Yep… I know… it’s been a loooooong dry month here at the ol’ Litterbox. But… I’ve roused my lazy butt into action and so we finally have another Review, and this time out it’s an honest-to-goodness Asian ghost story… 2014’s Vietnamese film, “Đoạt Hồn” or as it’s known around these parts, “Hollow”. Yep. Been a while since we saw one of these. 😉
It’s synopsis reads as follows: “Chi, a rebellious 18 year old girl, returns to her home town on the day her rich stepfather, Huy, makes a generous donation to a village temple. At the celebration, her sister, Ai, drowns in a nearby river. When Ai’s uncle Thuc, who is a policeman, travels to a village morgue to identify Ai’s dead body, the girl sits up, very much alive. Thuc brings Ai home to her family, but he doesn’t tell them about her death. Everything seems to be happy until Ai shows signs of spiritual possession. A shaman is brought in to perform an exorcism, but she is unsuccessful, claiming, “Your daughter is not possessed by a dead spirit, but by a lost soul of a living person”. To investigate the source of her sister’s possession, Chi journeys to the village where Ai was found. What she discovers is a community victimized by human trafficking and child prostitution. There is another little girl, whose tragedy is tied to Ai’s death by a secret, and a vengeful spirit that follows Chi home, and destroys her entire family, as dark secrets unravel and evil unleashes its true visage.”
So, if a story of ghostly possession, Vietnamese style, intrigues you, then all you have to do is “Read On” o’ Gentle Visitors and let your favorite movie watching Catgirl Princess give you all the details worth knowing… 🙂
Psst! This way for more!
Yep… I know you’ve noticed… I’ve been terribly terribly absent again, but finally I’m back here at the ol’ Litterbox and it’s time for your Favorite Catgirl Princess to take a wee side trip to exotic Vietnam for our next creepy movie review, with a look at the recent Region 1 DVD release for Vietnamese writer-director Lê Văn Kiệt’s 2012 ghost story “Ngôi Nhà Trong Hẻm” aka “House In The Alley”.
Our synopsis goes like this: “House in the Alley follows Thanh and Thao, a young successful couple living in Saigon about to begin a new happy chapter in their lives, parenthood. However, that dream becomes a nightmare, with the violent death of their son. Thanh begins to see a drastic change in Thao, and becomes concerned. She is withdrawn, compulsive, and prone to hallucination. But he can only do his best, also handling a major crisis with his business. Their house itself changes. Scratches appear on walls, furniture is vandalized, something is haunting them. Wracked with guilt and isolated, Thao is convinced their son is cursing them from the grave. Thao becomes almost unrecognizable as the paranormal takes over her body. Tormented by the thought of losing his wife, Thanh searches for clues to the history behind their house past, uncovering a secret many hoped to forget.”
Sounds pretty much like the kind of film yours truly likes… with creepy ghosts, paranormally induced insanity… and more than a wee bit of supernatural “conflict resolution” with all sorts of sharp and pointy tools. 😉 Ought to be oodles of fun, or as my sweet wifey always says “Oh no… not another of your crazy foreign psycho ghost movies….”. Why, yes, my dearest Carolyn… it’s looks like exactly that. Yes, yes…. I know…. I’m sooooo gonna owe her a big loving kiss, some quality cuddle time, and a Romantic comedy movie choice for our next Movie Nite. 🙂
However… as most of my Gentle Visitors here at the ol’ Litterbox seem to share this wee lady’s taste in atrocious horror movies, I expect all of you will probably want to “Read On” and find out just what might be in store for you if this DVD is on your own particular “must see” list so let’s give it a try shall we?
Psst! This way for more!
