A Chinese Legend (1991)

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Hong Kong filmmaker Lau Hung-chuen directed this beautifully mounted tale of spirits and romance inspired by the success of the similar A Chinese Ghost Story and its sequels. The story concerns a swordsman named Kar Yat-long (Jacky Cheung) who has recurring dreams about a beautiful woman whom he meets before falling into a bottomless pit. When he wakes up one day with a piece of the woman's bracelet, he begins to believe that there is more to the dream than he had at first suspected. Later, he ends up saving the woman of his dreams, Ku Moon-cher (Joey Wang), from being sacrificed by some superstitious Ku villagers trying to appease the evil King of Ghosts so he stops haunting their homes. Ku Moon-cher wants to stay with her people, however, so Kar Yat-long goes wandering around in the forest, where he resists the seduction of a fox-goblin who has taken the form of a pretty girl (Sharla Cheung) in order to drink his blood after mating. Indeed, the goblin falls in love with him, and he names her Ching'er. She will be invaluable to Kar Yat-long when he returns for his true love, Ku Moon-cher, who refused the King of Ghosts' attempts to woo her, resulting in the destruction of her village and her own suicide. Yat-long finds her ghost, but she is soon abducted by the King, leading Yat-long, his master (Lau Shun), and Ching'er to come to her rescue in the atmospheric conclusion. Wu Ma co-stars in this richly visual and haunting fantasy, choreographed by Lam Moon-wah and Phillip Kwok.