First up, if you're a Chow fan, don't expect a lot. Chow jumps in and out of the tale, and is on screen for 15 minutes at the most.
Reviewer Score: 8
This is tales of derring-do on steroids. There are gun battles, spirit battles, drooling monster battles, weird black magic and sacrifices. There's even some brief titillating nudity.
The lovely Chui Sau Lai provides a brief full frontal flash when she leaps out of the lake in a wet shirt in front of a surprised Dr Yuan, and she later takes her gear off in a more discreet full nude scene. Gwailo actress Chui Suk Woon also provides some discreet nudity. This is pretty tame stuff, and I'm puzzled as to why it is rated R (in Aus, this is equivalent to Category III). It should be Cat IIB at most.
And if, like me, you like to know exactly who is who, this film is great. All of the major actors, and most of the minors, have their real names flash on the screen when they appear. In chinese of course. Very helpful if you're learning chinese names.....
The monsters are pretty good by HK standards. They're made up of bits and pieces from all sorts of other movie sources. The "Little Ghost", for instance, is a combo of the hatching monster from Alien and the long-tailed beasties from Eraserhead.
I found the framing of the story curious, although it worked. Extremely busy screenwriter Ngai Hong introduces the tale at a party, then the tale is told. And it wanders around all over the place, but doesn't suffer for it.