ASIAN FILM - Article
10:39 - 31st May 2013, by NEO Staff

Encounters of the Spooky Kind

At the same time as Fortune Star is re-releasing such old classics as Encounters of the Spooky Kind on (admittedly not brilliant) Blu-ray editions in their native Hong Kong, the UK is only getting them on DVD. Ah well, at least this means that these older examples of Cantonese brilliance are still with us - and when it comes to this Sammo Hung-directed classic (in which the big man also stars) we can be thankful for such favours.

This 1980 kung fu shock-fest carries elements that potentially influenced The Evil Dead series but, taken on its own accord, this is simply an excellent progression of the then hit or miss Hong Kong fantasy genre, which was once largely indebted to po-faced ghost stories. The plot involves Hung agreeing to spend the night in a haunted mansion in which various untoward things happen. Admirably, Hung allows his film to bring on the goods early on - we open with a talk between ghouls and it is not long before all kinds of dastardly evil is trying to run riot around our hero. The ghosts themselves are uniquely Eastern, and the atmosphere is beautifully realised - although we would still wager, all these years later, that Mr. Vampire is a slightly superior version of the theme which Hung instigated with this masterwork. That said, if you do not have Encounters of the Spooky Kind in your collection then run, don't walk, to your nearest HMV...

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