Snow Girl and the Dark Crystal: the Adolescence of Contemporary Chinese Fantasy Cinema

The Chinese Lunar calendar doesn’t always match up with ours, and our festivals hardly ever overlap. Whilst the West gets all its gruesome ghosts and ghouls taking centre stage at the end of October, the biggest festival of the dead in China takes place half way through the seventh lunar month. This friday saw the end of Zhong Yuan (or Ghost Month, and to celebrate, here’s a review of 2015’s big fantasy monster movie, released internationally (but not in the UK yet) in August.

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Think of touching comic films about sex and pornography, such as John Cameron Mitchell’s Shortbus or Kevin Smith’s Zac and Miri Make a Porno, and then completely ignore them. Acting out more like a National Lampoon parody, with slightly more donkey sex, Vulgaria is a low budget indie comedy directed by Pang Ho-Cheung (Dream Home, Love in a Puff), starring Chapman To (Infernal Affairs, A Simple Life) and Lam Suet (Vengeance, Exiled, PTU), designed to make you cringe or laugh, depending on quite where your comfort zone lies.

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