The Gambling Ghost
The Gambling Ghost, or Hong fu qi tian, is an action comedy film that is based in the famous city of Hong Kong in Asia. The film follows the lives of three different generations of the Kau family, namely Fatty, his father and his grandfather.
The Gambling Ghost features 90 minutes of running time and, while it does speak of the dangers involved with irresponsible gambling, it does so in a comical manner.
Cast & Crew
The Gambling Ghost was directed by Clifton Ko and produced by both Ko and Sammo Hung. Clifton Ko is a Hong Kong film director, whose list of expertise extends into acting, producing and scriptwriting.
Sammo Hung is not only the producer in this comedy action film, but also the lead who plays Fatty, Fatty’s father and even Fatty’s grandfather. Also widely talented, Sammo Hung is an actor, a martial artist, a film producer and director, but is most famously known for his contribution to martial arts films and has been a fight choreographer for the internationally-known actor, Jackie Chan.
Although 3 of the characters are played by Hung, The Gambling Ghost has a large cast credited, including Nina Li Chi as Miss Lily, Mang Hoi who plays Hoi Siu-Hon and James Wong playing the rich brother Dragon. Others include Teddy Yip Wing-Cho playing the role of Yau Mo-Leung (Kau’s Partner), Wu Ma as Uncle Ng and Corey Yuen playing the gambler Wah.
The Gambling Ghost
The film focuses on a young man, Fatty, who is considered to be a bit of a loser due to his mediocre job and lack of a more landed class. Fatty is a parking attendant at a hotel, making little money and squandering most of it with his close friend Hoi Siu-Hon.
Fatty lives with his dad, played by the same character, who often compares him to his late grandfather – a man who loved to gamble. Fatty and his friend Hoi Siu-Hon continue to gamble irresponsibly and look to assume wealth by enforcing a scam with the help of Miss Lily.
The thoughtless actions of the young men winds up putting them in a world of danger, when Hoi Siu-Hon is kidnapped by an exceptionally feared organized-crime group. Eventually, Fatty gets to a point where he realises that he has hit rock bottom and subsequently ends up resurrecting the spirit of his dead grandfather.
Fatty looks to his grandfather for help in gambling in order to win enough to pay the ransom and save his friend from the triads. Nonetheless, things are never simple in the world of gambling and a vengeful grandfather reveals he was actually murdered, and needs Fatty to avenge his death by killing the man who betrayed him years before.
The actor who played Hoi Siu-Hon in The Gambling Ghost, Mang Hoi not only worked as Hung’s co-star but the film’s action director as well.
Viewers who have watched the Hong Kong film God of Gamblers, will notice the parody in the opening scene of The Gambling Ghost.
Release & Reception
Released on the 2 March in 1991, The Gambling Ghost made 7 729 690 Hong Kong dollars in Box Office and was rated 3 out of 5 stars on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb).