The Three Headed Monster (Taiwan 1988)

Rating: *
Review Date: 7/14/12
Cast: Cynthia Khan

An embarrassingly awful Taiwanese fantasy film featuring a young Cynthia Khan in a leopard print cavegirl dress. The film starts off with a young boy named Hsiaoming chasing after a hopping ginseng, and falling to his death after receiving a poisonous snake bite. Feeling guilty, the 1000 year old Ginseng King shows up and revives the boy, but one of his whiskers breaks off which brings a Nazi zombie vampire back to life as well. That's right, a Hitler loving corpse in an Asian fantasy period film. That makes about as much sense as anything else, I suppose. Anyway, the zombie kills Hsiaoming's mother, which forces him to seek out Ginseng King for help. After consulting with the two giants, Magic Eyes and Magic Ears, he heads to the devil mountains where the Three Headed Monster lives. Hsiaoli (Cynthia Khan) has captured Ginseng King for the Three Headed Monster in exchange for her mother's life, who has been locked up in the dungeon for the last twelve years. Eventually, Hsiaoming and Hsiaoli team up to battle the monster, with confusing results.

I was under the impression that this was Cynthia Khan's debut film, but it looks like she made "Split Of The Spirit" (1987) a year before. Regardless, she's impishly cute and delightful to watch, but her action scenes are woefully pathetic. Sloppy choreography and drop-frame editing ruin the fight scenes, and the entire production looks and feels like a low budget kids movie. The sets look cheap, the makeup is terrible, the editing is poor, and the visual effects are laughably bad. The humor is forced and juvenile, and made worse by goofy acting and lots of evil laughter. Pretty awful on all accounts and difficult to watch. For Cynthia Khan completists only.