Synopsis by Jonathan Crow
Legendary Hong Kong producer/director Tsui Hark and filmmaker Ching Siutung combine forces in this high-flying supernatural romance classic. Ning Caichen (Leslie Cheung) is a lowly tax collector who takes refuge for the night at the spooky Lam Ro temple. There he encounters and promptly falls in love with a beautiful ghost named Nie Xiaoqian (Joey Wang). Unfortunately Xiaoqian is damned to serve the evil hermaphroditic tree spirit Lao Lao, who (thanks to an extraordinarily long tongue) feasts on the souls of amorous young males. Usually Xiaoqian, along with her comely sister Qing, tempts would-be Lotharios to their arboreal doom, but she too is smitten with the downtrodden wanderer. Soon afterwards, Caichen meets Master Yan (Ma Wu), a Taoist hermit, martial arts master, and a sworn enemy of Lao Lao, who tells him of Xiaoqian's true, otherworldly nature. Nonetheless, true love proves to be strong. Caichen promises Xiaoqian that he will help spring her from her dubious employment and Xiaoqian protects her love from the evil wood sprite. Later, things grow more complicated for the lovers when they learn that Xiaoqian has been betrothed to a demon warlord.
ghost, tax-collector, love, Taoism, demon, lover, monk, soul-collector, supernatural, tree, temple