A Chinese Ghost Story (1987)
Reviewed by: Gaijin84 on 2005-09-08
Summary: A classic horror/love story...
One of the most popular films ever to come out of Hong Kong, A Chinese Ghost
Story tells the tale of the love between a lonely tax collector named Ning Tsai
(Leslie Cheung) and a good-hearted but enslaved ghost (Joey Wong). Ning,
traveling through a small town, runs out of money and must stay in an abandoned
temple for shelter. The surrounding area is teeming with ghosts, one of which
is a beautiful young girl named Hsiao Tsing, who died a year earlier.
Unfortunately, she was buried near a tree that contained an evil spirit, and in
the afterlife she is used by this spirit to entice young men to be captured and
sapped of their essence. Ning falls in love with Hsiao, and although she has
lured many men to their death before, she decides to take mercy on him. We find
that Hsiao is betrothed to a lord of the underworld, and she begs Ning to help
her escape. With the help of a disillusioned warrior named Swordsman Yen (Wo
Ma), Ning performs a series of tasks that will free Hsiao from the control of
the evil spirit, and eventually leads them to a final battle with the lord in
hell itself.

A Chinese Ghost Story is an entertaining film with an excellent plot, good
acting and interesting characters. The movie is genuinely creepy in some parts
as well, which adds to the story. All three leads are very good, and the
chemistry between Leslie Cheung and Joey Wong adds to the film's story. Tsui
Hark (director of Once Upon a Time in China, Peking Opera Blues) produced this
film, and his influence can be seen in the fast-moving action scenes and the
fantastic tone of the movie. The popularity of this film also spawned 2
sequels, both of which are directed by Ching Siu-tung.

Reviewer Score: 7