Split Of The Spirit (HK 1987)

Rating: **
Review Date: 2/17/12
Cast: Pauline Wong, Cynthia Khan

An unfaithful bastard murders his clingy girlfriend and has an evil Taoist priest lock her soul away. However, a broken mirror and a chance encounter with dance choreographer Yu Ling (Pauline Wong) allow her spirit to escape and seek revenge. Possessing Yu Ling, the vengeful spirit tracks down and kills those who wronged her, and prepares to take Yu Ling's soul as well. Luckily, a cocky photographer and his spiritualist girlfriend (Cynthia Khan) set out to save her.

Admittedly, the only reason I picked this up was because Cynthia Khan was in it. One of her earlier roles, she plays a nerdy bookworm with huge glasses and doesn't have any action scenes, but she's still utterly adorable. Pauline Wong does a fine job, but isn't charismatic enough to carry the film as its lead. The visual effects and set pieces are entertaining, but suffer from low budget constraints and lack polish and flair. Coming out of the mid 80's, the cinematography is great and features lots of smoke and moody lighting. It also features some horribly unflattering boxy fashions that happened to be popular at the time. Sub-par for a Hong Kong ghost story, but mercifully free of the comedic trappings that dominate most of the genre.