22 February 2010 | BA_Harrison
Too much mahjong!
In order to pay off a massive debt, a gambling addict sells his ancestral home to a young couple, who soon discover that the building is haunted by the vengeful spirits of a murdered family.
I've seen and enjoyed several trashy Shaw Brothers exploitation films in recent weeks (Corpse Mania, House of Bamboo Dolls, Killer Snakes), and judging from Sex Beyond The Grave's wartime prologue, which features both the bloody murder of a man and his young son, and the double rape and subsequent killing of the mother, it looked as though I'd found myself another unmissable deviant treat.
Unfortunately, after this impressively sleazy start, the film moves to the present, where it spends far too long developing its 'unlucky gambler' plot device (I can only take so much mahjong before my eyes start to glaze over), before finally evolving into a fairly entertaining (ie. laughable) Asian clone of Tobe Hooper's Poltergeist, complete with an elderly spiritualist, an attempt to rescue a missing child from 'the other side', a haunted fridge, a possessed puppet, dodgy visual effects, and lots of people being thrown around rooms by unseen forces.
A prolonged routine by an extremely flexible female stripper goes a little way to spice up the dull first half of the film a fraction, and a steamy sex scene in the final act between the gambler and the gorgeous female ghost finally justifies the title, but after the promising first five minutes, I had really hoped this one would be something special. Instead, it gets a distinctly average 5/10.