Burning Sensation (1989)

Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - Hong Kong   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Accomplished supporting player Wu Ma directed a handful of films during his career, including this amusing horror-comedy using the world-renowned Peking Opera as a backdrop. In a 1950s prologue, Li Fan-hua (Carol Cheng) is burned to death on live television during a Peking Opera performance. A fireman named Chien (Kenny Bee) finds Li's spirit tablet in a burning building 30 years later while battling the blaze, and she becomes his guardian as a result. She can't prevent Chien from losing his job, but when he moves in with his uncle Ma, she takes over his television set along with other members of the Peking Opera and speaks to those watching. Eventually, Li falls in love with Chien and leaves the television, assuming a human form to battle the giant-tongued demon seeking to suck out her lover's soul. Some inspired slapstick and a nicely handled ghost battle highlight this otherwise formulaic effort by Ma, who also plays Chien's uncle Yuen, a disc jockey who reads supernatural tales on the radio. This set-up allows Ma to make numerous references to his appearance in A Chinese Ghost Story, the hugely popular international hit which spawned a fresh wave of Asian ghost films, including this one. James Wong co-stars with James Tien and Blackie Ko.