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AF (1988)
The Devil & the Ghostbuster

Reviewed by: STSH
Date: 08/18/2002
Summary: Offbeat but unexceptional

Hard to believe any movie could be both offbeat and rather ho-hum, but this one manages it. Strands of this story echo Mr Vampire and Chinese Ghost Story, but this one is pretty muddled and has quite a few dead spots. Short bursts of full frontal nudity and sex are tossed in, but they fail to have much effect.

And having Wai Pak as the lead actor is always a problem. A great asset he may be as the sixth venom, but he doesn't have what it takes to be in the lead, though he's less of a drawback than he was as the horrid title character in Cheeky Chap. He has a couple of scenes where he does his best work (i.e. kung fu kicking), and it's a puzzle why his character wasn't given more of this sort of stuff. Cheng Yuen Man is lovely as the lady ghost, whom Wai first encounters climbing out of a bath, but her role is pretty limited. Guk Fung is always good value, and his gang boss helps things along a bit. The other actors are pretty much a dead loss, having even less screen charisma than Wai.

All this said, I did watch this one through to the end, and I suppose it wasn't too bad. I suppose I was curious to see just how much full frontal would make it in, seeing as this film was made a year before Cat III was brought in, and I do like the man and ghost romance genre. But I wouldn't recommend anyone be in too much of a hurry to get this one.

Reviewer Score: 4