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# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
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Space Transformer (1990) Directed by: Johnny T. Howard

More Joseph Lai acquired Korean anime cash-in, where the makers of 'Micro teukgongdae Daiyateuron 5' eyed the Japanese toy line Diaclone and as English dubbed under the AAV banner, the 1985 or 1986 movie became Space Transformer. There's little sense of technical progression having seen the other Korean productions AAV handled, with a stock plot of Earth about to be taken over, we get giant robots fighting in space but at least taking the battle INSIDE the human body presents a break from the norm. Inside, we find a kingdom battling with high tech bacteria but precious little imagination exists beyond the initial concept. Running just over an hour, it is still one of the easier sits with a Joseph Lai presented animated title.

Spider Woman (1995) Directed by: Lo Kin

Very much fueled by Basic Instinct, Lo Kin (Heartbeat 100) and his writer Sze-To Cheuk-Hon seems to take pride in their concept of two sisters (Jade Leung). One weak, one strong, one lethal. Injecting "class" into the proceedings by shooting in synch sound and hiring above average DOP Joe Chan, it all halts there. Sure the erotica and gore elements are tasty enough to keep us occupied but Lo Kin not only loses us but himself into the cryptic murder case led by cop Edwin (Michael Wong, unfortunately he also in synch sound, switching heavily between Cantonese and English). A relatively sparse cast of characters whose motives and purpose are not made clear adds further insult, especially in regards to Day Wong's truly bizarre supporting role. Acting as a consultant coroner for the investigation, he sexually harasses and abuses his assistant played by Emily Kwan without the cops taking much notice and Spider Woman slowly takes on the feel of a David Lynch movie we demand an explanation from. Not a good sign. Also with Lowell Lo, Valerie Chow and Chan Kwok-Bong.

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Spirit Love (1989) Directed by: Ding Sin-Saai

Taiwanese production that utilizes the Joey Wong as a ghost-image to make up any kind of story, however implausible it may be. Ding Sin-Saai (The Beheaded 1000) creates an almost extremely dull looking frame that has its so called interesting starting point at Joey Wong's Ginny's suicide. On the board of directors at a beverage corporation, a far fetched plan is hatched to collect Ginny's ashes and somehow feed it to her identical twin Fen in order to to maintain the company image. Spirit Love lacks a craziness in pacing and visuals to support such a wild plot but when it finally creates a focus, it's mildly enjoyable to see the filmmakers come up with just anything, especially when they bring in the Joey Wong multiple characters angle. The film spirals into melodrama where secrets behind Ginny's death are revealed, emotional scars brought to the surface and several logistically impossible elements (such as perfectly arranged photographs being available for Ginny's last moments) just adds to what really is made up on the spot-entertainment. Or rather thoughtless entertainment. It makes for curious viewing at a few points, nothing else and when final, final twists are revealed, THAT is the ultimate moment where no rules apply anymore. Ay ay ay...

The Spirit Of The Dragon (1997) Directed by: Adam Tam

Co-written by Michael Chow, he stars as a country bumpkin who goes to Hong Kong to take over a small restaurant but gets in trouble with local thugs (headlined by Ben Ng)...

The stock plot is similar to a lot of things, including The Way Of The Dragon, and this mildly amusing comedy does indeed go Bruceploitation routes...sort of. Recognizing the fact that everyone doing a Bruce Lee impersonation is degrading the essence of his that is still lingering, for large parts The Spirit Of The Dragon is far from inspiring, with Michael Chow as a buckteeth character being a low-end joke in itself. Chow often amuses but continues to mix in more of the worse, including bike crashing gags where he lands up in a tree. His meeting with a Bruce Lee devotee (Cheng Pei-Pei) in the most strict of ways changes him and the momentum of the film changes for the better as now the tribute-mode better utilizes the notion of inspiration left behind by Bruce. Little that has to do with being a top fighter (and Chow's character certainly is not), scenes showing this is a showcase of Michael's skills at their very best. It's all far removed from reality, hit and miss, but also in its own way, a suiting tribute to the Little Dragon, believe it or not. Law Kar-Ying, Eric Kei (also producer), Miki Lee, Diana Pang, Jamie Luk, Rosemary Vandenbroucke, Paul Fonoroff and Emily Kwan also appear.

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Spirit Of The Raped (1976) Directed by: Kuei Chih-Hung

The deposit for the wedding is about to be paid for couple Chen Liang (Lam Wai-Tiu) and his wife to be Liu Mao-Li (Lau Ng-Kei). She's pregnant, all's bliss and then a gang of robbers (Tung Lam, Wong Yue, Wong Chung) steals their money and Chen ends up dead. Liu receives money after the funeral, that is promptly stolen by Wang Hsieh's character. Getting relief fund from the government, Liu is robbed, taken in by a couple (Lau Wai-Ling and Tin Ching) but she's given the Spanish fly, raped by the pimp Tin Ching is and forced into prostitution before finally ending her streak of EXTREME bad luck by dressing in red and killing herself. As characters note, she dressed in red to become a vengeful ghost and thus the gory ride is ON! It's simplicity, it's a genre template and a chance for Kuei Chih-Hung (Bamboo House of Dolls, Boxer's Omen) to play (along with cinematographer Yu Chi). Echoing the fact that Liu eyes fell out during her suicide, the eyes come back to haunt Wang Hsieh in incredibly gruesome ways, there's green slime, possession, pulsating boils turning into man eating heads... it's a terrific, fun ride that it's in and out of your life quickly (it's only 76 minutes) but memory will linger on.

