# 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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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.

Spooky Kookies (1981) Directed by: Yu Kang-Ping

KENNETH'S REVIEW: It may look tough and hardcore during its spooky opening but the Pacman-style credits that follow tell a different story. Indeed the story of a couple fearing their son has been taken by a ghost and invests in a spare one, turns wacky. New addition to the family, Lo Boo, has a street attitude in him as well as traits of a Dennis The Menace character so pratfalls, kicks, smoking sessions and a slingshot become multiple scenarios. That is until conman played by David Tao comes in to fake exorcisms and along the way Lo Boo stages his own death that subsequently sees him travel around with the conman. Suen Yuet is the cop chasing them around with his lasergun, scenes are interrupted by the motorbike song, dance numbers, actual real ghost busting and little in the way of laughs comes out of this on paper insane package. Silly film speeds as comedy device number one speaks volumes of Yu Kang-Ping's (Papa, Can You Hear Me Sing) limp ideas.

Spooky, Spooky (1988) Directed by: Sammo Hung

Behind the very ordinary title lies a Sammo Hung effort with ambitions to provide actual horror and tension, in addition to the comedy. He does ok in parts with the two former and Spooky, Spooky is definitely noteworthy for trying to stay true to each mood. That also means that with performers such as Wu Ma, Richard Ng and Choong Faat (with some truly priceless hair), the movie is very funny when needed. Along the way, we get references to classics such as Jaws, Ghostbusters and Sammo also returns the favour to Sam Raimi by throwing in a fun Evil Dead II reference. Other main cast include our supposed hero Alfred Cheung, Joyze Godenzi and in extended cameos, Yuen Wah, Corey Yuen and Mars.

The Spring Festival (1995) Directed by: Huang Jian-Zhong

An elderly husband (Li Bao-Tian) returns home to his wife (Zhao Lirong) in time for the annual spring festival with a bundle of earned money. Knowing they might and might not have their children with their families dropping by, they prepare for a quiet, tender time on their own. Soon a plethora of family members are arriving though and everyone is hoping for a more peaceful time compared to the year before...

It's partially a tough sell as director Huang Jian-Zhong packs way too much characters and conflicts into the tiny area this Mainland China production takes place in. The automatic beauty of the snowy landscape and static direction works in Huang's favour as a way of achieving reality but the character relationships aren't particularly clear across the board. The Spring Festival does carry a strong thematic about respecting tradition, breaking tradition and at what moments behaviour disintegrates a once tightly knitted group. It makes for partly inaccessible and accessible, dramatic, darkly comical and global viewing with fine lead performances in Li Biao-Tian and Zhao Lirong. Also with Ge You.

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