Affrighted Romance (1991)

Directed by: Lam Yi-Hung
Written by: Yen Chung
Producers: ?
Starring: Dennis Tang, Bonnie Fu, Gam Chi-Gei, Siu Siu Yam, Ku Feng & Pak Yue-San

Behind the curiously difficult, for commercial purposes in English, title lies another quickie by mostly visual extraordinare Lam Yi-Hung (The Other Side Of Dolls) cashing in on the A Chinese Ghost Story-template but for adult purposes instead. Yet Lam seems to treat the sexual content and the actual aspect he's good at like an afterthought this time around. That means, as usual, there's little to no skill in the stretches in between eroticism and the former takes up the majority of the picture. Someone got his winning recipe screwed up. Granted this is an earlier Category III-effort from the man but that doesn't make Affrighted Romance a standout as either an adult time or fun with shameless cash in's.

Walking away from a battlefield with few of his men still alive, General Fung (Dennis Tang - Yu Pui Tsuen II) next becomes the next target for a Devil (Siu Yam-Yam) in need of human hearts. Dispatching her trio of ghosts to use their sexuality to lure in victims, one of the ghosts, Moon (Gam Chi-Kei) still has a beating sense of conscience and become drawn to the General instead. Eventually trying to break free from her Master, the goal is to reincarnate in a freshly diseased woman...

To have A Chinese Ghost Story clone (or a dozen of them) made sense especially for the Category III rating as the Tsui Hark produced classic had an elegant aura of eroticism within it anyway. But you don't match said elegance by simply being more adult. The problem mainly with Lam Yi-Hung's movie is that its low budget, limited scope and vision makes the filmmakers come off as tired and uninspired. Which was quite often the case for Lam's movies in between the carefully and gloriously shot sex scenes. But since little of that shows up even as filler here, we're forced to deal with a rather timid clone here.

That's not to say use of colors and some compositions in the more stylish sections are bad. Some images pop but Lam has trouble jumpstarting the colors and elegance and would rather move on instead. But moving on to a poorly conceived romance and doomed connection between ghost and man just reveals said tired, even dull nature to Affrighted Romance.

Even action- and special effects-frenzy seems tired, even though the ending sections of spinning trees, animated special effects, wire-work entertains in short bursts. But it's still indicative of the production that is running these aspects and we're merely happy to see anything happen. Even though the temporary noise is fun. If erotica wasn't on Lam Yi-Hung's mind, at least more of low budget, special effects driven action should've been. Being absent from almost everything on screen is not ok.


reviewed by Kenneth Brorsson