The Spiritual Boxer (1975) Directed by Lau Kar Leung

Lau Kar Leung's debuted as director at Shaw's with this mixture of comedy, martial arts and spirit boxing. The Spiritual Boxer therefore pre-dates acclaimed efforts such as Snake In The Eagle's Shadow and Encounters Of The Spooky Kind. I truly wish I could say Lau had the full upper hand on both those, in particular Sammo's classic, but The Spiritual Boxer doesn't outdo its opening reel. That features Wilson Tong, Ti Lung and Chen Kuan-Tai demonstrating spirit boxing but when we're subsequently introduced to the con artist Wong Yue plays, it's quickly apparent that he's not cut out for a lead, or even comic lead. Here's what a strong figure alongside Wong would've helped but Lau rejects that notion early when exiting Chiang Yang from the picture. So what's left is thankfully not a broad comedy but uneven due to Wong Yue flying solo.

Admittedly director Lau effectively does toy with the audiences minds that Wong Yue's Siu have come to adopt the powers of spirit boxing in his various con scenarios and really, anything with Lau's hand on it AND produced at Shaw's should come with some entertainment. The Spiritual Boxer does but after waiting many years to see it, a sense of disappointment is hard to hide. This is where it started for Lau Kar Leung the director though, something you'd want to be there for.

Lau's action is rather sparse and there in sporadic bursts but before the finale, enough glimpses of entertaining and intricate martial arts are on display to breathe life into the picture. The finale, while not up to the levels of subsequent works of Lau's, is still a joy to watch for his expert skill as a choreographer. As always, Shaw's populated their movies with then known and later known faces, in this case Lin Chen-Chi (Dangerous Encounter - 1st Kind) Tin Ching, Fung Hark-On, Lee Hoi-Sang, Eric Tsang and Lau Kar Leung himself, who steals the movie during his brief stint as a village fighter.

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Spiritual Trinity (1991) Directed by: Ng Min-Kan

Being connected to The Spooky Family from the year before, Spiritual Trinity more or less feels like a very unremarkable horror-comedy entry with comedic family banter and the odd ghostbusting battle inserted to sell the film. However when director Ng Min-Kan (Deadful Melody) clashes the characters played by Kent Cheng, Lam Ching Ying and Pauline Wong, a surprising amount of character can be found in the potential love triangle at hand. From a genre that never really needed to rely on conflicts and depth to characters, Spiritual Trinity exceeds expectations for a little while. The focus is in fact good to the degree that the final ghost battle seems like an afterthought. When those sequences do hit, they contain the requisite energy Hong Kong cinema could put forth while sleeping but neither that or overall content in Spiritual Trinity makes it a TRUE classic. Peter Chan Lung, Gigi Lai and Bonnie Fu also appear.

The Cantonese track on Winson's dvd goes completely mute between the 44 and 53 minute mark. Their vcd does not suffer from this error but in turn has no subtitles.

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Spiritually A Cop (1991) Directed by: Shum Wai

Aside from the fun cameo parade Shum Wai assembles (Stanley Fung, Lui Fong, Mang Hoi, Yukari Oshima, Wong Yue, Michael Chan, Eddy Ko, James Wong, Elaine Lui, Peter Chan, Phillip Ko, Johnny Wang etc) the plot about Lui Fong's cop reject going out on nightly mission to right wrongs only to die and re-appear as a ghost is tedium and even confusion throughout. The expected comedy from the premise is mixed with the darker but Shum Wai clouds most of this in confusion and a way too sedated atmosphere that's only spiced up occasionally via violence, transvestite robbers and said cameo parade.

Split Of The Spirit (1987) Directed by: Fred Tan

KENNETH'S REVIEW: Lu Ling (Pauline Wong) faces heartbreak head on and tries to keep her spirits up in front of the world as responsibility lies on her as the lead dancer and choreographer of a show entitled "Split Of The Spirit". Meanwhile, Jennifer is lured into the hands of David Bao who gets fed up with her so he decides to burn her alive inside a car, with the additional help of a priest that perform rites to have her soul trapped. Only thing is, the rite fails and Jennifer's not so rested soul goes on a rampage, via the body of Lu Ling. Mostly well-made and shot Taiwan production that gathers a good amount of points for appearing slick, actually creepy and surprising (for instance, some unexpected gore is well-nailed). Director Tan clearly has a good grip and desire to make matters as much scary as tragic and although the finale suffers from poor visual effects, a fair dramatic effect is still accomplished.

The Spooky Bunch (1980, Ann Hui)

As made, Ann Hui favors a loose, almost documentary approach to her ghost story but clarity doesn't come with this off-hand, almost casual approach to somewhat dark, supernatural events. There are effective creepy vibes and sights but without an effect or push to these aspects as the plot unfolds, The Spooky Bunch squanders the chances it might've had. Feeling detached from a story of life and death is not a good end verdict. Starring Josephine Siao and Kenny Bee.

The Spooky Family (1989) Directed by: Chin Yuet Sang

Vampire busting comedy resembling many other that surfaced after Mr. Vampire. Yet, director Chin Yuet Sang (Hocus Pocus), despite fairly tiring comedy and an episodic narrative, maintains a lively and a fun frantic pace to the proceedings, including the extended battles with the vampire of this piece (action was directed by Lau Kar Leung regular Lee King Chue). Pauline Wong is also great fun as the feisty wife of Kent Cheng's character while Peter Chan Lung is very likeable as the ghost servant. Also with Nina Li, Alvina Kong, Billy Lau, Shing Fui On and Sandra Ng.

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