23 February 2005 | alecwest
It's all in the eye of the beholder.
To me, this sequel was superior to the original film. There's less action but it was more 'cerebral' ... focusing on Taoist mysticism. Also, it wasn't presented in a slapstick manner. While comedic moments exist throughout the film, the overall tone was more serious. And, the spooky characters (ghosts, ghouls, etc.) were far more believable in the sequel than in the original film. However, though I enjoyed this film more than the original, I rated it 5 out of 10 due to production glitches.
First, the film IS available on VHS from the domestic (US) releasing company, Tai Seng Video (www.taiseng.com) in NTSC VHS format. Note, though, that their exact title on file is "Encounter Of The Spooky Kind II" with no 's' character after 'Encounter'. The site also has a cover photo of the tape box. However, unlike the original film's widescreen presence, the sequel is pan/scan. Further, the subtitling was atrocious in parts ... putting the English words below the viewable area on most TVs or actually cutting off parts of words on the left/right sides of the screen. In the original film, subtitles were below the active letterbox frame but well within the viewable area. Also, the people who subtitled the sequel obviously didn't speak English as well as the people who subtitled the original film. Example from the sequel when Abao, a friend, and their Master confront angry wild dogs:
Abao: Master, how do we get through them?
Master: We _snick_ our way through.
There are a number of other examples but I won't go into them. Still, if you can overlook those problems, I think you'll find the film enjoyable overall.