directed by Siu-Tung Ching (1987 and 1991)
The East does weird in a way that the West simply can’t and the fun, crazy Chinese Ghost Story trilogy proves it.
I remember hearing about these films years ago as elusive, cult classics; and with demons, tongue battles (that would be battles fought with giant monster tongues), walking tree spirits, rapping warriors, slapstick beheadings and ghostly seductions, “cult” is the only way to effectively classify these unique films.
The plots are similar between the two: Beautiful ghost spirit is under the control of a tree demon. Kind, handsome traveler stays the night in her haunted temple and falls in love. Must defeat demons to save her.
The original is more romantic and serious, but both include a healthy dose of humor and slapstick–the third almost to the point of tedium. The second… well sadly I can’t tell you anything about it: see, Netflix instant issues dictated a strange viewing order. First I watched what I assumed was the first movie only to find out afterwards that Netflix had mislabeled it and I had actually watched the third. So, not wanting to forgo seeing the original I watched the first movie (which was labeled Part 2 on Netfilx). At that point I thought we might as well finish up the trilogy, but found all three movies were no longer available. So, only reviewing 1 and 3 and no screen captures from me.
It’s a shame they’ve been taken off Netflix because they’re not readily available in the US–but are worth seeking out for lovers of bizarre cinema. I hope to one day see the second installment and complete the trilogy.