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Heaven and Hell

Hong Kong 1978
produced by
Shaw Brothers
directed by Chang Cheh
starring Lee I Min (= Li Ngai-Man), David Chiang, Alexander Fu Sheng, Maggie Li Lin-Lin, Jenny Tsang, Lam Chan Kei (= Lin Chen-Chi), Ha Ping, Philip Kwok, Bruce Tong, Sun Chien, Lo Meng, Ku Feng, Yue Wing

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Xin Ling (Lee I Min), one of heaven's guardians, helps loving couple Zhou Bao (David Chiang) & Zixiao (Maggie Li Lin-Lin) escape from heaven after they fell from grace, but as a result is expelled from heaven himself & reincarnated as a mere cabdriver. On earth, he helps Chen Ding (Alexander Fu Sheng) to free his love, Shiqi (Jenny Tsang) from the clutches of a gangster, but has to give his life when doing so. Entering hell, he meets Red Dress (Lam Chan Kei) - who is in hell because she killed herself during a drug party - & decides to save her from having to go to the Hell Palace, but soon is forced to joion a group of gangsters to stay alive in hell. Soon though, the gangsters - & Xinling with them - are caught & shown the different circles of hell before they are about to be executet in Plough Hell. Red Dress meanwhile is initially sold off to lady Yen (Ha Ping), but soon the hell's guards find her there & throw her into Plough Hell as well. But then the Buddha of Mercy (Yue Wing) appears to Xin Ling & promises him - since he was thrown into hell unjustly - & Red Dress release from hell should he be able to beat the hell's guards, & he even grants him 4 companions, Zeng (Phillip Kwok), Yan (Bruce Tong), Wei (Lo Men) & Lin (Sun Chien), who were also thrown into hell unjustly & who Xin Ling now hs to find out of a horde of ghosts. Once they are assembled though, they start their fight against the soldiers of hell, & each of the five recoginzes the man who killed him in one of the hell's head guards. & in the end even the head guard of Heaven (Ku Feng), who has initially thrown Xin Ling out of the place, comes to hell & helps Xin Ling in his fight, so all the valiant fighters and Red Dress are reborn (in a great scene of 70's psychedelia), Xin Ling though is re-installed in his position as heavenly guard.


Easily Chang Cheh's weirdest movie, since this one is a bizarre blend of martial arts-action, love story, fantasy & musical, with little roots in realism - actually the scenes set on (real) earth are the most abstractly stylized of all, while heaven is the expected kitsch-place & hell is drenched in colourful psychedelic lighting-effects. It might not be anything you'd come to exopect from Chang Cheh, it's a fun to watch, though.




review © by Mike Haberfelner


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

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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


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