- 3 2017
Hong Kong 1981
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
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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
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 ...
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.
all of this makes Corpse Mania a remarkably enjoyable film, despite
weaknesses in character development and plotholes aplenty ...