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The Trail (1983) (DVD) (2020 Reprint) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region 3

Ricky Hui (Actor) | Kent Cheng (Actor) | Tanny Tien (Actor) | Xu Xiao Ling (Actor)
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All Editions Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 6 - 6 out of 10 (1)

YesAsia Editorial Description

Director Ronny Yu (The Bride With White Hair} helms The Trail, an early horror-comedy written and produced by Hong Kong master comedian Michael Hui! Two opium smugglers (Kent Cheng and Ricky Hui) pretend to be Taoist corpse wranglers as a way to bypass the authorities. They dress up their followers as hopping zombies, and herd the macabre group past the cops in order to smuggle opium. But when they accidentally get a real corpse mixed in with their fake ones, things get complicated incredibly quick! The corpse was killed by a local aristocrat, and now the undead hopping terror wants his revenge! A unique horror-comedy, The Trail is unlike the usual Hong Kong zombie pictures in that Ronny Yu brings a darkly funny edge to the proceedings. Filled with spooky horror atmosphere and palpable cinematic tension, The Trail is an oft-overlooked horror comedy that compares quite favorably to its more popular cousins in the Mr. Vampire series!

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Technical Information

Product Title: The Trail (1983) (DVD) (2020 Reprint) (Hong Kong Version) 追鬼七雄 (1983) (DVD) (2020再版) (香港版) 追鬼七雄 (1983) (DVD) (2020再版) (香港版) The Trail (1983) (DVD) (2020 Reprint) (Hong Kong Version) The Trail (1983) (DVD) (2020 Reprint) (Hong Kong Version)
Artist Name(s): Ricky Hui (Actor) | Kent Cheng (Actor) | Tanny Tien (Actor) | Xu Xiao Ling (Actor) | Anthony Chan (Actor) | Walter Cho (Actor) | For Sing (Actor) | Miao Tian (Actor) 許 冠英 (Actor) | 鄭則仕 (Actor) | 恬妮 (Actor) | 徐小玲 (Actor) | 陳友 (Actor) | 曹達華 (Actor) | 火星 (Actor) | 苗天 (Actor) 许 冠英 (Actor) | 郑则仕 (Actor) | 恬妮 (Actor) | 徐小玲 (Actor) | 陈友 (Actor) | 曹达华 (Actor) | 火星 (Actor) | 苗天 (Actor) 許冠英 (リッキー・ホイ) (Actor) | 鄭則仕(ケント・チェン) (Actor) | タニー・ティエン (Actor) | Xu Xiao Ling (Actor) | 陳友(アンソニー・チャン) (Actor) | 曹達華(チョウ・ダッワー)  (Actor) | 火星(マース) (Actor) | ミャオ・ティエン (Actor) Ricky Hui (Actor) | Kent Cheng (Actor) | Tanny Tien (Actor) | Xu Xiao Ling (Actor) | Anthony Chan (Actor) | Walter Cho (Actor) | For Sing (Actor) | Miao Tian (Actor)
Director: Ronny Yu 于仁泰 于仁泰 于仁泰(ロニー・ユー) Ronny Yu
Producer: Michael Hui | Raymond Chow 許冠文 | 鄒文懷 许冠文 | 邹文怀 許冠文(マイケル・ホイ) | 鄒文懷(レイモンド・チョウ) Michael Hui | Raymond Chow
Writer: Michael Hui | Ronny Yu 許冠文 | 于仁泰 许冠文 | 于仁泰 許冠文(マイケル・ホイ) | 于仁泰(ロニー・ユー) Michael Hui | Ronny Yu
Release Date: 2020-02-28
Language: Cantonese, Mandarin
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese
Place of Origin: Hong Kong
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Widescreen Anamorphic: Yes
Sound Information: Dolby Digital 5.1
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: 3 - South East Asia (including Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan) What is it?
Duration: 91 (mins)
Publisher: Panorama (HK)
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1088039091

Product Information

出品人 鄒文懷
監製 / 編劇 許冠文

導演 / 編劇 于仁泰

許冠英 鄭則仕 恬 妮 徐小玲

苗天 鍾發 陳友 火星

財主苗老爺托以趕屍為名實為運送鴉片的冒牌趕屍隊,把一具不明男屍帶走,但隊員排長(鄭則仕 飾)及阿英(許冠英 飾)不欲阻礙行程,誤將男屍弄丟了在硫磺池裡,男屍化為怪屍。後來,有村民不明被殺,隊員發現乃怪屍所為,成員逐一遇害,必有冤情。苗老爺隱瞞怪屍死於其手,怪屍亦狂性大發,誓把苗老爺及生還者殺光!
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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "The Trail (1983) (DVD) (2020 Reprint) (Hong Kong Version)"

August 21, 2008

This professional review refers to The Trail (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)
The Trail is an early film from Hong Kong helmer Ronny Yu, best remembered for his classic The Bride with White Hair and who would later go on to underwhelm horror fans with Freddy vs. Jason before finding form again with Jet Li's Fearless. Originally released back in 1983 during the height of the ghost boom inspired by Sammo Hung's Spooky Encounters the film is a ghoulish treat that provides a showcase for the director's energetic talents. Despite a handful of modern trappings, including a rather shamefully stolen soundtrack, it offers an incredibly atmospheric slice of Taoist themed horror in the fine tradition of Mr Vampire rich with morbid mysticism and stunning visuals.

The plot begins as a young man is murdered whilst trying to protect his wife from the advances of a sleazy landlord, being drowned in an aquarium for his troubles. Trying to cover up his crime, the killer leaves the corpse with two priests, Captain (played by the wonderful Hong Kong character actor Kent Cheng, star of numerous category III classics such as Run and Kill and who recently returned to the screen in Run Papa Run and his sidekick Ying (Ricky Hui, also in cult favourite Mr. Vampire), who guide the recently dead to their places of rest in the usual hopping corpse style. It transpires that the two are actually part of a gang of incompetent opium smugglers, and their bumbling results in the corpse being lost in the depths of a swamp. However, it soon arises as a vengeful zombie, who sets about murdering the smugglers and all who cross its vengeful path, leaving it up to the rascally priests to try to stop its rampage.

Amusingly, the first thing that some viewers will note about The Trail is the music playing over the opening credits, which just happens to be a bad keyboard rendition of Ennio Morricone's score for The Thing released the same year. Fortunately, this blatant plagiarism is soon forgotten as Yu's excellent visual style kicks in with some ominous opening shots that nicely establish the film's supernatural theme. The film as a whole is filled with creepy locations, including a shadowy cobweb strewn forest and a crumbling temple, all of which are exploited to their full potential for maximum scares. Yu shoots these with a shrewd eye for their isolation, evoking a strong John Carpenter influence, which works well to generate an unsettling, otherworldly atmosphere. This is nicely fused with the director's own more kinetic Hong Kong style, and without relying too much on the tried and tested methods of green neon and dry ice, he manages to imbue almost every frame with a truly sinister feel. As a result, the proceedings are generally chilling throughout in a pleasingly old fashioned manner.

Compared with many of its genre peers from the time, the film is remarkably coherent, and although it does contain a fair amount of wacky weirdness, the plot progresses in a vaguely logical fashion, with the narrative basically following the deeds of the zombie. There is a nice attention to detail involving Taoist rituals regarding the dead and traditional magic, and these function quite nicely as part of the plot rather than being simply thrown in as an excuse for set pieces, as is so often the case.

The film as a whole is gruesome without being overtly gory, and there are only a few splashes of blood, mainly during the opening and closes stages. There are a handful of special effects scenes scattered throughout, including some excellent slimy makeup for the zombie. Yu relies more upon imaginative stalking scenes than sudden frights to keep the viewers on the edge of their seats, and in this he succeeds, as the film is entertaining and engaging, managing to hold the interest through its relatively short running time. This is helped by the fact that he does include a fair amount of action, including a handful of martial arts scenes, though the film as a whole is far more deliberately paced than most of his later efforts.

Thankfully, the usual broad streak of odd slapstick humour, which mars and dilutes the effectiveness of so many genre efforts from Hong Kong, is kept to a minimum. There are a few gag scenes, though these are generally amicable, mainly due to the considerable charisma of Cheng and Hui, who turn in very likeable performances as the priests. As a result, the film can be taken reasonably seriously and as a genuine genre entry, more so than other efforts of the period. The only unnecessary scenes comes in the form of a rather bizarre tacked on ending which appears to be an attempt to spoof The Exorcist and which seems to belong in another film entirely.

These scenes notwithstanding, The Trail is an excellent example of Hong Kong horror, which compares favourably to the vast majority of more modern genre efforts, despite being more than 30 years old. Drenched with creepy atmospherics, and benefiting hugely from the director's visual distinctive visual style, this is a film which deserves to be rediscovered, not only by those curious to see Yu's early works, but by horror fans in general.

by James Mudge -

This original content has been created by or licensed to, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of

Customer Review of "The Trail (1983) (DVD) (2020 Reprint) (Hong Kong Version)"

Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: Customer Review Rated Bad 6 - 6 out of 10 (1)

Kevin Kennedy
See all my reviews

December 6, 2009

This customer review refers to The Trail (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)
1 people found this review helpful

Watch it for Ricky Customer Review Rated Bad 6 - 6 out of 10
I remember seeing this film over a decade ago on the TV in my Hong Kong hotel room and thinking, "What the heck is this?!?" Seeing it again on this murky DVD, my reaction is much the same. A gang of drug smugglers posing as monks end up battling a 'creature from the sulfurous lagoon'. This terrible creature used to be the erhu-playing husband of a pretty singer; a local warlord killed the husband when he wanted to have his way with the singer. The husband's body inadvertently is dumped in a sulfurous spring by the drug smugglers only to reemerge as a gruesome, nearly indestructible zombie bent on destroying the warlord and anyone and everything that gets in its way. Why the drug smugglers choose to battle this creature are unclear to me, but they get picked off one by one until only Captain (Kent Cheng) and Ying (Ricky Hui) remain.

Cheng's attempts to play a plus-sized ladies' man produce lots of laughs and Ricky Hui, as the Captain's right hand man and constant fall guy, is a walking, talking sight gag. His Buster Keaton-ish hangdog expression is priceless. The film's attempts at horror are undercut by the cheesy, low-budget special effects, so the funny works better than the scary. And the story still doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Nonetheless, I can recommend "The Trail" for Ricky Hui's hilarious performance.
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