Encounters of the Spooky Kind, directed by Sammo Hung, 1980
Even though I am slightly obsessed with Takashi Miike, my experience with Asian horror has been somewhat limited and often disappointing. I was pleasantly surprised to come across Encounters of the Spooky Kind which was my favorite film of the three mentioned in this post. This film is a near perfect blend of horror, comedy and kung fu--a seriously fun combination. Director Sammo Hung is credited as one of the directors who spearheaded the Hong Kong New Wave genre in the 80's. He also started the vampire-like (more zombie, really) Jiang Shi genre which consists of reanimated corpses that hop (literally) around and cause trouble. Hung also stars in the lead role of Bold Cheung and his performance is brilliant mix of physical comedy and goofball appeal.

In Encounters of the Spooky Kind, Bold Cheung suspects his wife of having an affair but what he doesn't suspect is that the other man is Master Tam , a powerful government official. When Tam is almost caught in Cheung's bed, he decides having Cheung around is too risky and hires a nasty Taoist priest to kill him. Meanwhile the cocky and bold Cheung accepts a bet to spend the night at a temple where he encounters strange, undead creatures and battles the evil magic being thwarted against him at every turn by the men set out to kill him.

Encounters is heavier on the horror elements and comedy than it is on the kung fu but that just made the fight scenes more worth it for me. Though the pace lags in part, stick with it because this highly entertaining, kick-butt-combo of a film has enough laughs and charm to make it a commendable addition to your horror queue.
categories Features, Reviews, Horror