A Chinese Ghost Story (1987)

A Chinese Ghost Story (1987) is a romantic comedy, horror, martial arts action film starring Leslie Cheung, Joey Wong and Wu Ma. The film is directed by Siu-tung Ching and produced by Hark Tsui.

Martial arts directors in the film were Siu-Tung Ching, Chung Shan Tsui, Chi-Ho Lau, Kwok Tsu, and Chi-Lung Wu.

The plot of A Chinese Ghost Story (1987) is loosely based on a short story about Nie Xiaoqian from Qing dynasty writer Pu Songling’s Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio, and was also inspired by The Enchanting Shadow (1960), the Shaw Brothers Studio film.

The film did become popular in Hong Kong and a few other Asian countries, including Japan and South Korea. When it was first released the film did not have access to movie theaters in mainland China but it eventually became a cult classic among young people on the Chinese mainland, especially for those born in the 1980s.

The plot of A Chinese Ghost Story (1987) helped make Joey Wong a star and it it made Leslie Cheung popular in Japan. It also lead to the making of other folklore ghost films in the Hong Kong film industry including two sequels, an animated film, along with a television series. A Chinese Ghost Story (2011) was re-released after the film was remastered with color timing that took about a half a year to complete. When the film was presented at the 24th Hong Kong Film Awards, on March 27, 2005, A Chinese Ghost Story (1987) was ranked number 50 of the Best 100 Chinese Motion Pictures.

In this martial arts film, Ning Choi-san (Leslie Cheung), is a traveling tax collector who is forced spend the night in an abandoned temple. There he meets the lovely maiden Nip Siu-sin (Tsu-hsien Wang), and he immediately falls in love with her. Unfortunately, Ning discovers that Nip Siu-sin is really a ghost who is being forced to serve a tree demon, and he resolves to save her from the evil spirit. He enlists the aid of Taoist warrior Yin Chik-hsia (Wu Ma), and must enter into the supernatural realm to save Nip’s soul.

A Chinese Ghost Story (1987) was released on July 18, 1987 in Hong Kong and re-released in April 30, 2011 on the Chinese mainland.