Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director

A CHINESE GHOST STORY 2

Hong Kong, 1990 (MIFF 1991, Hong Kong)

Director: Ching Siu-Tung

The second chapter of A Chinese Ghost Story has all the same ingredients as the first: high style, low comedy, explosive special effects, rap renditions of classical Taoist poetry and so on. But the huge international success of the first film has given producer Tsui Hark, director Ching Siu-Tung and their team, a whole new confidence and gusto, and this is one occasion where the sequel outpaces the original.

The story picks up exactly where it left off. Wandering scholar Ning (Leslie Cheung) has scarcely turned his back on the gates of hell before he finds himself befriending a mischievous young monk (Jacky Cheung) and fending off attacks by the decomposing corpse of a giant.

Next up, he is drawn into guerrilla action to free an unjustly imprisoned official. And then he's torn between the love of the official's two daughters - one of whom (Joey Wang) uncannily resembles his ghost-lover from Chapter One. The stage is set for everything from splatter-movie carnage to steamy romantic interludes, not to mention hair-raising villainy perpetrated by shape-changing demons. The array of demonic foes includes a lord of hell who poses as The Buddha, and a climactic monster from a William Burroughs nightmare.

There are vague hints of political allegory in the background, but this is first and foremost genre film-making at its best fast, funny, exhilarating and very, very satisfying. (T.R.)

See also...

A BETTER TOMORROW

Hong Kong, 1986
From the director of last year's Festival hit The Killer comes this earlier work, an ultraviolent, hyperkinetic gangster melodrama which virtually began a whole new stylistic trend in the loyal-to-th… More »

THE ICEMAN COMETH

Hong Kong, 1989
These days Hong Kong movies are full of figures from the past transplanted into the present, causing mayhem at every turn. The most hyped product of the genre is The Terra Cotta Warrior, but The Icem… More »

LI LIANYING - THE IMPERIAL EUNUCH

Hong Kong, 1991
From Tian Zhuangzhuang, the director of Horse Thief, comes this unique re-telling of the long reign of Tz'u-hsi, the Empress Dowager of turn-of-the-century China, as seen through the memory of Li Lia… More »

MR CANTON AND LADY ROSE

Hong Kong, 1989
Hong Kong superstar, Jackie Chan, whose films combine breathtaking action, amazing stunts and self effacing humour, tries a change of pace with Mr Canton and Lady Rose. Based on a Damon Runyon story … More »

© Melbourne International Film Festival 2013.

Site by MeccaMedialight. Powered by Textstem CMS.