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A Chinese Odyssey Part One: Pandora's Box

Hong Kong 1994
produced by
Yeong Kwok-fai for Xian Film Studio
directed by Jeffrey Lau
starring Stephen Chow, Lam Kit Ying, Karen Mok, Jeffrey Lau, Ng Man Tat, Athena Chu, Law Kar-Ying, Lee Kin-Yan
written by Jeffrey Lau, music by Zhao Ji-Png, Lowell Lo, stunt coordinator: Ching Siu-Tung

Chinese Odyssey, Monkey King, Monkey King (Stephen Chow)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Available on DVD !

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500 years ago, the Monkey King (Stephen Chow) was destroyed for stealing the all-powerful Pandora's Box, and his soul was only spared because the Longevity Monk (Law Kar-Ying) gave up his life in his stead. Now he's about to be reborn though, and the Spider Woman (Lam Kit Ying) is desperately waiting for his return, because Monkey has once promised himself to her sister Jing Jing (Karen Mok) in marriage, and because she wants him to father her own all-powerful child.

Somehow, Joker (Stephen Chow) and his gang of thieves get mixed up in the whole affair and become Spider Woman's slaves (while Joker also falls in love with Jing Jing), and Joker desperately tries to stay alive by pretending to be the Monkey King himself - which repeatedly gets him into troubles, most notably of all when the Bull King attacks. Meanwhile, Spider Woman and Jing Jing fall out to such an extent that Spider Woman even poisons her sister, while in an accident, it is actually Joker's useless right-hand-man (Ng Man Tat) who fathers her child.

Ultimately, Jing Jing is healed, but then she decides to kill herself, while Joker finds Pandora's Box, which he plans to use to turn back time and save Jing Jing's life, but with every time he goes back, he only makes more of a mess - until he is transported into a weird cave where he learns that he is actually the Monkey King himself after all ...

Admittedly, my synopsis might sound a bit confusing, and rest assured, the film is even more confusing than that - but also wickedly funny, less a story film but a series of over-the-top comedy and excellently choreographed action setpieces - and most of this is hilarious. And in that respect, a plot that doesn't make all that much sense actually works for the film rather than against it. Not the most intelligent film for sure, but great entertainment nevertheless.


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
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD