Seeding of a Ghost (Chuan Yang, 1983)

posted in: Duane, Review | 0
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A taxi driver in Hong Kong is cursed for “interrupting black magic” after he hits a sorcerer with his cab. When his lascivious wife is raped, beaten and killed, he seeks out the sorcerer to lift the curse and exact revenge.
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The Shaw Brothers were certainly no strangers to the horror genre. Having produced a myriad  of horror titles since the studio’s inception, these titles fell by the wayside in the wake of their amazing martial arts epics. Still these genre efforts should get props for their innovative approach and seriously bizarre plot elements. Seeding of a Ghost may have been one of the final genre efforts that the ill-fated studio churned out, but it’s certainly something that needs to be experienced to truly appreciate.
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Right off the bat we have this creepy sorcerer running from a mob of people until he gets plowed down in the middle of the road by this poor sod driving a taxi. Of course being a sorcerer that’s apparently no big deal and he ends up in the back seat of the cab warning the driver that since he has interrupted black magic, he and his whole family is cursed. Of course he doesn’t believe in that kind of bullshit until his cheating wife has a fight with her lover and ends up isolated out near an old creepy house where she ends up getting beaten and raped with fatal consequences by two ruffians. Then shit gets really weird when he finds the sorcerer to help him lift the curse but ends up summoning the ghost of his dead wife to exact revenge on her murderers instead. What ensues is some seriously bizarre mayhem as her rotting body is covered in coconut oil (to soothe her spirit) and she starts to possess people and generally fuck everyone’s shit up. Expect flying placentas, possessed toothy wombs, plenty of insect puking, anal rape via giant matchstick, and a ghost/corpse sex scene that really needs to be seen to be believed.COSDS-Seeding-of-a-Ghost00015
Like many Shaw Brothers productions, Seeding of a Ghost dips its toes in multiple genres (see also the oddly awesome collaboration with Hammer films The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires); there’s plenty of naked sluts on display as well as the aforementioned rape/murder scene which all plays out like violent exploitation until the whole black magic/supernatural elements are introduced and then it’s a straight-up horror fever-dream. Once the film hits its stride at around the half way mark (there’s some pointless scenes involving the police investigation of the girls murder first that you’ll have to wade through) it’s a balls-out descent into madness. There’s not really a ton of gore or graphic violence, what’s there is good and some of it is pretty off the wall but not to the point of compromising the integrity of the film. The dead girl’s body is particularly well done as it writhes and wriggles around as her spirit weaves her web of vengeance.
COSDS-Seeding-of-a-Ghost00033Seeding of a Ghost is an offbeat journey that doesn’t shy away from showing the nasty bits of humanity nor does it pull punches when it comes to the consequences of that nastiness. It’s unclear if the viewer is expected to feel sympathy for the girl who is raped and killed considering she was certainly far from an exemplary human being. The fact that she was cheating on her husband seems to get brushed under the rug after her death and the husband of three months feels compelled to get revenge on those that took her away from him, but never seems to realize that she was already gone.
As depressing as that seems, Seeding of a Ghost is anything but. If you’re familiar with the WTF factor that goes hand in hand with Asian genre films you will find a familiar partner here. For those looking to delve into this sort of thing, I would wholeheartedly recommend this film as a great place to start. Just go with it. You won’t be sorry.
Official COSDS Nunspank Rating:
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Duane co-founded The Church of Splatter-Day Saints in 2005. When not immersed in film he's enjoying good whiskey, smoking meat in the backyard or thinking about sluts. He makes a damn fine habanero fire sauce.

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