Sunday, March 20, 2011
Cherie Chung Week: The Dead and The Deadly (1982)
This kung fu comedy from 1982 is not something I'd normally watch. Starring Sammo Hung, The Dead and The Deadly (1982) really only appealed to me because of the presence of a youthful Cherie Chung.
Sammo Hung is a fat oaf in the village where Lam Ching-Ying -- Mr. Vampire himself! -- is a Taoist priest who offers guidance to the guy. There's a fake ghost and a lot of silliness.
Hey, who watches stuff like this for subtleties of plot and pacing?
Shaw Brothers star Wu Ma directed this and he appears in it as a guy who is supposed to be dead but who is really faking his own death for various reasons.
There's a lot of sleuthing around by Sammo as he doesn't believe the guy is dead and that sleuthing leads to a bit of "comedy" and action.
The highlight as far as the action goes is the scene where Sammo is possessed by Wu Ma. That bit is pretty entertaining.
I'll be honest and admit I only watched this for Cherie but, unfortunately, she's only in the very beginning and the finale.
That said, the finale is a blast with Cherie Chung fighting off demons (?) to save Sammo's soul and get it to return to his body. There's a lot of Taoist stuff in these last 14 minutes and it's a bit confusing but the whole sequence is infinitely more engaging and interesting than the routine silliness that proceeded it in the film's first hour or so.
Check out a review from Kozo here and one from Brian's site here.
You can order The Dead and The Deadly (1983) on DVD here.