Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Seeding of a Ghost (1983)

Though martial arts and kung-fu movies are what they are known for, the 70's-90's film industry of China also gave the world exploitation movies known as "Category III" movies. These movies went farther than other Chinese films, giving audiences all the violence, gore, sex and depravity that polite society frowned upon. Even the Shaw Bros., who gave the world all kinds of kung-fu movies, got in on the act, with movies like "Rebekah", "Dr Lamb" and today's entry "Seeding of a Ghost" upsetting government officials and delighting cult movie junkies worldwide.

Taxi Driver Chau's (Phillip Ko) life is going to turn ugly. Not only was his wife Irene (Maria Jo) having an affair-she got raped and murdered by two thugs. So, what's a man to do in situations like this, get the law to help? Well, they aren't good for much here, so he'll have to to a warlock (Man-Biao Bak) to extract some nasty supernatural payback, which of course soon grows out of hand when Chau learns that she was preggers.

Though pretty gory, it takes a while for the splatter to get going. Granted, we do get some pleasing to the eyes gratuitous nudity, but those who are impatient have to wait 40 something minutes until any supernatural revenge takes place. Until then, you get some rather uneven acting and a few slow moments to trudge through.

Those that are patient however, will be thrilled with the rest of the movie, which is pure, unapologetic insanity. From here on, you get brains in coconuts, vomited worms, pitch black humor ("this coconut is plump! You should try it!"), spines popping out of backs, a tentacled demonic fetus monster, and so much more. It's a case of the director and writers going all out to give the audience something they haven't seen before, and for me, that was the mostly the case. I'm used to supernatural revenge tales, but I've never seen one from China, so that probably added to the fact that this movie manages to take a well-worn sub-genre feel fresh again. It's also got some nice, creepy atmosphere, and it's mostly well directed by Chuan Yang, who knows what audiences want to see, and delivers it in spades.

Is "Seeding of a Ghost" a good introduction to Chinese exploitation? I can't say for sure, but it makes for an entertaining 89 minutes of pure madness.

Rating: 8/10

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