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Hong Kong Horror Cinema$
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Gary Bettinson and Daniel Martin

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474424592

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474424592.001.0001

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From Killer Snakes to Taxi Hunters: Hong Kong Horror in an Exploitation Context

From Killer Snakes to Taxi Hunters: Hong Kong Horror in an Exploitation Context

(p.52) Chapter 3 From Killer Snakes to Taxi Hunters: Hong Kong Horror in an Exploitation Context
Hong Kong Horror Cinema

Andy Willis

Edinburgh University Press

From the Shaw Brothers production line to the clones of Bruce Lee, Hong Kong cinema has long been seen as driven by raw commercial concerns. Like many other commercial film industries, most notably Hollywood, production in the Hong Kong film industry has also been focused on popular cycles of production. These have included phases when family melodramas, historical swordplay and kung-fu films, screwball comedies and triad based crime films have all proved successful at the domestic and regional box-office. As with other commercially focused film industries there has also been a low budget sector within Hong Kong industry. Here producers and directors have fashioned energetic, populist films that were designed to appeal to audiences’ desire for films that contained sex and violence. The horror genre seemed the perfect vehicle to satiate these needs. This chapter explores the work of filmmakers who worked at this rougher end of Hong Kong horror in the 80s and 90s. As well as placing them into this exploitation context of production, this chapter discusses their excessive content and the visual style employed by directors such as Kuei Chih-hung (Killer Snakes, Hex) and Herman Yau (The Untold Story, Ebola Syndrome) to deliver their exploitative content.

Keywords:   Exploitation cinema, Category III, Herman Yau, Kuei Chih-hung

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