Picture Of A Nymph (1988)

Directed by
A decent knock-off of A Chinese Ghost Story
Reviewed by Simon on 2024-04-11

An abandoned infant is adopted by a passing Taoist Ghostbuster. One night he takes shelter in the house of a hapless scholar and accidentally burns it down, so the scholar follows his not-exactly-saviour home. A little later, a ghostly Joey Wang takes refuge in one of the scholar's paintings to hide from a big bad ghost.

Wu Ma clearly had fun making A Chinese Ghost Story as he basically reprises the role here, along with most of the style and structure of Ching Siu-Tung's ground-breaking work. There are a few twists that make it interesting - I liked the commitment to Yuen Biao's muteness at the start of the film, and the affable relationship between Biao and Lawrence Ng. Other than that, you can basically predict what is going to happen.

Still, the world would be a better place if more films decided to basically copy A CHINESE GHOST STORY, and whilst this is a less accomplished film it does contain all the necessary ingredients, and serves them up competently and efficiently - namely billowing silk, graceful wirework, grotesque puppets and weird Taoist raps.