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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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Performing (Comic) Abjection in the Hong Kong Ghost Story

Performing (Comic) Abjection in the Hong Kong Ghost Story

(p.97) Chapter 6 Performing (Comic) Abjection in the Hong Kong Ghost Story
Hong Kong Horror Cinema

Felicia Chan

Edinburgh University Press

Horror films in Hong Kong cinema have eschewed terror in favour of comedy, where supernatural beings take the form of hopping vampires, wandering spirits and underworld demons rendered in latex masks and movie slime. This chapter explores the comic presentation of these subjects in Hong Kong horror, where the self-reflexive exposure of the cinematic machinery of costume and special effects appear to put it at odds with the spectral affectivity of the Hong Kong ghost story. This chapter returns to two classic films from the mid-1980s, A Chinese Ghost Story (Tsui Hark 1987) and Rouge (Stanley Kwan 1988), films from the ‘second wave’ period long noted to carry ‘Hong Kong’ as a subject of concern in the run up to the British handover of 1997, and revisits their historical positioning in the light of more recent post-1997 incarnations such as Visible Secret (Ann Hui 2001), My Left Eye Sees Ghosts (Johnnie To 2002), and Rigor Mortis (Juno Mak 2013).

Keywords:   Abjection, Comedy, ghost story, Hong Kong, horror film, self-reflexivity, supernatural, spectral affectivity

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