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聊齋誌異 (1965)
Fairy, Ghost, Vixen

Reviewed by: Stephe
Date: 01/27/2011

Fairy, Ghost, Vixen (1965) stars Tang Ching as a weak-willed
scholar who becomes romantically involved first with a fox vixen
spirit, then a ghost girl, and then a fairy -- at least it seemed
to be the case when I was watching the film. It is really a
trilogy of separate supernatural fables, but since all three star
Tang Ching playing almost the same character, it is easy to view
the three tales as installments in a hapless man's journey through
lack-of-self-discovery. After a slow start, the film becomes rather
engrossing, but there is a pall over the proceedings because of
the melancholy situations the ungrateful and self-involved scholar
creates for himself and his beloved in each story. I tend to feel
sorry for and identify with the ghost women in most of the asian
ghost stories I've seen, and this extends to the vixen and the
fairy here. Annette Chang Hui-Hsien, who played Julie Yeh Feng's
sister in It's Always Spring, and who played the lounge singer in
Spring-time Affairs, is especially fetching as the ghost, and Wang
Lai does a great job as her mother. Tang Ching stands out in my
memory for the especially impotent character (the husband) he
played in Deaf and Mute Heroine (1971), but he was considerably
more likable in the 1968 Shaws Brothers Cheng Pei-pei vehicle The
Jade Raksha, and in Vengeance is a Golden Blade (1969). I also
knew him from his suave, courageous pompadour-coifed roles in the
modern era Shaws films, Summons to Death (1967), Angel with the
Iron Fists (1967), and The Angel Strikes Again (1968), so I know
he has a fair range as an actor, but his weaselly portrayals, such
as that in Fairy, Ghost, Vixen make me feel like slapping him,
sometimes. In this film, the foxes' faces look more like those
of North American skunks than those of foxes, because they are
striped. I was not aware that asian foxes aren't all orange from
snout to tail. I suspect I will eventually be moved to watch this
film again, if only to revisit the sad love stories from the
perspective of the supernatural women. If and when I see this
film the next time, I will view Tang Ching as a catalyst moreso
than (a) discrete character(s).

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: STSH
Date: 10/21/2008
Summary: Gorgeous

This film is a feast for the eyes in every way. Packed with gorgeous women, made up to look their very best, wearing sumptuously colourful flowing silks, photographed with exquisite care. Yes, of course the story is a full-on male fantasy, but that's no reason to avoid this film just because it is 40+ years old. In visual terms, it stacks up quite respectably against the Erotic Ghost Story series of the 1990s, which are basically the same story (the Liu Jai tales).