Directed by Ling Shang and starring Candice Yu, Tony Wong, Little Unicorn and Tien Ching.
Nice guy Cheng Fu (Wong), who his bullied by his uncle’s family, picks up a sea snail shell, takes it home, and has a dream, in which a small fairy implores him to drip some blood into the shell. Cheng Fu wakes from his dream and does, indeed, dribble some blood from his finger into the snail’s shell.
The snail fairy, now in the form of an attractive woman (Yu), falls in love with Cheng Fu, starts providing him with lovely meals, then magically tidies-up and repairs the shack-like home that his mean-spirited uncle has banished him to. The mollusc fairy and Cheng Fu eventually decide to get married. Ah, how sweet!
But the couple must deal with Cheng Fu’s nasty relatives, especially a slimy, obnoxious cousin (Ching), who hires thugs to kidnap the fairy. The pair also come under threat from a snake demon villain (Unicorn), who can take on the form of an actual snake, a larger (puppet) serpent, a frog-eating monk or a snake-human.
The cheap budget means that the snake-human is basically actor Little Unicorn with face makeup of the standard seen at a children’s birthday party, the trick effects are achieved by such simple methods as double exposure, music is ‘borrowed’ from various movies, including KING KONG (1976) and CARRIE (1976), and the undersea world of the snail fairies is a realism-free set with lots of bubbles floating about in it.
A moderately interesting moment involves Cheng Fu becoming a skilled fighter when his fairy love’s spirit enters his body, enabling him to beat his adversaries using different styles of kung fu, plus there’s a diverting sequence in a theatrical-looking cavern, where the snail fairy’s two sisters combat several supernatural demon fighters, including a gold dude, a red dude and a ‘wood’ dude, who creaks when he moves and can transform into multiple flying logs.
Money limitations, however, mean that what ends up on-screen usually fails to do justice to the ideas, but the tale is actually quite charming in a fairy tale kind of way, ensuring that you keep watching as the put-upon hero and his snail fairy bride overcome all obstacles and live happily ever after.