The Dead and the Deadly (1982)

Genres - Action, Fantasy, Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Action Comedy, Martial Arts  |   Run Time - 97 min.  |   Countries - Hong Kong   |   MPAA Rating - NR
  • AllMovie Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

Share on

Synopsis by Robert Firsching

One of the more noteworthy Hong Kong horror-comedies of its time, this period thriller from Golden Harvest and actor/director Wu Ma (who co-stars as Ma Lucho) is filled with both fascinating mythology and outrageous setpieces. Co-screenwriter Sammo Hung stars as Fatboy, who becomes suspicious when his best friend's death is listed as being due to natural causes. Adding to Fatboy's doubts is the fact that his late friend Ma Lucho's wife is now pregnant, and Ma was well-known to be impotent. Fatboy decides to conduct his own after-hours autopsy to prove that Ma was murdered, not knowing that his friend has actually faked his own death so he could sell all of the valuable treasures bequeathed to him by his late father. Just as Fatboy is about to hack the possum-playing Ma open with a meat cleaver, he is interrupted by a priest, sparing his devious friend. The respite is only temporary, however, as the treasures turn out to be junk, fronts for the real fortune which Ma's wife will inherit when she gives birth to an heir. Realizing that she is better off as a sole beneficiary, Ma's wife conspires with the priest to have her husband killed. Ma goes from playing dead to really being dead, but then rises from the grave as a ghost and ends up possessing Fatboy in order to further his campaign of revenge. The ensuing confrontations and their consequences for Fatboy's discorporated spirit result in a rousing conclusion. It's also a peculiar one -- at one point, Fatboy's soul ends up inside the body of a beetle, which his girlfriend Yuen (Cherie Chung) protects from the demons sent to escort it to hell by hiding it in a feminine napkin. Lam Ching-ying and Chung Fat co-star.



hopping vampires, experiment, martial-arts, sorcerer, supernatural-powers