A scholar (Leslie Cheung) escapes wrongful imprisonment and falls for a beautiful rebel woman (Joey Wang), which leads to an adventure involving fights, monsters, and action-packed, supernatural encounters.
Ching Siu-Tung’s A CHINESE GHOST STORY (1987) is one of my all-time favourite Hong Kong movies. This follow-up (also directed by Ching Siu-Tung) doesn’t match the charming, madcap, romantic, stylish heights of the original, but it is enjoyable nonetheless, with scenes featuring a humanoid demon monster and an ending involving a devious High Monk who turns out to be an ancient, giant, flying, monster centipede!
Let’s face it: you can’t go wrong with a movie that features a massive, killer centipede!
The demon corpse-monster is a goofy-looking, full-scale model for a lot of the scenes (intercut sometimes with a man in a creature costume) and it is featured in some fun, imaginative moments. It gets skewered with spears and swords at one point, but this doesn’t stop the monster. Then Imperial Officer Hu (Waise Lee) hacks off the demon monster’s arms and head… but the demon keeps attacking – and the monster uses its ribcage like a giant Venus Flytrap to clutch onto Hu! Awesomeness!
The toothy centipede, that provides the conflict for the finale, is also a full-scale model for a lot of the scenes. This critter bursts out of the ground, flies about with the characters clinging to its back and swallows a couple of them!
Even though A CHINESE GHOST STORY II focuses less on the endearing, romantic scenes featured in the first instalment, the sequel does boast lots of fights, magic incantations and flying swords. Wu Ma, returning from the first movie, and Jacky Cheung, playing a young Taoist priest, add to the manic fun.
Okay, here’s a final look at the centipede-monster, as it attacks Jacky Cheung…