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Ghost Promise

Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 01/06/2007
Summary: borrows heavily......

During his almost [at the time] 30 year career as a film editor, Cheung Kwok-Kuen worked in every genre of Hong Kong cinema. With Ghost Promise [2000], he gets up from the moviola, jumps into the directing chair, and handles both jobs for only the second time. The screenplay by Yeung Gei borrows heavily from every ghost/vampire movie ever made.

Ghost Promise features a prologue with a Taoist priest, his boy student, and a European kind of vampire in a battle that keeps the evil restrained for many years. Care-free, careless teenagers unwittingly unleash The Blood Monster on what looks like 1980's Hong Kong. Eric Wan Tin-Chiu stars as the boy grown up. He basically repeats the performance he gave in Bosco Lam Hing-Lung's House of the Damned [1999] and Steve Cheng Wai-Man's Erotic Nightmare [1999]. Carrie Ng Ka-Lai is totally miscast in a comedic role and her performance is torturous.

Sadly, this film marks the last screen appearance of the lovely and talented Tamara Guo. She is the real star of Ghost Promise in her role as Mindy, a newlywed bride who never has her honeymoon thanks to those careless teens. She deserved better; in this film, and in her career.

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: trenty
Date: 08/07/2000
Summary: Worst horror directed.

"Ghost Promise" never did promised to show anything good to the audience. It did showed a simple vampire movie with what's may the writer had wrote about.

This movie looked like another 80s ghost/vampire movie. However, when you verify the date when was released, it's 2000! The actings of being a vampire were like watch an actor trying it's worst to act. For example, the first 5-10 mins, a vampire appeared with it's black custume. You may expect it to disappear from here to there or may appear in a sudden. Guess it again, the vampire RAN! What a joke? You can even see the actor wearing a black vampire custume running around like in a Halloween Day. Due to the bad actings and 80s background, don't expect scary moments or even the main story. The story was nothing but a slow paced vampire hunting advanture.

As to the performances, the cast was rare since most of the actors/actresses were either unknown or long time older performers. The only surprise you might get from the cast was Ng Kar Lai. Even if you were a fan of her previous actings, nothing good from her character in this movie resulting a waste of her act. Overall, the cast ain't that important because the plot itself ain't supportive enough for those actors/actresses to act their roles beyond average.

To conclude, I have to admit that this movie was a waste of your time and money. Cheap props, unsupportive background, cast wasted, worst horror directing and mainly, 0 scary effect.

Reviewed by: ryan
Date: 03/25/2000
Summary: Crappy production, costume and acting opportunity

Even though the production situation in the Hong Kong film industry is better than that or the previous two years, it is still difficult to raise money for big productions. Ghost stories, which don't require a large budget for production, have become the most popular genre in Hong Kong movies lately. In January we had several ghost movies released in Hong Kong cinema. "Ghost Promise" is one of the small scale productions.

30 years ago, Blood Monster (LUNG Fong) was caught by Mentor (TSUI Siu-keung). Blood Monster promised that he will turn over a new leaf and Mentor makes a promise with Blood Monster. 30 years later, Bond (LAU Shek-ming) gets married to Mindy (CHOR Yung). Bond leaves Mindy awhile to attend to business in the mainland. While Mindy walks around, she gets lost in foggy weather and she decides to stay in an old building. There, she is raped by Blood Monster and drained to death. Her spirit flows back to her house and she wants to stay with Bond and takes revenge by becoming a blood-feeding ghost. Her relative Cousin (NG Kar-lai) and Cousin's boyfriend Chak (WAN Tin-chiu) note Mindy's strange behaviour after her 'return' ....

"Ghost Promise" is another crappy movie. The beginning of the movie shows the poor quality of the production. The magic fight between Mentor and Blood Monster stays at the level of black and white films from the 60s. If the whole film was done 10 years before, it would be acceptable but not now. The dialogue between Blood Monster and Mentor is also too simple to convince audiences.

The costume of the movie is another ridiculous point worth discussing. We know that there should be some differences when Mindy is running out of blood. However, the costume is not serious. What we have is a Mindy with a very white face with a little paint on her faces to look like blood vessels. If you don't know you are watching a ghost story, you may wonder if Mindy is practising a Chinese Opera!

We understand that "Ghost Promise" is a very low budget production. Most of the scenes were shot at the same house. However, they should have putting more effort into the script. The script is not enough to fill the running time. There should be some sub-plots like the relationship between Cousin and Bond. On the wedding day of Mindy, it looks like Cousin is unhappy to see Mindy marry. This could have established the conflict in Mindy seeking Cousin's help.

For actors and actresses in the movie, they are not fulfilling their jobs very well due to the poor script. CHOR Yung is assigned a role without acting but with sex. WAN Tin-chiu, is once again acting the role of a young Mentor. There is nothing for NG Kar-lai to do in the movie while it also lacks opportunity for LAU Sek-ming to do anything either.

With such crappy production, costume and acting opportunity, there is no point trying to convince audiences that "Ghost Promise" is worth watching.

Written by Ryan Law, from Hong Kong Movie DataBase, on 24 March, 2000.