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Corpse Mania

Hong Kong 1981
produced by
Huang Chia Hsi, Mona Fong for Shaw Brothers
directed by Kuei Chih-Hung
starring Wang Yung, Tien Ni, Yu Tsui Ling, Lau Siu-Kwan, Erik Chan Ka Kei, Chin Piao, Cho Tat-wah, Fong Ping, Fung Ging man, Cheung Chok Chow, Jenny Liang, Lin Wei Tui, Shen Lao, Tai Gwan Tak, Lu Hung
written by Kuei Chih-Hung, On Szeto, music by Eddie Wang

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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A female corpse covered by maggots is found in an abandoned house which was owned by an eccentric weirdo. Upon examination, it shows that the woman was strangled, and was raped after death. This of course makes the whole thing a murder investigation, and Inspector Chang (Wang Yung) is quick to find similarities between this case and a similar case of necrophilia, where one Li Zhengyuan (Erik Chan Ka Kei) had sex with his deceased wife, a woman he bought free from a neighbourhood brothel run by Madame Lan (Tien Ni). Further investigation shows that a) Li Zhengyuan has only recently been released from psychiatric care, and b) the strangled woman also worked at Madame Lan's place. Soon enough, another of her prostitutes turns up dead, as does a gangsterboss (Chin Piao) she had ties with.

Inspector Zhang becomes more and more convinced Li Zhengyuan must hold a grudge against Madame Lan, so he sets up a trap, using her as bait - but despite all the police protection she gets, Li Zhengyuan manages to get to her and throw her to her death. Her corpse looks horrible, with her face distorted beyond recognition .... only inspector Chan figures her corpse might not be hers at all ...

Madame Lan - still alive - meets with Li Zhengyuan, they get into a fight and he kills her. It's only then that the police arrives to arrest him. To everyone's surprise though, Li Zhengyuan, who has always worn a mask, turns out to not be Li Zhengyuan at all but Lin Bin (Lau Siu Kwan), a delivery boy in cahoots with Madame Lan. Turns out the two of them cheated Li Zhengyuan out of quite a lump of money after he wanted to buy free all of Madame Lan's girls, then killed him and committed the subsequent murders to cover up their tracks ...


This film has the reputation of being an extremely wild example of Hong Kong horrors - but apart from a few very gory gore scenes it isn't, instead the film seems like an old-fashioned pulp novel come to life, from its far-fetched basic plot to its fascination for lurid detail, from its many genre mainstays to its sensatinalist plot elements. Above all this, Corpse Mania is also a pretty atmospheric (and entirely studio-bound) film that juxtaposes its blood-and-guts excesses with gothic sets and the like.

And all of this makes Corpse Mania a remarkably enjoyable film, despite weaknesses in character development and plotholes aplenty ...


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
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A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
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Ryan Hunter and
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out now on DVD