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火燭鬼 (1989)
Burning Sensation

Reviewed by: dandan
Date: 07/17/2009
Summary: don't watch tv now, see movies!

kin (kenny bee) is fireman who has just been fired (no pun intended) after he thought he saw a young woman in a burning building and ran in to save her. the young woman was, in fact, the ghost on ling (dodo cheng), an actress who died in a fire many years ago, whose ghost was stirred when her spirit tablet almost burned in the fire. jobless, with ling in tow, kin moves into his brother ma's (wu ma) apartment, but soon finds that an evil spirit, piu hung (lai yin-saan), is after him and isn't quite as friendly as ling...

now, a lot of people seem to kinda dislike this film, but i shall credit the fact that i haven't been swamped with 'a chinese ghost story' clones, or even watched the original for many years, with my liking of it. yep, i'd even go as far as saying that i really enjoyed it.

bee, though unspectacular, is amiable enough, but it is dodo cheng who carries this film on her shoulders, as she often does. she's funny when she needs to be, never struggles with the drama and even looks good when she's fighting with lai yin-saan. wu ma amuses, as the (much) older brother and the aforementioned lai, is suitably vampish.

enjoyable fun...

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 12/02/2008

No, Burning Sensation isn't a cautionary tale about painful hemorrhoidal itch. Rather, it is one of Wu Ma's several directorial takes he did that used the formula put forth by the popular A Chinese Ghost Story. Wu decided to add more comedy into the mix, which doesn't always work, but overall, this is a decent Hong Kong ghost movie.

The ghost in question this time is Ling (Carol Cheng), an actress who was killed via a pyrotechnics mishap in the 1950's. Flash-forwarding to modern times, a fire-fighter named Kin (Kenny Bee) rescues Ling's spirit tablet from a burning building, which coaxes her ghostly form back into the real world.

Ling and Kin seem set to start a romance, but another roaming ghost, Piu (Lai Yin-Saan), also has her sights set on Kin. Teaming up with his brother, Pau (Wu Ma), who is a host of a talk radio show about ghosts, Kin tries to bring Ling into the real world forever, while sending Piu permanently back into the spirit realm.

The plot doesn't really make a lick of sense to most westerners, but, of course, this sort of thing is normal for a Hong Kong production, especially for one of this genre. However, one of Burning Sensation's big problems is that there never seems to be a firm set of rules for the ghosts. At times, Ling can have physical weight and be visible to humans, and at other times she cannot. Ling also seems to have supernatural powers at points, but also falls prey to small slaps to her face.

It's also apparent that, even by Hong Kong standards, Burning Sensation had next to no budget. The special effects are anything but, with some of the more supposed terrifying aspects of Piu (namely a vicious tongue) coming off as laughable rather than scary. Speaking of laughable, like many films of the time, the comedic scenes here are all over the place. Far too often, they emphasize dopiness and brainlessness, and fall flat in the process.

But despite its' problems, Burning Sensation does manage to salvage some entertainment from the proceedings. Mostly, this comes from Dodo Cheng, whose spunky energy manages to do a whole hell of a lot to propel forth the film from the realms of failure. Even her performance can't totally save Burning Sensation though, and at the end of the day, this is just really another Hong Kong ghost movie.

[review from]

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: ButterflyMurders
Date: 06/05/2002
Summary: Another A Chinese Ghost Story variant

Wu Ma almost made a second career out of making ACGS variants. Firstly it was Picture Of A Nymph, then this. Later he it was Fox Legend and Chinese Ghostbuster.

This time Wu Ma takes the ACGS formula into the modern day. Kenny Bee is a fireman, who, during an operation saves a ghost, Carol Cheung from being extinguished. To repay his kindness she decides to follow him around.

Wu Ma plays Kenny Bee's brother (and believe me, it's hard to suspend belief when he looks just a little too old) and, in another twist to the ACGS formula, this time he's a rather incompetent taoist. He spends time getting drunk and playing mahjong with his friends, who collectively try to cheat their blind friend in games.

Meanwhile, there's a nasty female demon around, with, you guessed it, a LONG tongue. Etc etc.

Another thing about Wu Ma-I've found he isn't good at directing comedies. He's quite good as a comic actor, but aside from "The Dead And The Deadly" he doesn't have the same skill behind camera. That could pose a problem if the movie attempts to lean towards the comic spectrum, like this one. Most of the jokes were unamusing, and the comic scenes generally felt forced and drawn out.

Kenny Bee is his usual personable self and Wu Ma cruises along comfortably. Carol Cheung however appears pretty uncomfortable as the ghost and is uncharacteristically flat. The end part is quite interesting, with the couple entering a TV, participating in am old Cantonese opera film before being trapped when there's a fire on set. Apart from that, this film is a bit boring. 4/10

Reviewed by: ksbutterbox
Date: 03/25/2002
Summary: No subs for this one..but..

I got a no subtitle VHS of this from Rainbow. Fortunately I knew a bit about the plot from an HK film book. The tongue of the Bimbo-Vamp looks pretty silly but the final half hour is pretty entertaining. Similiar effects like Jailhouse Eros as far as the sliding instead of walking around bits. The one complaint I have is the villian didn't really kill much so you know it's going to be more of a comedy than horror. I really like Jailhouse Eros and Nocturnal Demon better as a whole. The Chinese Opera sequences are nice though.I would recommend this only to fans of Do Do Cheng. Operation Pink Squad 2 also works better than this.

Reviewed by: honloo
Date: 12/04/2000
Summary: LAI YIN SAN is very pretty!

Lai Yin San in Burning Sensation 1 - Getting world's attention

Lai Yin San in Burning Sensation 1 - Getting world's attention
This movie was made in the mid 80s when Lai Yin San got her miss Asia Pacific title just a few months away. In all happen at one night when a taxi driver was listening to some ghost story on radio and decided to end his work for the night. Suddenly, he saw a very beautiful lady on the street, long curly hair, wearing a silky blue dress with black high heels. He offers a ride. She got into the taxi, and the camera quickly zoomed onto her beautiful pair of legs.

When the driver asked her where she wants to go, she replied "as you like". He said, "If I say we go to Kowloon would you?" She replied "Why not?" The she started rubbing her chest and said she was in pain. When she's 100% sure he's seduced, she quickly pulls out her tongue and killed him. Her tongue is her ultimate killing weapon.

Later, she went into a pub and lighting starts to strike to show great beauties entering the area. All guys were eyeing on her. She sat down, and ordered a drink. This fat guy when over and try to talk to her with excuse that she has dropped some money. She replied, these are not mine. He said, "You have beautiful hair". She replied "Well, everybody said that!" Somehow, these guys pulled one piece of her hair and started sucking the hair believing that by doing so; the Yin San will come to them. I bet they did not really got the chance to lick and suck her beautiful hair. She knows about their plans, so she posed seductively and walks towards the guy and invited one of the guy out.

Reviewed by: ElectraWoman
Date: 10/28/2000
Summary: 2.5/10-Compelling my ass

Probably the only interesting thing about this film is watching Carol Cheung be a ghost, and a pretty self-conscious one too. Apart from that, this is yawnfest. The plot is uninspiring, and while there are a few interesting ideas-like Kenny Bee and Cheung going back in time via a TV-I found myself pressing the "fast-forward" button constantly. This is a total stinker. Don't rent this!

Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/21/1999

A compelling love story between a fireman (KENNY BEE) and the ghostspirit of an actress (CAROL "DO DO" CHENG) who was killed in a fire during an opera performance. Watch for WU MA as Kenny's "ghostbusting" brother.

[Reviewed by Tai Seng Catalog]