Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Movie Review: SEEDING OF A GHOST
aka ZHONG GUI
Directed by Yang Chuan
Hong Kong; 1983
Why would anybody buy an oversized novelty matchstick? What use could it possibly serve?
I can only imagine that it might be an impulse buy while shopping at Spencer gifts or some other random specialty store that litter the suburban malls of America. While browsing through a varied assortment of black lights and incense burners shaped liked dragons, you stumble upon it and think, "Man, I could really use a knee high plastic novelty matchstick."
Don't do it! Avoid the impulse and spend your money on something useful like flowers for your mom or long term life insurance. Or get yourself a copy of Seeding of a Ghost and educate yourself to the many hazards of owning an immense matchstick. For instance, when your wife becomes possessed by the soul of your mistress who you abandoned in the middle of nowhere only to be raped and killed by two thugs, she is going to ram that oversized conversation piece up your ass. Repeatedly.
Chau (Phillip Ko) is having a rough couple of days. First he accidentally hits a dirty old sorcerer with his taxi, who was attempting to make a hasty retreat after having just robbed a grave of it's occupant. Chau hops out to assess the damages only to find the old mystic sitting dirty in the back seat of his cab.
If you hit a deer with your car you may have several car repair costs and your auto premiums will probably go up. Turns out, if you hit a Taoist priest the fates all get together to fuck you over & make your life a living hell.
Sure enough, mere hours after the chance encounter with the priest, Chau's new bride gets a wondering eye. While dealing cards at her day job her sights set in on the wealthy, young & married Anthony Fang (Norman Chu). Fang looks like he just stepped out of JC Penny ad from 1982, which drives Chau's wife Irene mad with passion. After a few discreet rendezvous', the couple become more brazen with their PDA (Public Display of Adultery), and are almost caught in the act by both of their spouses while canoodling throughout Hong Kong. There seems to be no slowing down the couples affection for each other, that is until Irene decides that they should both leave their spouses and walk down the isle themselves.
Anthony is not about to ruin an already good thing & after a heated argument, abandons Irene in the middle of the night on the side of the road to fend for herself. A rather conveniently located telephone booth allows her to call Chau's dispatch & have him paged to come pick her up. Unfortunately the fates have already lined up a chance encounter with a couple of young hooligans.
Before Chau can show up, the two thugs chase Irene into a near by deserted building, where after a brief struggle, she is beaten, raped and accidentally pushed off the roof of the building to her death. Arriving two seconds too late, Chau find his wife's body and quickly calls the authorities. But when local police officials fail to bring justice to the men who raped and murdered his wife & to the adulterer whose actions put her in a harms way, Chau seeks out the sorcerer to enact his revenge.
In order for the necromancer to help Chau, he must first dig up & retrieve his wife's body. Her corpse, which has decomposed at a rapid rate, will also require the blood & life force of her grieving husband in order to get the bad juju flowing.
Once Irene's corpse starts to twitch and bubble over with the black arts, quick work is made of the two thugs who raped and killed her. And Anthony & his wife are far from forgotten, as Irene's vengeful spirit begins poking her head around in their day to day affairs.
Seeding of a Ghost takes the popular exploitation elements that one expects from a Shaw Brothers pictures of the early 80's - ample nudity, fist fights, and battling monks - and then steps in up a notch with strong doses of gross and violent black magic revenge. There are several brilliantly disgusting and violent scenes throughout the last half of the picture. You get bug/worm barfing with a side of brain eating. One of the thugs spine pops itself right out of his back during intercourse. And then there is the novelty knick knack up the ass crack that I mentioned earlier.
One of the craziest scenes involves Irene's possessed corpse attempt to impregnate herself with the seed of the young man who raped her. The wild special effect of the corpse floating several feet above the ground while the spirit of the young delinquent attempts to get it on, is an interesting visual to say the least. Watching it is bound to make one contemplate the advantages of sex in a weightless environment. That is if you can contain the vomit rising in you throat. With out the chains of gravity to hold him down, the spirit of the young man climes all over Irene's body like a lizard on a brick house trying to find the warmest spot on a summer day.
The Zero G frolic proves fruitful and both Irene and Anthony's wife find themselves with child. I would hate to ruin the ending for those who have yet to have the pleasure of seeing Seeding, but I will say that the final minutes reminded me of cross between Luigi Cozzi's Contamination (1980) & Douglas McKeown's The Deadly Spawn (1983).
Seeding of a Ghost is definitely weird. Maybe not The Boxer's Omen weird, but it's definitely an eccentric and entertaining slice of exploitation sleaze served up on a hot plate by the bothers Shaw.
Print provided by Shocking Videos.
Review by The Undead Film Critic!