Introduction On Racism Epigraphs A History of the Pulps A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Glossary and Character Taxonomy Breakdown by Country of Origin Bibliography Table of Contents The Best of the Encyclopedia
Zhong Kui. Zhong Kui was created by the Chinese creator Wong Toi (Chinese Ghosts, Chinese Zombie) and appeared in the film Zhong Kui Zhuo Gui (1939).
Zhong Kui is an Occult Detective. Zhong Kui is an eccentric “ghost catcher” who makes a living by traveling from town to town and catching bothersome or evil ghosts and demons, such as the Coffin Ghost and the Spirit of the Broom, both of whom had appeared in previous Hong Kong horror films--Zhong Kui Zhuo Gui was Wong Toi’s critique of Hong Kong horror films. Zhong Kui uses his occult knowledge and his magic sword and sack to capture the evil spirits.
* I'm including Zhong Kui Zhuo Gui in the Best of the Encyclopedia list because it's fun and historically important. The fun of the film comes from both the action involving Zhong Kui, who is a source of both comedy and of badass Chinese occult detective ghost catching, and from the way in which Zhong Kui Zhuo Gui uses its characters and villains to critique the contemporary Hong Kong horror film industry. The critique is an informed one, the way it plays out in the film is both entertaining to watch and as cutting and incisive as Wong Toi could make it, and at times the film reaches metafictional levels. Zhong Kui Zhuo Gui can be usefully compared with Scream as film-on-film violence and critique, but Zhong Kui Zhuo Gui is more direct, using named monsters from other horror films, and more effective, since Scream's point was to point out the the cliches of the horror films and Zhong Kui Zhuo Gui's point is to savage them. Recommended.
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