Bonkers chop-socky that is part satire of ludicrous Hong Kong supernatural martial arts films, and part brilliant example of how it should be done. A rare wheeze that actually does have something for everyone:
Excellent slapstick comedy - the hero is pompous and fat, not lithe and Jackie Chan-like; getting into daft, self-generated scrapes, he is kicked about by every one, and guards a dead friend who isn't really dead in an hilarious scene that has him fending off curious gold thieves. He is repeatedly buffeted by otherworldly menaces, first his mischievous friend, then Satan's minions, who turn him into a lime-covered bug.
Action - Choreographed with great skill, played mostly for laughs, but there is one sequence - the friend's murder - that is filmed with rare beauty.
Horror - Again, mostly comic, with a remarkable use of somewhat cheap special effects.
Historical costume drama - not very precise, but the costumes and set-design are an immense, guilty, Orientalist pleasure.
Satire - under all the laughs is a serious study of repressive social and gender codes, and the last scene is spectacularly subversive in its implications.
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