Based on one of the nearly five hundred short stories in Pu Songling’s Liaozhai Zhiyi (1740) collection, Tsui Hark‘s romantic comedy horror A Chinese Ghost Story (1987) stumbles off the block but soon re-finds its footing thanks to solid performances by Leslie Cheung, Joey Wong, and Wu Ma.
A known critic of “cult classic” films, I can definitively say that there is substance to the love for A Chinese Ghost Story (1987) beyond fond childhood memories. The spooky practical and visual effects tactically manage to be creepy and funny at the same time. The romance is intentional enough that it’s develops beyond a crush.
It isn’t surprising at all to me that this film got sequels and was the kickstart of an obsession with folklore ghost film adaptions in Hong Kong cinema. If you love the campiness of 1980’s horror and can appreciate international films, then I recommend checking out A Chinese Ghost Story (1987).