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The elements don't gel, and the skinning is in short supply
Chung Sun, who directed, amongst many other films, the superb "The Sexy Killer" (see review), is unable to make the elements gel in "Human Lanterns" aka "Human Skin Lanterns". Personally, I have always loved the idea of using human skin to make lanterns, so this film was an eagerly awaited one by me. Unfortunately, there's too little skinning and too much martial arts in this. In fact, the skinning scenes (there are two), while well done, feel like they belong in a different movie altogether. This is a strange effort to make a martial arts fantasy and cross it with a Hammer-style horror plot. It doesn't work. That said, "Human Lanterns" is still a sumptuously photographed and designed period piece. The Shaw's certainly spent big on its sets, cast and special effects. It's a shame they didn't focus more on the horror promised in the title. Disappointing horror. Satisfactory period-fu epic.
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