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Tales from the Dark 1 (2013) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Blu-ray Region A

Simon Yam (Actor, Director) | Kelly Chen (Actor) | Tony Leung Ka Fai (Actor) | Siu Yam Yam (Actor)
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YesAsia Editorial Description

Based on writer Lilian Lee's best-selling novels, the two-part Tales from the Dark series revitalizes Hong Kong's horror movie genre. Featuring a star-studded cast, the first half of the series, Tales from the Dark 1, comprises three short stories put together by three different directors. Actor-turned-director Simon Yam's directorial debut opens the omnibus, followed by Lee Chi Ngai (Magic Kitchen) and Fruit Chan (Dumplings Three...Extremes).

In "Dirty Goods," Simon Yam plays a down-and-out middle-aged man who resorts to stealing ashes from the graveyard and asking for a ransom from the departed's loved ones. Lee Chi Ngai's "A Word in the Palm" tells a tragic story of an illicit teacher-student relationship. A fortune-teller (Kelly Chen) joins hands with a feng shui master (Tony Leung Ka Fai) to help the schoolgirl's vengeful spirit who knocks on his door for help on his last day of business. Fruit Chan's finale "Jingzhe" depicts a night when three strange customers visit an old lady (Siu Yam Yam) for "villain hitting" demon-exorcising services.

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Technical Information

Product Title: Tales from the Dark 1 (2013) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) 迷離夜 (2013) (Blu-ray) (香港版) 迷离夜 (2013) (Blu-ray) (香港版) 迷離夜 (2013) (Blu-ray) (香港版) Tales from the Dark 1 (2013) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version)
Also known as: 李碧華鬼魅系列:迷離夜 李碧华鬼魅系列:迷离夜
Artist Name(s): Simon Yam (Actor) | Kelly Chen (Actor) | Tony Leung Ka Fai (Actor) | Siu Yam Yam (Actor) | Lo Hoi Pang (Actor) | Josephine Koo (Actor) | Maggie Shiu (Actor) | Felix Lok (Actor) | Lam Suet (Actor) | Yuen Qiu (Actor) | Dada Chan (Actor) | Cherry Ngan (Actor) | Jeannie Chan (Actor) | Lilian Lee | Lee Chi Ngai | Fruit Chan 任達華 (Actor) | 陳慧琳 (Actor) | 梁 家輝 (Actor) | 邵音音 (Actor) | 盧海鵬 (Actor) | 顧美華 (Actor) | 邵美琪 (Actor) | 駱應鈞 (Actor) | 林雪 (Actor) | 元 秋 (Actor) | 陳靜 (DaDa) (Actor) | 顏 卓靈 (Actor) | 陳 瀅 (Actor) | 李 碧華 | 李志毅 | 陳果 任达华 (Actor) | 陈慧琳 (Actor) | 梁 家辉 (Actor) | 邵音音 (Actor) | 卢海鹏 (Actor) | 顾美华 (Actor) | 邵美琪 (Actor) | 骆应钧 (Actor) | 林雪 (Actor) | 元 秋 (Actor) | 陈静 (DaDa) (Actor) | 颜 卓灵 (Actor) | 陈 滢 (Actor) | 李 碧华 | 李志毅 | 陳果 任達華 (サイモン・ヤム) (Actor) | 陳慧琳(ケリー・チャン) (Actor) | 梁家輝 (レオン・カーファイ) (Actor) | 邵音音(シウ・ヤムヤム) (Actor) | 廬海鵬(ロー・ホイパン) (Actor) | 顧美華(ジョセフィーヌ・クー) (Actor) | 邵美琪 (マギー・シウ) (Actor) | Felix Lok (Actor) | 林雪(ラム・シュー) (Actor) | ユン・チウ (Actor) | Dada Chan (Actor) | 顏卓靈(チェリー・ガン) (Actor) | Jeannie Chan (Actor) | 李碧華(リー・ピーホァ) | リー・チーガイ | 陳果(フルーツ・チャン) 임 달화 (Actor) | 진혜림 (Actor) | Tony Leung Ka Fai (Actor) | Siu Yam Yam (Actor) | Lo Hoi Pang (Actor) | Josephine Koo (Actor) | Maggie Shiu (Actor) | Felix Lok (Actor) | Lam Suet (Actor) | Yuen Qiu (Actor) | Dada Chan (Actor) | Cherry Ngan (Actor) | Jeannie Chan (Actor) | Lilian Lee | Lee Chi Ngai | Fruit Chan
Director: Simon Yam | Lee Chi Ngai | Fruit Chan 任達華 | 李志毅 | 陳果 任达华 | 李志毅 | 陳果 任達華 (サイモン・ヤム) | リー・チーガイ | 陳果(フルーツ・チャン) 임 달화 | Lee Chi Ngai | Fruit Chan
Blu-ray Region Code: A - Americas (North, Central and South except French Guiana), Korea, Japan, South East Asia (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) What is it?
Release Date: 2013-09-11
Language: Cantonese
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese
Place of Origin: Hong Kong
Picture Format: [HD] High Definition What is it?
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
Sound Information: Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby TrueHD
Disc Format(s): Blu-ray
Screen Resolution: 1080p (1920 x 1080 progressive scan)
Video Codecs: AVC (MPEG-4 Part 10)
Rating: IIB
Publisher: Edko Films Ltd. (HK)
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1034023366

Product Information

* Special Features:
- Teaser
- Trailer
- Making of
- Photo Gallery

Director: Yam Tat Wah, Lee Chi Ngai, Chan Gor

The project of TALES FROM THE DARK was initiated as a result of the recent commercial and critical success of a string of local productions.

By assembling six remarkable Hong Kong filmmakers, each of them well crafted and diversified with their own style, it brings viewers to a uniquely mystical realm of wickedness. Adapting from the horror novel series by best-selling author Lilian Lee, it delivers audience six different dimensions of horror.

Without constraint on its subject matter, TALES FROM THE DARK puts your sanity to the ultimate test.
Additional Information may be provided by the manufacturer, supplier, or a third party, and may be in its original language

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This film has received 1 award nomination(s). All Award-Winning Asian Films

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Tales from the Dark 1 (2013) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version)"

September 9, 2013

Horror films return to Hong Kong – and hey, now they're classy. At least, that's what Edko Films is pushing with their Tales From the Dark duology, two horror omnibus films offering three short stories each. The credits certainly signal class. All the stories are based on the work of author Lilian Lee, whose writings have inspired Farewell My Concubine and Green Snake, among other films. The Tales From the Dark duology also boasts noted if not acclaimed directors, with the first film listing Lee Chi-Ngai (Lost and Found) and Fruit Chan (Made in Hong Kong) as segment directors. The third director is Simon Yam, who's better known as that guy who appeared in Dr. Lamb and Election. Yam knows a thing or two about acting scary, so calling upon him to direct himself, Maggie Siu, Yuen Qiu and Lam Suet seems like an inspired idea. At the very least, the Yamster's acting is guaranteed to entertain.

It does, though not enough to lift Yam's segment to notable heights. In "Stolen Goods", Yam plays Kwan, a low-income laborer whose temper and general unpleasantness cause him constant unemployment. Grousing about his inability to pay for his food and lodgings, Kwan decides to steal cremation urns from their resting places and ransom them for money. Obviously, this won't end well. Yam tells "Stolen Goods" with minimum exposition and plenty of ominous atmosphere, creating minor suspense but not much else. This is a suitably creepy yarn that's decently developed, with details that may resonate with Hong Kongers who recognize Kwan's particular hardships. Unfortunately the segment is rather one-note, and lacks the rising suspense or richer details to drive it to an affecting close. There are no surprises in the acting; Yam is convincingly disturbed and slovenly, and even takes a moment to briefly dance "Gangnam Style". That may actually be the scariest moment of "Stolen Goods".

"A Word in the Palm" is also not very scary, and that's not the worst thing about it. Lee Chi-Ngai scripts and directs this disappointing tale of fortune teller Master Ho (Tony Leung Ka-Fai), who investigates a mystery involving a teenage ghost (Cherry Ngan) who's haunting her former swim teacher. "Word in the Palm" has its creepy moments but they play second fiddle to the sight of Tony Leung bantering endlessly with Kelly Chen, who plays Ho's colleague Sis Lan, a New Age crystal seller with a loopy demeanor that marks her as an obvious shyster. Chen's acting is barely sitcom worthy, and she isn't helped by Lee's talky script, which explains its attempts at horror and pathos with almost startling banality. There's also an extra storyline about Ho wishing to give up fortune telling to please his estranged wife (Eileen Tung), but it generates only minor interest. One of the original creative forces behind seminal 90s film studio UFO, Lee Chi-Ngai has seen better days.

Fruit Chan rights the ship with the third segment "Jing Zhe". Siu Yam-Yam stars as Chu, who makes a living performing Da Siu Yan or "Villain Hitting", a folk sorcery where a person curses their client's "villains" by repeatedly hitting human-shaped papers with a shoe. The practice is akin to exorcising demons, and is frequently performed on Jing Zhe, a particular period of the lunar calendar and the inspiration for the segment's title. Chan's segment provides initial dark and also satirical laughs, as Chu performs Da Siu Yan for two customers (Josephine Koo and Lo Hoi-Pang). The tale turns, however, when a young woman ghost (Dada Chen) shows up to request Chu's service, leading to the slow realization that very bad things will soon happen. "Jing Zhe" is not very scary either, but the script is smart and Chan sharply creates the sort of tension and audience expectation that can carry whole films. Long absent from Hong Kong Cinema, Fruit Chan shows he's still got it and then some.

This isn't the first time Fruit Chan has adapted Lilian Lee for the screen; his 2004 effort Dumplings was also based on Lee's stories, and brilliantly realized its genre aspirations through effective and unsettling human horror. "Jing Zhe" approaches but does not reach that rarefied air. Perhaps the omnibus format limits the ability to dig deep into Lee's stories, but nothing in "Jing Zhe" – or the whole of the film, actually – can match Chan's sublime work in Dumplings. Nevertheless, "Jing Zhe" is still worthy stuff, and a fine way to send off what's otherwise an average but well-produced entry into Hong Kong's horror genre. Tech credits excel; production design and cinematography capture Hong Kong in an embellished but still recognizable light, and Kenji Kawai's score hits the appropriate notes. Those positives will certainly be represented in Tales From the Dark 2, except it'll be Lawrence Lau, Teddy Robin and Gordon Chan's turn to attempt some classy horror. Considering the highs and lows seen in Tales From the Dark 1, that goal is very reachable.

by Kozo -

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