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rRU (1989)
Ghost Ballroom


Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 08/25/2007
Summary: how stupid?

Ghost Ballroom is some movie; a crazy kind of Hong Kong movie. An early sequence features two guys in a challenge to see who has the better, stronger tongue. The challenge involves eating the filling from baked tarts while leaving the shells intact. Their girlfriends watch them perform with looks of dreamy admiration. The loser walks away defeated, the winner gets both women.

Like some other scenes, this one has little to do with the actual plot of Ghost Ballroom, which is built around a "club girl" who is killed by her boyfriend because, oddly, she isn't willing to make the leap into full-on whoring. Fast forward to the martial arts sequences, which are quite good, and be sure not to miss the scene in the morgue! As I watched Ghost Ballroom, I kept thinking how stupid much of it was. I can't recommend this film, if only to say that you could see a lot worse.



Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: AkiraRus
Date: 10/25/2005
Summary: The celebration of a bad taste

Distasteful and mean ghost comedy with two pretty nice fight scenes, stupid script and plenty of vulgar jokes, some of which are a good reason to put director Wilson Tong in asylum. If he thinks it's funny he need a good doctor.


Reviewed by: Michael Kistner
Date: 08/20/2004
Summary: 2.5/5

Average. Two good fight scenes with Gordon Liu and Deon Lam.

2.5/5


Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 06/30/2004
Summary: Entertainingly bad

Well, since it's quite possible nobody else will ever write a review of this film, I feel somewhat honour bound to do a quick one:

First things first, Ghost Ballroom (1989) is not a good movie. There's really no sense of the words "good movie" that could be accurately applied to the film.

However, not being "good" doesn't mean it isn't quite enjoyable to watch, mostly because it's a good chance to see a bunch of b-list martial arts actors from the 70's looking a little bit older, a little bit less dashing and being very silly much of the time.

The plot is very simple, barely coherent and quite ignored for the majority of the film. A club hostess is murdered by her gangster boyfriend and her ghost comes back for revenge. Her two hostess housemates are much more upset by her return than her death (which didn't seem to bother them much at all), and their boyfriends are kind of freaked too, but when they're not gambling they are persuaded to help the ghost take revenge. That's the "plot" part of what happens anyway, but much of the film is only tangentially connected to it, in that peculiar way that you only seem to get with Hong Kong movies.

Since the fun bits are mostly not those related to the plot it's not a bad thing. Particular highlights of the film include

- Gordon Liu getting attacked by a gang of thugs who accuse him of being "old". He shows them with authority that he is "not old".

- A very drunk Lo Lieh taking the ghost to a hotel room and acting out his fantasies about what they'll do when she gets out of the bathroom.

- What happens when she does get out of the bathroom. At least, part of her does :p

- Norman Chu improvising in a morgue. - one of the most disturbing scenes I've ever seen, that would fit quite nicely in a Takashi Miike movie but is apparently meant to be *comedy*.

- Norman and Gordon fighting director Wilson Tong and his thugs at a noodle stand, and all 3 of them showing that age hasn't dulled their martial arts one bit.

- Fung Hak On frolicking in a swimming pool with a random naked girl

And there's a few more scenes are pretty enjoyable, but admittedly a bunch that are really not (most of the scenes of Norman gambling for instance).

It's a film that's probably only enjoyable if you're familiar with the cast and want a chance to see them a little bit older and having a good time together, which really seems to have been the primary purpose the film was made anyway :) Unfortunately not a lost gem like Wilson Tong's later and far superior "Ghostly Bus".

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/21/1999

The ghost sprit of a murdered dance hall girl takes revenge on herkiller in this action drama.

[Reviewed by Tai Seng Catalog]