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Encounters Of The Spooky Kind

Updated on October 31, 2012

Sammo Hung's classic Hong Kong movie in the action horror genre!

Starring and directed by action movie legend Sammo Hung Kam Bo, with additional action sequences by Hung Ga Ban, it was Encounters of the Spooky Kind that almost single handedly reinvented the action-horror genre in Hong Kong cinema. Released simply as Spooky Encounters in the US, it is also sometimes entitled Close Encounters of the Spooky Kind, which obviously makes a far more blatant, if entirely misleading, reference to the 1977 sci-fi masterpiece - Close Encounters of the Third Kind. You may even find it listed under one of its Hong Kong titles Gui da gui or Gwai Ckui Gwai, whilst in France it's better known as L' Exorciste Chinois.

Whatever name the film goes by, however, it's hard to believe that it is now almost thirty years old, having first been released in December 1980...in fact it pre-dates the hopping vampires of that other cult classic Mr Vampire by several years. (Fans of the Mr Vampire series enjoy seeing Lam Ching Ling in the role of a local law man in this film).

This is one of my personal favourite Hong Kong movies and is a must for fans of Hong Kong action films and its supernatural or, rather, spooky sub-genre of Jiang shi.

Encounters Of The Spooky Kind - Original Movie Trailer

Focus on Sammo Hung - Hong Kong actor, martial artist, producer and director

Spooky Encounters movie poster
Spooky Encounters movie poster

Click here to buy Encounters of the Spooky Kind movie poster

The multi-talented Sammo Hung (born 7 January, 1952) is not only an actor, but also a film producer and director who has worked on numerous martial arts films, choreographing fight scenes in Hong Kong action movies. You will have probably seen him fighting opposite Bruce Lee in the early exhibition bout scenes in Enter the Dragon, as well as along side Jackie Chan and Yuen Biao, his fellow Peking Opera 'brothers', in Project A, Wheels on Meals and Dragons Forever.

The success of Encounters of the Spooky Kind is down to the fact that it delivers on several levels and crosses different genres, with the immensely talented Sammo Hung holding it all together. For horror fans there are some genuinely creepy moments with numerous revived zombies and vampires; Hung's comic timing is spot on as usual - the scene in which a zombie mimics his every move is almost Chaplin-esque; and the martial arts scenes, of course, are stunning.

The over-sized Sammo Hung may not look like an obvious choice as a Kung Fu maestro yet in spite of his physique his display of martial arts skills in the very long closing battle scene in which he is possessed by a series of Chinese deities is breathtaking - his possession by the monkey god in particular stands out as a demonstration of Hung's sheer acting and physical ability.

Spooky Encounters - The US edition of the DVD

Encounters of the Spooky Kind on eBay - Check out these auctions for Cantonese versions with English subtitles

If you're a cinema purist like me you'll probably prefer to watch Encounters of the Spooky Kind in its original language - Cantonese.

Remember to check whether they have English subtitles or not (unless, of course, you speak fluent Cantonese)!

The Hong Kong Legends - look for the HKL logo - release includes an extensive English language interview with Sammo Hung, a restoration featurette, an excellent audio commentary by Bey Logan and is presented in the original Cantonese with remastered English subtitles.

Did you enjoy this lens? Please leave a comment before you go!

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    • PamKeesey profile image

      PamKeesey 7 years ago

      Great lens! I've added it as a Featured Lens to my Chinese Hopping Vampire lens.

    • Deborah Swain profile image
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      Deborah Swain 7 years ago from Rome, Italy

      @GrowWear: what an honour...thanks!

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      GrowWear 7 years ago

      Congratulations for winning in the Top Lenses from the Back to Basics Challenge for Encounters Of The Spooky Kind!

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 7 years ago from USA

      Fun lens!

    • CastleRoyLisa profile image

      Lisa 7 years ago from Rhode Island

      I hadn't seen this movie, I watched the clip for the year it was made the effects are really good great work on the lens.

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 7 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      I'm not familiar with this movie or actor but you did an excellent job with the 5 modules! :)

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      happynutritionist 7 years ago

      I'm not familiar with this actor or the movie, so this was an education for me:-) ~claudia

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 7 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I haven't seen Encounters of the Spooky Kind but Close Encounters of the Third Kind is one of my favorite movies.

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      GrowWear 7 years ago

      Yep. It was a spooky encounter. :) ...Never heard of Encounters Of The Spooky Kind.