Blu-Ray Review: Encounter of the Spooky Kind

Courageous Cheung comes face to face with fear

Chinese folklore is full of stories of ghosts, supernatural creatures and monsters. These spirits and apparitions are largely malevolent and play a prominent role in popular culture. Cinema is no exception. The success of A Chinese Ghost Story sparked a surge of similar films (Mr Vampire, The Eye, Rigor Mortis etc) in Hong Kong. Humour was often never too far away. As is the case in Encounter of the Spooky Kind.

Courageous Cheung (Sammo Hung) is known in the local village for his bravery and fearlessness. It’s a reputation he’s largely garnered for himself. He works for Master Tam (Ha Huang), who, unbeknownst to him, is having an affair with his wife (Suet-Mei Leung). Fearing they’ll be caught his boss hires a Mao Shan witch (Lung Chan) to bump him off. The hapless Cheung is tricked into staying the night in an abandoned temple, but maybe he’s not alone.

Encounter of the Spooky Kind was one of the first jiangshi films and went on to inspire a whole new sub-genre of Hong Kong cinema. Its success is largely down to Hung, who writes, directs and stars. The mix of comedy, action and superstition is balanced perfectly and in Cheung we have such a likeable and bumbling hero. At its core Encounter of the Spooky Kind is simply great fun. A film which is made with a lot of love and care.

Special features:

  • Limited Edition O-Card slipcase featuring new artwork by Darren Wheeling [2000 copies]
  • Limited Edition reversible poster featuring the film’s original HK artwork [2000 copies]
  • 1080p presentation on Blu-ray from a brand new 2K restoration (worldwide debut of this restoration on home video)
  • Cantonese audio (original mono presentation)
  • Rare alternate Cantonese soundtrack
  • Optional English dubbed audio
  • Optional English Subtitles (newly translated for this release)
  • Brand new feature length audio commentary by Asian film expert Frank Djeng (NY Asian Film Festival)
  • Archival interview with Sammo Hung
  • Alternate English opening & closing credits
  • Stills Gallery
  • Original trailer
  • Limited Edition collector’s booklet featuring new writing by James Oliver [2000 copies]

Encounter of the Spooky Kind is released on Blu-Ray by Eureka Classics on 21 June.

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