonic manifestations seem too human and alive, yet this helps the movie's abundant charm filter through. These minor niggles contrast with wonderful mood lighting, period 1800s settings and dress, and incidental music reminiscent of 'The Shining'.

 

 

Inspired dextrose fight sequences allow Hung to enlist his superior physical prowess and control. A tea-house scene features his arm being possessed by the evil wizard using voodoo, leading to an inspired fight scene where one arm is working for him and another against. The tea-house segment also features expert swordplay, whilst spiritual body possession sees a mish-mash of styles, such as monkey, facing off with spear-work and acrobatics.

Hung’s unrivaled comedy vision is also apparent, adding its customary dash of fun with an anachronistic game of YMCA with a freshly animated maggot-ridden corpse.

 

           

‘Encounters Of The Spooky Kind’ gives us an entertaining and ground-breaking example of a genre the East is now renowned for. 

 

4/5 Jay Morey



 

Sammo Hung

Martial Artist / Stuntman / Actor / Producer / Choregrapher / Director/ 

Sammo Hung Kam -Bo is probably one of the most well known action stars in the world. From his early days as a stuntman and fight choreographer and bit part player, Sammo quickly rose to fame in a slew of Hong Kong Kung Fu films under the Golden Harvest banner.
One of  the Seven Little Fortunes and Jackie Chan's older Kung Fu brother Sammo has not only starred in but Directed many of Hong Kong's classic Kung Fu films of the 70's and 80's .

Breaking into the American market with the CBS TV series Martial Law at the turn of the  Millenium Sammo became a household name across the USA. 

He continues to Direct and choreograph many films as well as still starring in the odd feature as well. 

The Late Lam Ching-Ying

Martial Artist / Actor / Stuntman / Choreographer / Director 

Lam Ching -Ying learn't his art at one of the rival Chinese Opera schools in Hong Kong as to that of Sammo and Jackie. 

As these schools would lend out their students for stunts and extra work, many students mixed from various schools and this led to Sammo and Lam working together from a early age. 

Lam Ching-Ying was one of the guys who confronted Bruce Lee to see how good he was, Lee later made Lam his assistant Director and fight cordinator.

You can see Lam in all the Bruce Lee films .
 




Directed by Sammo Hung
Produced by Chan Pui-wah
Raymond Chow
Lau Chi-chong
Written by Sammo Hung
Huang Ying
Starring Sammo Hung
Wong Ha
Dick Wei
Lam Ching-ying
Wu Ma
Music by Frankie Chan
Cinematography Lee Yau-tong
Ng Cho-wah
Edited by Peter Cheung
Production
company
Bo Ho Films Co Ltd
Distributed by Golden Harvest
Release dates
24 December 1980
Running time
98 minutes
Country Hong Kong
Language Cantonese

 

 Character Cast

Sammo Hung – Bold Cheung

Chung Fat – Priest Tsui

Lam Ching-ying – Inspector

Chan Lung – Priest Chin Hoi

To Siu-ming – Ah To / Ah dooh / Cocky

Huang Ha – Master Tam (as Wong Ha)

Dick Wei – Master Lok

Cheung Ging-boh – Uncle Fok

Tai Bo – Adviser Lau

Yuen Miu – Ah To's friend / Prison Guard (2 roles)

Pang Yun-cheung – Ah To's friend

Wellson Chin – Police officer

Ng Min-kan – Police officer

Leung Suet-mei – Cheung's wife

Billy Chan – Cheung's friend

Fung Ging-man – Peeping Tom

Ho Pak-kwong – Peeping Tom

Yuen Biao – Vampire

Lau Chau-sang – Guard

Wu Ma – Ah Chiu Fa Kau

Billy Chan – Driver

 

 source: wikipedia