Well… it’s finally here. The Region 2 UK DVD release for the 2013 Vietnamese swordplay adventure “Mỹ Nhân Kế 3D” aka “The Lady Assassin”that I’ve been waiting for anxiously for like what seems forever!! I know this one was supposed to be another “shared review” with Stephen from Gweilo Ramblings but seeing as he’s already covered this one over at the Asian cinema blog Easternkicks.com, I can’t see making him repeat himself all over again so instead I thought I’d go ahead and do one of my own and not bug him again quite so soon. (Pssst! No worries Stephen… we’ll get the chance next month if you like when the Vietnamese horror goodie “House in the Alley” comes out on Region 1 DVD… 😉
Our synopsis for this one goes along these lines: “In the remote Duong Son Tavern, the beautiful and mysterious landlady Kieu Thi along with the help of her three gorgeous hostesses lures weary travelers, bandits and officials into her establishment for what they promise will be an unforgettable time. But rather than selling their bodies, the women rob and murder their guests, hording a growing pile of gold for a rainy day. Their latest haul reveals a coffin which conceals a beautiful young noblewoman – the bound and desperate Linh Lan. She begs them to spare her life and train her in their martial art style, to become an assassin, so she can kill evil general Quan Du, who she claims murdered her family. Kieu Thi agrees, and takes Linh Lan under her wing, but it soon transpires that not everyone at Duong Son Tavern is who they originally claimed to be.”
Pretty Vietnamese girls with deadly Kung Fu skills… plenty of slimy evil bastards that truly need killing… some sweet love and romance for spice… (maybe a little subtle lesbian subtext too if I’ve learned anything about exploitation film-making… )…and… wait for it…. some anachronistic beach volleyball! Yep… seems a certain wannabe Wuxia Princess is gonna have all the bases covered with this one and then some… 😉
Psst! This way for more!
Your Favorite Catgirl’s recent flirtation with all things “Martial Art-y” continues here at the ol’ Litterbox with a review of director Victor Vu’s 2012 swordplay fantasy “Thiên Mệnh Anh Hùng” aka “Blood Letter”. With the recent release of this one on Region 2 DVD over in Germany, unfortunately without those ever so handy English subtitles this wee Catgirl needs, I honestly had begun to despair ever getting a look at it any time soon. But…. the Wuxia Fairies have deigned to smile on a certain wee “Warrior Princess wanabee”, and… thanks to an admittedly suspicious All region, supposedly Chinese made, DVD… that is no longer the case! Yay!! 😉
Our synopsis? How’s about this: “Adapted from a popular novel by Bùi Anh Tấn, the film begins with a dying man delivering a mysterious young boy at the shore of a remote mountain monastery. Scared and alone, the boy grows to manhood under the care and martial arts tutelage of the one lone monk who is the sole caretaker for the lonely remote temple. Twelve years later, Nguyen Vu discovers his true identity, that he is the single living descendant of the nobleman Nguyen Trai, advisor to the late king, who was beheaded, along with the rest of his family, when he was wrongfully implicated in the murder of his liege. Two Eunuchs from the Royal Court learn the truth and when they try to escape are hunted down. One of the eunuchs writes his dying testimony in blood before he dies and this “Blood Letter” then disappears. Nguyen Vu then embarks on a quest to find this letter so that he may clear his grandfather’s name. Along the way he meets two sisters who are also on a quest to carry out vengeance against the Royal Court and the evil Empress Dowager.”
Sounds all epic and “kung-fu-licious”!! Yep… this wee Catgirl’s hooked. But then… your truly is a real Wuxia movie nut… So should this one also be on your “must see” list too? Well… before spending those hours scouring the Internet for a copy of this one, why not let a certain crazy Catgirl tell you all about it first?
Pssst!! That’s your subtle invite to “Read On”…. C’mon… You know ya wanna!! 😉
Mmmmmm….Saturday morning and I’m NOT at work. (At least, not yet…) So as promised, here’s a review of one of the many DVD’s that arrived recently from my Malaysian source, “Oan Hồn” aka “Spirits”. This one has been out for a while now, but I missed it when the Region 1 disc was available, luckily the Region 3 from Malaysia is now available and I’m ever so glad I grabbed it this time out. You all know how much Neko-chan loves her creepy lil’ ghost stories…. Naturally I had to give it a try…especially since it’s the first Vietnamese DVD in my collection……(haven’t found a really good source yet for the ever important english subtitles that this Catgirl can’t live without….)
But that’s not a problem here. “Oan Hồn” is beautifully subtitled in almost perfect english. So perfect, that I had to do a bit of detective work to find out this one was actually made right here in the US, apparently for the Vietnamese market……go figure. It’s a good bit of work, the film has an all-Vietnamese cast that really do an excellent job of making you believe that this film is a little piece of Vietnam itself….. Naturally, I’ve intrigued you enough to want to “Read On”, so what are you waiting for? Hehehehe!!!