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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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The Enduring Cult of The Bride with White Hair: Chivalry and the Monstrous Other in the Hong Kong Fantasy-Horror

The Enduring Cult of The Bride with White Hair: Chivalry and the Monstrous Other in the Hong Kong Fantasy-Horror

Chapter:
(p.64) Chapter 4 The Enduring Cult of The Bride with White Hair: Chivalry and the Monstrous Other in the Hong Kong Fantasy-Horror
Source:
Hong Kong Horror Cinema
Author(s):

Daniel Martin

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474424592.003.0005

The Bride with White Hair (Ronny Yu, 1993) tells the tale of a heroic swordsman’s ill-fated love affair with a woman transformed by hatred into a white-haired killer, elevated the figure of the frosty-follicled executioner into one of the most enduring icons of the Hong Kong horror film. The timelessness and mysticism of the story lends itself to a highly hybridized type of horror, offering wuxia (swordplay), magical fantasy, romance and erotic scintillation alongside bloody fights, savage violence, and a monstrous depiction of malevolent conjoined twins. This chapter examines this film as emblematic of a particular cultural moment in the development of the Hong Kong fantasy-horror, appealing to a global fanbase for its supposedly transgressive and erotic content, and analyses the film in terms of its generic hybridity, its depictions of disability and morality, as well as in the context of the international marketing and reception of cult Hong Kong horror of the 1990s.

Keywords:   Fantasy, Wuxia, disability, film marketing, film reception

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