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CHINESE GHOST STORY

SYNOPSIS:
Based on a legendary tale A Chinese Ghost story follows scholar Ling Chi-sun (Lesley Cheung) sent to collect taxes in a remote village. Treated with suspicion and derision by the locals Ling is told there are no rooms in town but he might find accomodation at the nearby Lan Yeuk Monastery. Not knowing the monastery is haunted he encounters the beautiful ghost Ip Siu-sin (Joey Wang). The prisoner of a transvestive tree demon who will forbid her reincarnation unless she destroys the mortal Ling and submits to a forced marriage, Siu-sin falls in love with Ling. With the help of demon-hunting Taoist priest Chiu the couple join forces and a colossal battle to defeat the evil demon commences.

If you want to know how and why the hoopla surrounding Hong Kong fantasy cinema began, rush down to you local video outlet (from September 13, 1999) and demand a copy of what's still the finest entry in the genre. The first in what eventually became a trilogy, A Chinese Ghost Story is a thrilling showcase of kinetic HK cinema at its peak. Directed by veteran martial arts choreographer Ching Siu Tung, A.C.G.S. bears the overwhelming stamp of producer/director/writer/guru Tsui Hark who directed Zu: Warriors From The Magic Mountain (1982), the first HK fantasy film with even remotely sophisticated special effects. Five years later came this landmark production starring Cantonese pop idol Leslie Cheung as its appealing hero; a scholar sent to collect taxes in a rural community who runs into bad luck on the road and winds up in a haunted house. You could do worse than find sexy ghost Joey Wang (who appeared in all 3 films) waiting to seduce you and Cheung has the good fortune to be spared the sticky demise of others when true ghost-mortal love blossoms Enter Wong's wicked drag queen stepmother and an evil spirit-fighting Taoist priest and the stage is set for a showdown the likes of which you just won't see in western cinema. The extended climax featuring a monstrosous tongue is worth the price alone but the overall wit, style and attention to character make this one worth having in the library. The only slight disappointment is that it's not released in a letterboxed version but having been filmed originally in the standard 1.85:1 aspect ratio you won't lose too many of the thrills. Well worth the price tag and one you'll want to watch until the particles fall off the tape."
Richard Kuipers

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CHINESE GHOST STORY, A (M)
(THE TSUI HARK ANIMATION)
(Hong Kong)

VOICES: Jan Lam, Lai Sui-yan, Tsui Hark, Ko Min-fai, Wong Yu-min, James Wong, Anita Yuen, Charlie Young, Kelly Chen, Jordan Chan

DIRECTOR: Andrew Chen

ANIMATION DIRECTOR: Norichika Endo

PRODUCER: Nansun Shi, Meileen Choo, Charles Heung, Tsuneo Leo Sato

SCRIPT: Tsui Hark (story by Tsui)

EDITOR: Tsui, Mak Chi-sin

MUSIC: Ricky Ho

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Tsui

RUNNING TIME: 82 minutes

AUSTRALIAN VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Siren Entertainment

AUSTRALIAN VIDEO RELEASE: November 8, 1999

RRP: $35







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