Xiao Hun Yu (1979)

Return of the Dead is a Shaw Brothers horror anthology in which three patients in a mental hospital — hey it worked for Asylum — tell their stories.

In the first story, a family who owns a bean curd farm get an amulet with three monkeys that can give any wish. Yes, The Monkey’s Paw works in every langauge. In the second story, a dead woman comes back from her watery grave to lure her lover into the world of the dead. In the final tale, a young rickshaw driver gives a ride to a beautiful woman who looks exactly like a rich woman who has recently died after a night of pleasure with her new husband. She pays for the trip with her pearl necklace. The next time he gives her a ride, she tells him of a casino where he can become rich. He only has to sell his rickshaw. Once her does — and becomes rich — the police arrest him for taking the necklace from the grave of the deceased woman. And the money he won? It’s all fake.

Director Li Han Hsiang made plenty of soft core films for Shaw Brothers, often in the form of supernatural anthology horror like this movie and The Ghost Story. This was the third movie he made in 1979 and he would make up to five in a busy year. Unlike later movies from this studio, this is light on gore but heavy on nudity, almost an erotic ghost story.

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