Ten Things I Learned While Watching Asian Horror

The following is an interested list that I found in "Sex and Zen & A Bullet in the Head" by Stefan Hammond and Mike Wilkins" Click on the title and go purchase this excellent book on Asian cinema, especially Asian horror. I would definitely recommend this book for all.

When watching Asian horror, you will recognize some interesting differences from other forms of horror. Here is funny list of what you should expect is Asian horror.

1."Fierce ghost and vampires can be subdued by affixing Taoist charms --writing in red ink on yellow paper--to their foreheads. But the temptation to play with these immobilized ghoulies(push them, insult them, et) is completely irresistible and completely unadvised...

2. ...Because if taunted or belittled a subdued ghoul, the chances that the charmed paper will come off--restoring the monster's lethality--are 100 percent.

3. Witches' heads just won't stay on. If they're not getting accidentally chopped off in battle, they're purposely being shucked with a neck-toss. In either case, witch opponents get preoccupied with the disembodied heads, which fly around howling and trying to bite. But you also can't ignore the headless body, which always hops up and gets into a fight!

4. Humans have yang: energy; the undead are yin-,heavy. Since human men have more yang energy than human women, they are a prime target for the seductive powers of female ghost. Whether the ghost's motives are noble or duplicitous, this kind of love never ever works out. As a Taoist priest put it in The Glow Swallow, "There's no love between man and ghost, Sonny".

5. Born under a bad sign? Stars crossed in your horoscope? Sorcerers and Taoist priests shrug their shoulders; they can predict your fate, but can't change it. Even if you started out as the hero of the film, if the geomancer says trouble ahead, you better stock up on incense and Hell Bank Notes, because you are done for.

6. When the exorcist asks for sticky rice, he damn well means sticky rice. Sticky rice is the active ingredient in poltergeist poultices. Regular rice is a spurious(and dangerous) substitute, often sneaked into the rice bag by the dishonest salesman because it's cheaper. The consequences can be dire.

7. The Chinese word for the number four sounds like the word for "death". So don't count on finding any room number four in a Honk Kong hospitals or dining at a restaurant called the Four Seasons! On the other hands, the number eight is considered quite lucky, and you'll spot it everywhere, from billboards to personalized license plates.

8. If your pet fish die, expect trouble.

9. Ghoul Knowledge:

a)Ghouls can't see humans, but they can spot them by smelling their breath. If you hold your breath, you are invisible to a vampire. But he will put his blue face about an inch from your nose and sniff furiously!

b)The undead hope (or glide) only in straight lines along the floor. This is why Chinese Temple often have a threshold you must step over, or why pawnshops have a screen directly in front of the entrance. Many a terrified humans has received a reprieve when the vampire chasing them simply couldn't hop a log or high curb.

c)Chinese child-vampires are children first, and vampires second. Human children recognize this, befriend them, and shield them from meddling adults.

10. No monster is ever really finally dead until it explodes."

(Taken from Sex and Zen & A Bullet in the Head by Hammond and Wilkins)

1996 Stefan Hammond and Mike Wilkins.

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