"...cheap-looking and tacky, even for 1970’s Hong Kong film standards."
- Mighty Peking Man
The Obsessed (1975)
Director: Mak Pang Chin
Cast: Nora Miao, Ko Keung, Kwan Sang, Ho Lai Lai
Running Time: 90 min.
Plot: See review below.
MIGHTY PEKING MAN'S REVIEW: A newlywed couple’s (Kwan Sang and Nora Miao) relationship turns into a nightmare when they start to witness paranormal activity. A “spiritualist” (Ko Keung) is hired to investigate the strange phenomenon, and discovers a deep, dark secret within the marriage that’s bringing back a vengeful spirit.
The Obsessed (I have no idea why it’s titled this) is cheap-looking and tacky, even for 1970’s Hong Kong film standards. I imagine the cost of this film was as low budget as a Philippine-produced Godfrey Ho flick; probably worse, since barely any stunts or fight choreography were involved. There are some special effects, but let’s not go there.
It’s supposed to be a horror movie, but it’s not scary or creepy at all. It’s actually unintentionally funny in every possible way. It’s one of those “so bad, it’s good” movies, so if you think of it that way, it will entertain you.
Maybe I should give this film more credit. After all, it predates similar Hollywood films like The Amityville Horror (1979) and Poltergeist (1982), which were both very successful around the world. But then again, it’s not like The Obsessed was the first film of this kind.
If there’s a legitimate saving grace, it’s the presence of Nora Miao. We’re so used to seeing her as a sword-wielding heroine, or Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan’s strong co-star, but never as a helpless woman who’s having some marital problems and serious issues with ghosts. Also, where else would we get to see her make out with a guy (in this case, Kwan Sang) and scream her ass off?
It’s very important to keep in mind that the version I saw was a pan & scan, poorly dubbed, Ocean Shores english-language version. I’m sure this has a lot to do with why it came across as bad as it did. If I saw it in its original Chinese language, I’m sure it could be taken much more serious.
MIGHTY PEKING MAN'S REVIEW: 4/10