Erotic Ghost Story - Perfect Match (1998)

Directed by: Lam Yee-Hung
Written by: Lai Chi
Producer: Joe Wong
Starring: Elvis Tsui, Diana Pang Dan, Geung Ga-Ling, Wong Lei, Miu Gam-Fung, Teresa Mak & Wong Yat-Fei

Buy the DVD at:
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Before he became Monk Talkative (Elvis Tsui), he had loving wife Ying Ying (Diana Pang Dan) by his side but descending from heaven to warn about Ying Ying is Fairy Yeh (Wong Yat-Fei). She is in fact a rabbit (!) who's escaped from Holy Maiden (Teresa Mak) in heaven and Fairy Yeh instructs the husband to become a monk and help retrieve Ying Ying before she becomes the dangerous combo of half-human-elf. Meanwhile Ying Ying's sisters fear for her safety and decide to come down to earth too where they subsequently get a taste of what mankind can offer as opposed to the oppression suffered up there. But can rabbit mate with man without it disrupting the natural order of things?

Arriving late after the "Erotic Ghost Trilogy" had come and done its individual, creative thing (yes, creative. Each installment has plenty to recommend about them), Lam Yee-Hung (The Woman Behind, The Story Of Lady Sue) resurrects it with tried Category III performers Elvis Tsui and Diana Pang Dan and makes them both and the rest on board look very tired. Unashamedly making themselves part of the banner name that is "Erotic Ghost Story", sure matters are supernatural but when rabbits are emphasized so much, it's hard to think of this than anything else than "Erotic Rabbit Story". As kooky as that sounds, Lam Yee-Hung can't provide any effect (not even ending reel effect) in this particular work so if you want cheap tedium with rather well shot and steamy erotica, then this mess is a perfect match.

Getting access to fine costumes, make-up and sufficient sets never seemed to be a problem for even the cheapest Category III production but when there's no filmmaking of note to enhance the low-fi just a little even, you know you're in for an uneventful ride. Fogging up the lenses so that the outdoors doesn't look flat and blasting away traditional Chinese music suitable for the period, this is what Lam Yee-Hung tries to get away with and it would've been sufficient had something been going on. The template and story is rife with opportunities to display unique Hong Kong cinema energy and the echo of A Chinese Ghost Story with man falling in love with something supernatural and the supernatural wishing to break free isn't unworthy to want to echo multiple times. Especially not if you have sex in mind for the audiences too. After all, Lam Yee-Hung does have rabbits at the forefront which is possibly the only kooky aspect available.

Lam Yee-Hung ain't no Ho Fan because Ho Fan could make movies outside of his well shot erotica but in the latter stakes, Ho Fan gets nicely challenged by Lam. Elvis Tsui and Diana Pang Dan (who never appeared nude anyway in these films) are mostly kept out of the colourful sex scenes but despite the choice of essentially using colored lights to enhance the eroticism, it's really the points where Erotic Ghost Story - Perfect Match works. The ladies are beautifully photographed and Lam pushes the softcore level rather strongly as well. Even Shaolin Soccer star Wong Yat-Fei gets in on the action in a scene played much less for steam expectedly.

But when you in between leading up to an embarrassingly stale ending have been putting on screen a stale supernatural story, you aren't close to approval and really, Lam Yee-Hung ultimately drags down the reputation of any movies bearing the III and having the words erotic, ghost and story attached to it... despite nailing the key aspect.

The DVD (Universe):

Video: 1.33.1 (cropped from its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio)

Audio: Cantonese Dolby Digital 2.0 and Mandarin Dolby Digital 2.0

Subtitles: English, traditional Chinese and simplified Chinese.

Extras: Amusingly written Stars' Files on Diana Pang Dan and Elvis Tsui plus trailers for Erotic Ghost Story 1, 2 and 3.

 

reviewed by Kenneth Brorsson