Troublesome Night 11 (2001)
Reviewed by: ewaffle on 2009-10-23
“Troublesome Night 11” jumps into high gear right away—Teresa Mak (Lau San Wan) and David Lee Wai-Sheung (Tom Lee) are in a car that stops late at night on the side of a lonely road. She asks why did you take me here and he answers "You know why," as does the audience, assuming that even though both of them are old enough and look to have enough extra cash to get a room for the night he wants to have sex with her either in his small sports car or somewhere outside. It doesn't seem she will be able to resist his advances--Terese stumbles out of the car, drunk, drugged or stunned. Her dress has already been ripped and she is very unsteady. She makes it to the side of the road, leans against a huge carved rock and everything changes when she says: "It is alright that you won't repay the money but why do you want to kill me?" a question that should have occurred to her earlier.

She begs for her life but it doesn't help and is killed with a rock to the head. All of this happens before the opening credits, and because the director thought so highly of the scene, twice more, first as a flashback and then with another young woman as the target.

Lan Sau Wan has been murdered with her body left like discarded garbage and is not going to have a happy afterlife, which brings us to our story. The first conflict is between the ghost of Lan and Mrs. Bud Long (Helena Law), very formidable opponents. Lan’s body is discovered by a group of environmentally aware young women who are cleaning up rubbish in the area. Three young men, much more interested in the charms of the women than in sprucing up the area, have tagged along. When the group panics, runs away and then returns with the police the body, to no one’s surprise who has ever seen a movie, has vanished.

Lan’s spirit decides that this energetic bunch will be as good as anyone in helping her get revenge on Tom Lee although since she now occupies the spirit world her physical manifestations can be a problem: the first time she has glowing green skin, the second a more sickly green accented with blood from the gash in her head. This is not exactly from the Dale Carnegie course in how to win friends and influence people but it seems to be the best she has. Once she scared everyone by walking by in the same very fetching frock, unripped and without bloodstains, from the night of her murder.

The group centers on cousins Bud Gay and Bud Yan but when it comes to the supernatural the aged but spry Mrs. Bud Long takes over. She realizes that while Lan might harm her family it is only in furtherance of her vendetta against Tom Lee. Mrs. Bud Long convinces Lan to join them (to the extent a ghost is able) and to tell the story of why she is restlessly stalking the living. Here we get the flashback to the murder and everyone is horrified. The matriarch counsels Lan not to live in the past—although where a restless ghost should live isn’t made clear—but the young women convince her that the murder must be avenged and the murderer punished, not only so that the ghost can find peace but also to keep him from betraying and killing other women. So they join forces to bring down the evil Tom Lee with Moon (the very attractive Halina Tam) serving as bait, protected by the mystical powers of Mrs. Long and the muscle of the men of her family.

It turns out badly when bumbling cousins, played by Kwai Chung and Kau Man-Lung, who have made a career from “Troublesome Night” movies, lose track of Moon and Tom Lee after misplacing the magic talisman Mrs. Long had given them to protect them while they protect her. The first murder is about to happen again when the two bumblers, along with the slightly less incompetent cousins stumble onto the scene and interrupt things. Moon escapes but not before all four of the men are beaten badly by Tom Lee’s shadow. He also has supernatural powers.

We meet his phantom master when Tom is summoned to meet with him. It is a bit of a letdown when we realize that he is Jameson Lam. If Teresa Mak vs. Helena Law was a good match of competitive fighters with spectral powers, a tag team of Jameson Lam and David Lee Wai-Sheung against Mak and Law is much less interesting. Once these battle lines are drawn, they get the initial blundering out of the way and Mrs. Long starts casting spells by spitting milk on her nephews to make them invincible the end is in sight—it isn’t much of a contest.

“Troublesome Night 11” is by no means a good movie although competently enough done by everyone involved. The costume budget must have been close to zero—Teresa Mak had on costume change, Helena Law none. Having Tom Lee’s shadow beat up the four cousins kept the action/stunt cost down. I haven’t seen enough Troublesome Night movies to tell if it is a good entry in the series and, based on this one, will probably remain ignorant of the charms of the rest of them.

There are a couple of intentionally humorous moments, the best when one of the ne’er do well cousins tries to seduce Lan. He is thrilled when she agrees to have sex with him after his clumsy advance, but then recoils in horror when he realizes she is a ghost. “I am dead,” she tells him. “Do you still want to sleep with me?” He doesn’t.
Reviewer Score: 4