Written by: Carroll Jenkins on May 15th, 2009
Theatrical Release Date: Hong Kong, 1990
Director: Ngai Kai Lam
Writer: Chang Kwan
Cast: Amy Yip, Chia Ling Ha, So Man, Hitomi Kudô, Chi Chun Ha, Chung Lin, Lap-Man Sin, Manfred Wong
DVD released: March 27th, 2007
Approximate running time: 89 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: III (Hong Kong)
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo Mandarin, Dolby Digital Stereo Cantonese
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese
DVD Release: Joy Sales
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC (Hong Kong)
Retail Price: $9.99
Well, that about exhausts the different definitions of vixen. About the twenty minute mark, the film doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere very fast, but that’s when the craven desires kick in. Of the three female leads, Amy Yip is by far the best known, due in large part to this breakout role. Most sexy is up to debate, but you can certainly see that she overdid the silicone injections (she does a priceless self-aware parody of that issue in Blue Jean Monster). Here she is nude but manages to avoid any frontal nakedness.
The other leads are naturally well endowed and much more willing to strut their stuff. So Man is attractive and has some pretty hot nude scenes, but the foxiest fox award goes to Hitomi Kudô as Fei Fei. Her sex scenes are scorching and don’t leave much anything to the imagination. She presents [arguably] the most charismatic performance in the film, so it is appalling that this is her only film appearance. Since most Chinese actresses of the period retired when they married, that would seem a good guess. They were probably jostling in line to propose after this was released, or perhaps during production.
Next to the ladies [literally] is the male lead Tan Lap Man, who proves to be very versatile. The supporting cast includes the perpetually frustrated next-door-neighbors, and the voluptuous Ha Chi Jan.
Erotic Ghost Story was directed by Ngai Kai Lam (The Seventh Curse, Her Vengeance, and Story of Ricky). The basic structure is classic Cat III exploitation: a little back story and setup, then rather explicit sex scenes, and finally gonzo over-the-top violence and cheesy but effective special effects. This is one of only two films where he was director and cinematographer. That does give the auteur immense control over his project.
Another very nice but not perfect Joy Sales release of a re-mastered but unrestored print. Widescreen anamorphic with Cantonese soundtrack and English subs. The stills gallery presents lobby cards with quite a few topless shots. Note: this DVD was out of distribution for some time apparently due to rights issues. Though it may seem tame in the beginning, this “US Version” seems to be complete and uncut (there’s lots to incite the censors here).
If you are intrigued by the promise of a HK Cat III wuxia / action / sex / fantasy / revenge / romance / fairytale / horror film that makes the most of a meager budget, this is must see entertainment.