Reviewer's Rating 3 out of 5  
A Chinese Ghost Story DVD (1987)

The supernatural has long been a popular theme in Hong Kong movies, and a breakthrough to Western audiences was achieved with the popular cult hit A Chinese Ghost Story. The wonderfully daft plot has a tax collector falling in love with a ghost, resulting in kung fu Evil Dead romance!

As with many Hong Kong movies the action and dialogue-led scenes were split between two directors. This welcome DVD release defines who did what on the film. What's missing though is the other side of the story.

Harking Back

Ching Siu-Tung has long been famed as an action director, and his Shaolin Soccer and Hero movies are eagerly awaited in the US. He's credited with directing A Chinese Ghost Story, but what's often been less clear is the input of Tsui Hark. A new interview with Hark reveals how he introduced the love story element into the movie, with Siu-tung taking charge of the action, which he does best. While Hark describes the development of the project well, it would have been good to see an interview with Siu-Tung to balance things out.

Screengrab from A Chinese Ghost Story DVD

Unusual For Hong Kong

You can, however, get another opinion on the project from Bey Logan, who is on form here in revealing a mass of detail about the production. The number of special effects was unusual by Hong Kong standards, and with Bey's critical input you can appreciate just how important this film eventually was to the industry.

SPECIAL FEATURES

  • Audio commentary with Bey Logan
  • Tsui Hark interview
  • Wu Ma interview
  • A Tribute To Leslie Cheung text notes
  • Trailer archive
  • This DVD was reviewed on a JVC XV-N5 DVD player.

    Technical Information

    REGION SOUND MENUS RATIO
    2 Dolby Digital 5.1 Animated, with music 1.85:1 (anamorphic)
    CHAPTERS SUBTITLES AUDIO TRACKS
    32 Cantonese; English dub English
    CAPTIONS EXTRAS SUBTITLES CERTIFICATE
    English Only the Wu Ma interview comes with subtitles 15

    End Credits

    Director: Ching Siu-Tung

    Writer: Yun Kai-Chi

    Stars: Leslie Cheung, Joey Wong, Wu Ma, Lau Siu-Ming

    Genre: Action, Fantasy

    Length: 95 minutes

    Cinema: 1987

    DVD: 27 October 2003

    Country: Hong Kong