The Ghost Snatchers

This is a film that I have been looking forward to seeing for quite a while. I rented the video a few years back, but it didn’t have sub-titles and I decided to wait until I could find a version with subs. The few minutes I saw though of a woman entering into a ladies room and all these ghoulish arms reaching through the walls to grab her looked like a lot of fun. It turns out that the VCD has subs – but the film also turned out to be much less than my expectations.
Wong Jing
Wong Jing is the main problem here. Not Wong Jing the director, but Wong Jing the actor. Wong Jing has appeared in a number of films, but almost always in a supporting role. In these smallish roles, Wong is quite acceptable – but as the starring actor? – that is an entirely different matter. Here Wong is the main character with Stanley Fung tagging along and then Joey Wong in a much smaller role and Joyce Godenzi in an even smaller role. Let me repeat that again – in a film with Joey Wong and Joyce Godenzi – the focus is on Wong Jing. What were people smoking? From the presence of Wong Jing in such a dominating role flow all the weaknesses of this film – poor acting, tired humor and slapdash action. On top of this are some truly dreadful special effects that define the word cheesy.
Joey Wong and Joyce Godenzi
So these arms reach through the bathroom walls of this high rise commercial building and pull this woman into a void. People hear her scream and pound on the door for a while until she appears as if nothing at all has occurred. But in fact it has – she has been taken over by an evil ghost. Soon a number of other people – such as the building owner, Shum Wai, have all been killed and their bodies possessed as well. Stanley Fung and his nephew Wong Jing are security guards in the building and begin to notice a number of strange happenings – such as a ghost in the TV set and dead guards walking around.
Stanley Fung and others
So the two of them along with Wong Jing’s fiancée, Joey Wong, go to a fortune teller/magician/ghost hunter – Joyce Godenzi – and after a fung shui investigation she concludes that the building is haunted by a troop of Japanese soldiers from WWII who are trying to kill enough people that have a “Yin” horoscope so that their commander can be reincarnated. At least I think that’s what it’s about. The only way for them to destroy the ghosts is to go into their lair – with a virgin holding on to the escape rope. That would be Joey of course.
The film is just a mess – not very funny or interesting – and it totally wastes Joyce’s wonderful physical skills. All she gets to do is throw around spells in little yellow circles and glower at the bad ghosts.
My rating for this film: 5.5