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Return of the Dead

Hong Kong 1979
produced by
Run Run Shaw, Mona Fong for Shaw Brothers
directed by Li Han Hsiang
starring Linda Chu, Ku Feng, Cheng Wei-ying, Chin Huang, Liu Locke Hua, Liu Hui-Ling, Yueh Hua, Szu Wei, Tai Gwan Tak, Wang Lai, Yang Chih-Ching, Shen Lao, Chan Shen, Wang Han Chen, Ching Miao, Yuen Shen, Ko Hsiang Ting, Chiang Ching Feng, Fung Ming, Chou Shu-fang, Wang Chih-kuang, Huang Kung-wu, Liang Hsin, Tan Ying
written by Li Han Hsiang, music by Frankie Chan Fan-Kei, Eddie H. Wang Chi-Ren

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Three inmates of an insane asylum tell their respective stories, all of which question if they're really insane or if there is a world beyond our own ...

  • A shopowner (Ku Feng) never had anything much until he gets his hands on a talisman that grants him three wishes but that also comes with the warning that the three wishes will destroy him. So first, the man wishes for $20,000, not much, just to relocate his job to a better neighbourhood - and the next day, his son has died and he gets $20,000 in insurance money. Upon the insistance of his wife, he wishes his son to come back to life, but he comes back as a horrible creature, and the third wish makes the son go away but kills his wife.
  • A young man likes to take a rowboat out on the lake at night ... where he night after night meets a naked female swimmer (Cheng Wei-ying). The two soon become friends, and the man tells her about his best friend (Szu Wei) who tried to commit suicide with his girlfriend at that lake, but while she died, he survived. The naked girl insists on meeting the friend ... and of course, it eventually turns out that she's the ghost of the dead girlfriend.
  • A killed prostitute (Linda Chu) comes back to life to give the only guy who's ever respected her, a young rickshaw coolie, the time of his life. But then her tomb is raided and she has to have her revenge on the graverobber (Chan Shen).

Return of the Dead is a slightly old-fashioned (even from 1979's point of view) horror anthology, not at all unlike the Amicus omnibus movies - and like these movies, Return of the Dead has a certain charm that will almost certainly appeal to vintage horror lovers ... but at the same time, the film has little new to offer, the stories told are all pretty predictable (including their twist endings), no really original shocks or outlandish scenes. Basically it's just your average genre effort, easy to consume but hard to remember even days later.


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