HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Harpoon
Great Northfield Minnesota Raid, The
Dark Phoenix
No Mercy
Arctic
Fate of Lee Khan, The
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Ladyworld
Rocketman
Kid Who Would Be King, The
Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound
America America
Darkest Minds, The
Along Came Jones
Hummingbird Project, The
Under the Table You Must Go
Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and War
Hanging Tree, The
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare
Itsy Bitsy
Witchmaker, The
Prey, The
If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium
Happy Death Day 2U
Full Moon High
Strange But True
Kamikaze 1989
Never Grow Old
Time of Your Life, The
Mountain Men, The
Epic
Best Before Death
John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum
Isabelle
Non-Stop New York
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood
Oblomov
Alita: Battle Angel
We the Animals
   
 
Newest Articles
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
   
 
  5 Billion Dollar Legacy, The Break out the Scooby SnacksBuy this film here.
Year: 1969
Director: Umetsugu Inoue
Stars: Margaret Hsing Hui, Chin Feng, Wang Ping, Kuo Man-Na, Lee Ho
Genre: Horror, Drama, Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Crippled billionaire Lin Zhongyuan mails a letter to each of his long-lost daughters, hoping he’ll find an heir worthy to inherit his vast fortune in Japanese real estate. Good girl Peifang (Margaret Hsing Hui) hopes to enlist daddy’s help and care for her sick mom. Money-grubbing floozy Li Rong Rong (Kuo Man-Na) ditches her day job seducing rich sugar daddies for her thug boyfriend to blackmail. Blind orphan Jingxian (Wang Ping) is just happy to find a family. The sisters finally meet aboard their plane to Japan, where Peifang is also quite taken with handsome Dr. Zhang Bin (Chin Feng), en route to investigate the death of his lawyer uncle in a mysterious hit-and-run.

After an emotional reunion with Lin at his creepy mansion near Mount Fuji, the girls meet cousin Peter, a swarthy, sports car driving, medallion man with a porn star moustache. He isn’t satisfied with a piddling share of uncle’s fortune. He wants the whole enchilada. As does shady lawyer Hei Yinghui (Lee Ho). While Li Rong Rong irks her boyfriend by cosying up to the scheming Peter, Peifang and Jingxian are freaked by spooky sounds at night. Bodies start piling up. And a hideously disfigured monster lurks in the shadows.

Shaw Brothers produced this Scooby-Doo style haunted house murder mystery, a throwback to gothic thrillers like The Cat and the Canary (1927). It’s another leftfield item from Japanese writer-director Umetsugu Inoue (who worked under a Chinese pseudonym at Shaw’s), who made female James Bond caper Operation Lipstick (1967) and sci-fi thriller The Brain Stealers (1968) between his regular output of splashy musicals like Hong Kong Nocturne (1966) and We Love Millionaires (1971) that were very popular with Hong Kong youth audiences in their day.

Inoue takes to the genre with gusto, borrowing from Alfred Hitchcock, James Whale, Agatha Christie and Wait Until Dark (1967) for the nerve-jangling climax. He makes good use of the fog-filled forest and eerily lit mansion, using Dutch angles, garish colours and crash zooms onto the bug-eyed monster to create a comic book mood. However, the pace slackens amidst soap opera romance and his tendency towards heavy-handed moralising. Never a subtle writer, Inoue's heroines might as well have halos over their heads. Sweet-natured Jingxian spends most of her screen time knitting a blanket for daddy’s legs and plans to donate her fortune to the orphanage. Peifang just wants to settle down with nice guy Zhang Bin.

By contrast, Li Rong Rong is a hilariously OTT caricature of a backstabbing bitch, whose attempts to convince Lin she does not want his money (“Oh papa, let me be your legs!”) are unintentionally funny. No surprise she gets knifed in the chest, although oddly the film wheels out another blackmailing hussy (Zhang’s uncle’s mistress) to disrobe for a shower scene before being strangled by the mystery killer. The plot throws a few nice surprises including a big twist near the end that, although guessable, remains satisfyingly perverse in light of the filial theme. Although mostly centred around erstwhile musical stars Margaret Hsing Hui and Chin Feng, it is Wang Ping - who retired after winning a best actress award for Tiger Killer (1982) - who proves the most actively heroic during the well-staged climax. The film has moments to cherish, like the knife fight scored with duelling bongo drums, or a creepy scene where blind Jingxian edges near a window, unaware she is inches away from the monster with the melting face. Yikes!

Click here for the trailer

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 6485 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: