HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Honeymoon Phase, The
One Summer
Bird Island
Variety
Devil to Pay, The
Gypsy
Lost in London
Divorce Italian Style
Becky
Salon Kitty
Misbehaviour
Charles, Dead or Alive
Gretel and Hansel
Mademoiselle
Tunnel, The
India Song
Last Rhino, The
Made in Hong Kong
Ring of Spies
Rom Boys: 40 Years of Rad
Pocketful of Miracles
The Tomb: Devil's Revenge
Sidecar Racers
Space Dogs
Out/Marriage
Safety Last!
Bride Who Has Returned from Hell, The
Show Boat
Savage
City Called Dragon, A
I Used to Go Here
Six Suspects
Still the Water
Not Now, Comrade
I'm Thinking of Ending Things
Wives of the Skies
Two Heads Creek
Next Stop, Greenwich Village
Captain, The
Great Wall, A
   
 
Newest Articles
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
   
 
  Bride Who Has Returned from Hell, The Consider That A Divorce
Year: 1965
Director: Hsin Chi
Stars: Chin Mei, Ko Chung-Hsiung, Ou Wei, Lau Ching, Dai Pei-Shan, Hsiao Hui, Yue Fan, Hsu Yu, Chou Yo, Chin Tu, Ling Yu, Ding Shiang, Hsiao Pi, Guo Ye Ren, Ke Yo-Min, Wang Man-Jiao, Tien Ming
Genre: Drama, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: The wealthy Wang Yi-Ming (Ko Chung-Hsiung) has just suffered a humiliating tragedy, as his wife has been discovered to be out on a boating trip with another man. He knows this because said boat has been washed up on the shore, with the other man dead inside: however, the wife is nowhere to be seen, presumed drowned. This leaves Mr Wang with much to think on, like an unfaithful spouse and a lack of anybody to look after his young child, therefore he is moved to hire a governess for her, who can also tutor the granddaughter of his housekeeper. This is Miss Bei Sui-Mi (Chin Mei), who is happy for the work, but does not realise what she is letting herself in for, as there are murky goings-on in the clifftop mansion...

This sounds like it is going to be a Gothic like Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca - with which it shared some similarities – except director Hsin Chi did not warm to the possibilities of a stylish horror yarn based in a decadent family, and preferred to keep things, if not prosaic, then verging on the banal, all the better to highlight the plight of the female characters. If this came across more akin to a soap opera that you would have found on Taiwanese television of its day, then for that reason you could legitimately judge it as a missed opportunity, for a full-blooded chiller from this part of the world could have been highly entertaining. As it was, it merely burst into life in fits and starts rather than haring along all the way through the story.

There was actually a tendency towards lack of style with The Bride Who Has Returned from Hell, which undercut the mystery, not completely self-sabotaging, but you would come away from the experience wondering if something more - a lot more - could have been made of the material. Some sources list it as horror, yet the only really horrific aspect occurred near the end where we found out where the wife had gone, otherwise it veered casually from domestic drama, social concerns, light thrills, even wistful songs, and plenty of doting over the two little girls who took up probably too much of the screen time. But there was no real supernatural element (aside from one scene) and the fear factor was limited to the peril Miss Bei was trapped in when the true villain made themselves apparent.

As for those social concerns, they have been the motive for recommending this film, as they were intended, so we're told, to emphasise the plight of the typical Taiwanese woman who struggles to get by in a man's world, at least in the nineteen-sixties when this was created, yet while the drama appeared to be aimed at those members of the population, a plot that pitted them against one another to an extent was perhaps not the most positive of examples of early feminism. Of course, there were allegiances forged as well, and Bei seems to get plenty of support from her young charges, but when romance develops between her and the cold, bad-tempered Mr Wang, it is difficult no to go through mixed feelings. That might have been the intention, but more likely we were supposed to be happy that the heroine had been swept off her feet by the distant man she manages to warm up with her good heart and honesty. However, while it may not be everything its reputation claims it to be, it was a solid, if meandering, little mystery thriller all told. The inclusion of the James Bond theme at the denouement was, on the other hand... not sensible.

[Click here to see the Taiwan Film Festival website where this and other films can be watched, 18th-27th September 2020.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 201 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 is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Paul Smith
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: