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Tales From The Dark Part 1 ("Mi Li Ye")

Canadian Premiere
  • Hong Kong
  • 2013
  • 114 mins
  • DCP
  • Mandarin
  • English (subtitles)

Following the Asian tradition of releasing horror movies in the summer, TALES FROM THE DARK — the biggest horror omnibus film Hong Kong audiences have ever seen — comes out in two parts that straddle July, the month of the hungry ghost festival: part one arrives on July 4, while part two lands on August 1. Each part contains three short films adapted from the works of writer Lilian Lee, probably Hong Kong’s most famous author, who has written over 100 books including ROUGE (1987), GREEN SNAKE (1993), FAREWELL MY CONCUBINE (1993), and DUMPLINGS (2004). She wrote a series of horror stories called “Tales from the Dark” for a weekly magazine, and they were so popular that they spawned a series of novels. These three horror movies are adapted from those stories.

The three shorts in Part One are helmed by some of Hong Kong’s best directors. Fruit Chan, the man behind DUMPLINGS (2004) and MADE IN HONG KONG (1997), is Hong Kong’s most stylistically innovative directors. He was taking the film world by storm until he directed his masterpiece, DUMPLINGS, one of the most disturbing horror movies ever made — and then vanished. Think of this as his comeback film. Lee Chi-ngai, one of the heavyweights behind the massively successful UFO production company in the 1990s is also on hand for one of the segments. Between 1991 and 1996 he was responsible for a wave of comedies, but before he became the master of feel-good box office hits, he directed VENGEANCE IS MINE (1988) one of the grubbiest, most upsetting rape-revenge movies from Hong Kong. And joining them is award-winning actor Simon Yam, who also stars in his own segment, making his directorial debut.

Backing up the directors is a fistful of Hong Kong talent including the great Tony Leung Ka-fai, Kelly Chen of INFERNAL AFFAIRS, Shaw Brothers actress Susan Shaw (GALLANTS), the city’s reigning queen of sex, Dada Chan (Popping Candy in VULGARIA), the legendary Josephine Siao Fong-fong, Johnnie To regular Lam Suet, and many, many more. A triple-barreled blast of pure old-school Hong Kong entertainment, TALES FROM THE DARK is here this summer to scratch at your door and crawl in your windows.

— New York Asian Film Festival