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PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
Encounters of the Spooky Kind (Gui da Gui): Special Collector's Edition (1980)

Encounters of the Spooky Kind (Gui da Gui): Special Collector's Edition (1980)

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Released 18-Jan-2006

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Comedy Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Audio Commentary-Bey Logan (Hong Kong Cinema Expert)
Biographies-Cast-Sammo Hung (Animated Showcase)
Theatrical Trailer-2
Featurette-Restoration Featurette
Interviews-Cast-Sammo Hung
Trailer-Hong Kong Legends
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1980
Running Time 98:17
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (83:51) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Sammo Hung Kam-Bo
Fortune Star
Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Ying Huang
Sammo Hung Kam-Bo
Billy Chan
Lung Chan
Ti-Hong Cheung
Fat Chung
Sammo Hung Kam-Bo
Ching-Ying Lam
Chau Sang Lau
Suet-Moi Leung
Po Tai
Siu-Ming To
Dick Wei
Case ?
RPI $29.95 Music None Given

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Cantonese Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Bold Cheung (Sammo Hung) claims not to be scared of anything and is reputed to be the bravest man in the village. When he discovers his wife has been cheating on him, he does not suspect that the other man is Master Tam (Huang Ha), his boss and a local political leader. But Master Tam decides that now that Cheung knows that his wife is being unfaithful, he needs to get rid of him rather than risk political or physical harm if and when Cheung finds out who the other man is. He engages the services of wizard Chin Hoi (Peter Chan Lung) who has a minion (Wu Ma) make a bet that Cheung will not stay overnight in an old temple.

    Well, Cheung can't resist a dare and agrees to stay in the temple, despite being unaware that he is targeted for death at the hands of the animated dead. Choi (Chung Faat), another wizard of the same school as Chin Hoi, helps Cheung stay alive with instructions as to what to do at various times during the night.

    Cheung then spends most of the night trying to avoid a painful death at the hands of a corpse reanimated with the spirit of Chin Hoi. While he succeeds, in his dazed state in the morning he unwittingly accepts another bet to stay in the same temple again.

    It was inevitable after the success of Jackie Chan's kung fu comedies that the humorous treatment of other genres would follow, and this must have been one of the first, if not the first, kung fu horror comedies. While director/star Sammo's pacing is a bit slow at times this is a funny, exciting and even occasionally spooky film. Sammo not only has to battle with hopping corpses but hapless cops as well. The latter are led by an inspector played by Lam Ching Ying, who would later gain fame as the one-eyebrow priest in the Mr Vampire movies, as well as in a long-running TV series. In this movie his eyebrows do not meet and he plays a somewhat less sympathetic character, trying to arrest Cheung for the apparent murder of his wife.

    Sammo is in fine form throughout, fighting corpses with his excellent martial arts skills in between demonstrating his comedic talent. He is ably supported by a fine cast of familiar faces. Some though might find a few sequences distasteful, for example when a live chicken is sacrificed on-screen. Also, the very last shots of the film might seem a bit over-the-top for a Western audience. However, the rest of the movie is good-natured and entertaining, and this seminal work is well worth seeing.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


    The film is presented in the original 2.35:1 aspect ratio and is 16x9 enhanced.

    This appears to be one of the Hong Kong Legends company's earlier efforts in remastering an older film to DVD, and unfortunately it does not look quite as good as their later work. When faces are shown in close-up the image is acceptably sharp and detailed. However, backgrounds lack detail and sometimes look fuzzy and indistinct.

    Contrast levels are good and I noticed no problems with shadow detail. The colour seems to have the red boosting that is typical of this company, but it does not create any significant problems. Flesh tones seem a little off though as a result. I would have preferred the green tint that was generally used in Hong Kong cinemas in this period.

    Low level noise and grain are both very noticeable in this transfer. There is also some motion blurring. There is very little in the way of film artefacts, with some faint scratches visible on rare occasions.

    Optional English subtitles are provided. For the most part these are clear and easy to read, in a good sized white font. However there was one instance where the subtitles flashed on screen for a fraction of a second and could not be read, at 24:45. It has also been pointed out that Sammo's character should be subtitled as "Courageous Cheung" rather than "Bold Cheung", and Cantonese speakers have criticised the subtitles on this disc as not always being correctly translated.

    This is an RSDL-formatted disc with the layer change poorly placed at 83:51 during the middle of a scene.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    A disappointing audio transfer, in Cantonese Dolby Digital 2.0.

    The audio is very strident with plenty of distortion in the upper range. While you do get accustomed to it after a while, I have heard mono soundtracks from the 1930s that had better fidelity than this. The soundtrack appears to be mono; there is certainly no surround encoding. Dialogue seems to come across clearly and while the entire soundtrack has been looped, audio sync is not distracting. Possibly this comes from reading the subtitles while the actors speak.

    The music is very good and complements the action well. It sounds at times like a score from a Hammer film but with its tongue firmly planted in its cheek.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    Not the best set of extras that Hong Kong Legends have produced.

Main Menu Introduction

    An animated lead-in to the main menu with images from the movie.

Menu Animation & Audio

    The menu is animated with scenes from the movie, and has some spooky music rather than the usual generic Hong Kong Legends music.

Audio Commentary-Bey Logan (Hong Kong Cinema Expert)

    The usual breathless and encyclopaedic commentary from Bey Logan. I have heard a couple of the stories before, but there is a wealth of background information to the movie here and this is well worth listening to.


    A number of production stills in this gallery, which for once has the photos taking up almost the entire screen. Even so there is really not much value to this sort of thing. Behind the scenes stills would have been more interesting, though there may be none available.

Biographies-Cast-Sammo Hung (Animated Showcase)(20:04)

    A narrated biography of the star with scenes from several of his films, though the latter is of a size that if you are watching on a small television you may not see much.

Theatrical Trailers (4:05)

    The usual two trailers, one being a DVD trailer and the other an original theatrical release trailer.

Featurette-Restoration Featurette (18:24)

    This sounded promising, but it turns out to be a promotional featurette for Hong Kong Legends and does not cover the restoration of this film. There are short bits on video restoration and audio remixing, plus subtitling and the creation of extra material. Nothing of any depth or great interest here.

Interviews-Cast-Sammo Hung (12:54)

    I seem to have seen this interview on another Hong Kong Legends release. Rather than discussing this film, Sammo just gives a rundown on his career.

Trailer-Hong Kong Legends (9:01)

    Trailers for other releases from this label, being Skinny Tiger, Fatty Dragon, The Postman Strikes Back, Moon Warriors, Crime Story and Scorpion King.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 4 seems to be the same as the UK Region 2, apart from having different trailers for other releases.

    There have been two Region 1 releases. The earlier one from Tai Seng is not 16x9 enhanced and has only some production notes as extras. The recent release from Fox is 16x9 enhanced, and features soundtracks in mono, Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1. Reports of the video and audio quality are very favourable, but apart from two trailers there are no extras.

    The Region 3 release from Deltamac is also 16x9 enhanced and the disc features Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtracks. Reports indicate that the video and audio quality are good but the subtitles are poor in terms of grammar and spelling. There is another release from Mega Star which is reported to be of good quality, though not up to the level of the Region 4. Neither appear to have much in the way of extra material.

    In terms of extras, the Region 4/Region 2 seems to be the best release. I would like to have seen a comparison between the video quality of this transfer and the new Fox Region 1, as there are some issues with the Region 4.


    This is an excellent movie. Not perfect, but it certainly rates highly in this genre.

    The video quality is good but problematic in several respects.

    The audio quality is below average.

    The extras package is average.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Philip Sawyer (Bio available.)
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony 86CM Trinitron Wega KVHR36M31. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player, Dolby Digital, dts and DVD-Audio. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationSony TA-DA9000ES
SpeakersMain: Tannoy Revolution R3; Centre: Tannoy Sensys DCC; Rear: Richter Harlequin; Subwoofer: Richter Thor Mk IV

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