Reviewed by: ryan
Summary: Hanky Panky (1999)
After having two category III movies 'Undercover Girls' and 'Crazy', Roy Distribution distribute a horror movie 'Hanky Panky'. Director LEE Yuk-chun directed another horror movie 'Nightmare Zone' (1998) last year. In fact, 'Hanky Panky' shares some casts from 'Nightmare Zone' like LAI Yiu-cheung, Emily KWAN Bo-wai and Helena LAW Lan. In their newspaper ads, they try to sell the feeling of Japanese horror 'The Ring' by putting Sherming YIU and Emily KWAN as Sukudo (the ghost in 'The Ring').
'Hanky Panky' starts with Sam KO (LAI Yiu-cheung) who has been in love with Pauline KOU (Emily KWAN) since Sam's wife PAK Sim (Sherming YIU) disappeared for almost seven years. With the encouragement of Sam's Mom (Helena LAW Lan), they got married. However, on the wedding day, PAK Sim went back home and meet Sam's Mom. She scared Sam's Mom as Sam's Mom consider Sim as Ghost. The fact is that Sim lost her memories by accident for 6 years, with the care of Ming (CHEUNG Tat-ming), she suddenly got back her memory. However, Sam's got married. Sam, Sam's Mom and Sam's servent (CHU Mi-mi) has to face to deal with Pauline. Finally, they come up with the way to make Pauline for divorce by putting Pauline as ghost ......
If you consider 'Hanky Panky' as a horror movie, I am afraid that you will get disappointed as the techniques for the movie in horror part is quite typical like raining, switching lights on and off as well as having the ghost in another guy's soul. The main reason is that we know the fact that Sherming YIU is not a ghost. This makes the whole movie hard to create the horror climate. I consider the effect can be much better if we change the plot as when YIU get back home with nobody, she found out Sam and Pauline get married as she would like to start the revenge without stating whether she is a ghost or not.
If we need to classify the movie, it seems to me that 'Hanky Panky' is a family movie about relationship. In such aspect, I consider the latter part of the movie is quite good with the description of the relationship between the two pairs. However, the first half of the movie seems to be totally different in tone. For the first half, they would like to make it as a love comedy. However, it seems that it failed to make audience laugh at all. The scripts as well as the plots are too typical to cheat audince.
In terms of performance, it seems that the plot is too typical for most of the actors and actress. Emily KWAN is only a guy who pisses off from time to time without showing how she loves Sam. This makes the second half of the story weird. LAI Yiu-cheung is still acting like a fool. CHIN Ka-lok seems to be lack of energy. Other side characters are okay but not outstanding. The voice of CHEUNG Tat-ming is dubbed, which makes his performance hard to appreciate.
On the whole, 'Hanky Panky' is a family problem movie rather than a horror. The horror part is too typical which annoys audience. The second part is okay but weird to audience. The performance of actors and actress are sub-standard. Unless you are a fan of Emily KWAN or LAI Yiu-cheung, I can't find a reason for you watching 'Hanky Panky' for entertainment.