Issue #298         HOME          Contact Us        BACK ISSUES         January 23rd, 2006

Hex vs Witchcraft
(1980; Shaw Brothers)

Cantonese: Che dau che
Mandarin: Xie dou xie
English: Evil vs Evil


  RATING: 5/10


Following the success of HEX (issue #237), director Kuei Chih-hung helmed this unrelated follow-up that contains horror elements, but is a much more conventional effort in terms of both the humor and the storyline. Comedian James Yee Lui (FOXBAT) stars as compulsive gambler Cai Tou, whose incredible streak of bad luck in everything from mahjong to poker leads him to desperate ends. He even agrees to get his wife drunk, so that she will sleep with casino owner Brother Nine (Chan Shen) as a way of getting his debt cancelled. When this goes disastrously wrong, Tou is ordered to kill himself within 24 hours or face a much nastier death in 48 at the hands of Brother Nine’s men. Shortly after botching the third attempt to do himself in, Tou runs across a bag of jewels and a strange old man with an exceedingly curious proposal: if Tou will marry the ghost of his daughter, Liu Ah-cui, (who was raped and murdered by gangsters and is doomed to wander the spirit world for all eternity as she was unattached), he will get a million dollar flat and a huge cash bonus. Naturally, Tou accepts and is soon flabbergasted to discover that Ah-cui actually exists and is going to use her powers to hold him to his marriage vows.

James Yee Lui James Yee Lui

Much of the humor here is local in nature, including commercial parodies and gambling references that will not mean much to Western viewers. There are a few inspired ideas (Ah-cui possesses the body of a beautiful stewardess so that her hubby can have a corporeal being to help him satisfy his sexual needs) and quite a bit of nudity, but also a lot of brash, repetitive slapstick involving Ah-cui possessing various people and Tou having to deal with several other obnoxious characters. The titular battle finally occurs during the climax, which mixes gambling and the supernatural together in clever fashion, before the film peters out with a quick and predictable wrap-up.

Chan Shen James Yee Lui


This Hong Kong release features an immaculate anamorphic transfer, with especially stark colors. Both the Cantonese and Mandarin tracks have been left in the original mono and are clean, if a bit thin. The regular supplements are included (promo spots, two photo galleries, and four talent bios). The PAL converted presentation has not been formatted for progressive scan displays.


This DVD is available at:

Images in this review courtesy of Intercontinental Video Ltd. To read captions, hover mouse over image.

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- Hong Kong Release

NTSC – Region 3 Only

Intercontinental Video Ltd #102134

Dolby Digital 2.0

Post-synced Cantonese and Mandarin Language

Subtitles (Optional): English, Traditional Chinese, Malaysian

12 Chapters

16:9 Enhanced (2.35:1)

96 Minutes (at 25 frames-per-second)


- Ontario: R

Quebec: 13+

Singapore: PG (cut)

Contains crude content, nudity, sexual content, and mild horror elements

10 A Masterpiece
9 Excellent
8 Highly Recommended
7 Very Good
6 Recommended
5 Marginal Recommendation
4 Not Recommended
3 Poor
2 Definitely Not Recommended
1 Dreadful