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Hocus Pocus

Ren He Gui
1984 / 93m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Horror
Hocus Pocus poster

Hocus Pocus came a year before Ricky Lau's Mr. Vampire, so I guess director Yuet-Sang Chin deserves his share of the credit for kick-starting this whole comedy/horror/action craze. The genre balance may not be perfect, but there's a lot of fun to be had with this film, just make sure you know what you're getting yourself into.

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Sheng leads an opera troupe and is big on ghost stories. His disciples love to listen to his tales, but they get a little annoyed when Chia, when of their fellow actors, takes the whole ghost business a step too far. They decide to get back at Chia, but by doing that they run into a real ghost.

There's a bit of everything here. Comedy and horror are the main genres, but a film like this wouldn't be complete without some martial arts and fantasy elements. Performances are well over-the-top and the comedy's a little lame, but the lore and designs are cool enough and there's a spectacular finale that is more than satisfactory. Good stuff.