Twilight Siren, The
Hong Kong 1990
Directed by Ricky Lau.

Another "man loves ghost" story following in the wake of A Chinese Ghost Story. Wendy and Jay hunt for relics in the woods and find a skull and mystic tablet. Discovering these somehow releases the ghost Joan from the clutches of the evil Demon King, a transgender demon that enslaves ghosts and forces them to collect human hearts for him before they can reincarnate. The Demon sends his posse of girl ghosts to collect Joan and eliminate the interfering mortals, but is thwarted by the timely intervention of a master Taoist priest (in yet another nod to A Chinese Ghost Story, the master is none other than Wu Ma) and his two disciples (one wears out his welcome early on with a series of stupid antics, the other is Alex Fong in an early, small role).

Though highly derivative, TWILIGHT SIREN is not without its low rent appeal. Lots of blue lit interiors, and even green and red lit caverns, where ghostly maidens wear sheer nightgowns and bathe in mist. Combat ranges from glowing swords to exploding red powder bombs, and even a particularly unusual attack that looks like the ghosts are regurgitating ping-pong balls that shoot from their mouthes. But some effects are quite impressive, too, such as a long shot over a grassy field in which the women ghosts fly to the ground, carrying between them a palanquin bearing the Demon King. They are graceful and entirely unlike the usual wobbly wire work that infests low budget action films. Note that the Universe VCD is marketed under the title DEVIL AND MASTER.

Rating: Marginally Recommended (Marginally Recommended)

Posted by Peter Nepstad on August 26, 2005.

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