Tuesday, October 31, 2006

[1980] THE SPOOKY BUNCH: I think I'm going to enjoy going through the Hong Kong New Wave, if this and The Sword are any indication of what's to come. OK--this is about a Cantonese opera troupe that finds itself beseiged by ghosts. It turns out the ancestors of one of the troupe members (Josephine Siao) and the relative of another member (Kenny Bee) sold some bad medicine to an army platoon, which killed them all, and now they're out for revenge. Comical, inept revenge. It's not out to scare you, but it's not a pure comedy either--it's sort of a precursor for the comic/supernatural pictures Hong Kong would put out in the 80s. It's also a catalog of Chinese superstitions, many new to me--did you know if a woman jumps over you you stop growing? Or that if you're in an opera troupe it's bad luck to speak backstage before the show begins? Another interesting point (also true in Spooky Encounters) is that when the supernatural happens, nobody's shocked--they just sort of accept it and move on. I'm not as high on this one as I was on The Sword, but it's a more subdued picture in terms of action (there's hardly any) while being much quirkier in terms of character. I think I'll like it better with a few more viewings.

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