Magic, medicine, cannibalism : the China demon in Hong Kong horror

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Book chapter

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Horror to the extreme : changing boundaries in Asian cinema

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Hong Kong University Press


Applause Pictures, Three: Going Home, Three Extremes: Dumplings, Ghosts, Ghostly Bodies, Aging, Illness, Immortality, Medical Practices


This chapter focuses on two signature horror films from Applause Pictures, Three: Going Home (Peter Chan Ho-sun, 2002) and Three Extremes: Dumplings (Fruit Chan, 2004), and analyzes their new treatments of the transgressive ghosts and ghostly bodies. The mythical and ghostly presence of Chinese migrants is central to the narrative of the two horror films, and yet China is not a wholly negative presence when it comes to problems of survival, competition, and ambition. Here China resurfaces as a desirable alternative to overcome aging, illness, and mortality. However, the Chinese cultural legacy, such as with traditional medical practices, is quickly dissolved and transformed into a monstrous invasion and occupation. Horror, in this regard, displaces the backlash against the market economy's preoccupation with youth, beauty, and fitness.



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Copyright © Hong Kong University Press 2009

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ISBN of the source publication: 9789622099722

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Recommended Citation

Yeh, E. Y.-y., & Ng, N. H.-t. (2009). Magic, medicine, cannibalism: The China demon in Hong Kong horror. In J. Choi, M. Wada-Marciano (Eds.), Horror to the extreme: Changing boundaries in Asian cinema (pp. 145-159). Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.