The Ghost Snatchers (1986)

A Hong Kong Ghostbusters? Sure, except even more delirious and strange than you’d ever expect.

This one starts at the opening of a Hong Kong high-rise. Judy Hsu (Shu-Yuan Hsu) becomes a victim of poltergeists and her spirit is possessed and returns to carry out the sinister plans of the evil presence, which also employs a ghost squad of dead Japanese soldiers who still want to fight World War II.

Security guards Chu Bong (Jing Wong, who also wrote this movie) and Fan Pien-Chou (Shui-Fan Fung) learn that the evil spirit’s plan is to kill people based on their birth year and time. Not so coincidentally, they’re marked for death.

Hijinks, as I always say, ensue.

This was directed by Ngai Choi Lam, who also made Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky, so you know that there are going to be some out-of-control effects and gross-out moments, despite this seeming like a fun comedy. No complaints here!

It also has an animated skeleton, a baby monster who plays mahjong, a TV set that grows legs, an elevator filled with hands ala Day of the Dead’s dream sequence that ends with a giant hand emerging from the shaft that snatches away a girl, people getting ripped in half and spiritual kung-fu.

It may be completely less coherent than the film that inspired it, but I was entertained by every single frame of this one. Man, why didn’t they make The Ghost Snatchers 2 so I could see how Hong Kong filmmakers treated Vigo Von Homburg Deutschendorf?

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