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Oily Maniac

Hong Kong 1976
produced by
Shaw Brothers
directed by Ho Meng-Hua
starring Li Hsiu-Hsien (= Danny Lee), Lily Li, Chen Ping, Hua Lun, Wang Hsia, Ku Feng, Terry Liu

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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When he defends his coconut oil plant against some crooked businessmen, Ah Ba accidnetly kills a man & is thus sentenced to death. Before dieing he puts his daughter Ah Yue (Chen Ping) in the care of Sheng Yung (Danny Lee), even though this man is disabled due to suffering from polio. To fix that, Ah Ba also lets him in on a family secret he has learned from his father a shaman, but at first Sheng Yung has little use for that, but after Ah Yue rejects him because of his polio, rather willing to face the world & its dangers alone, Sheng Yung grows curious & tries the magic on himself - a magic that causes him into an invulnerable monster with the ability to turn into a blob everytime he covers his body in oil. 

This ability comes in pretty handy when he passes by Ah Yue's house where some gangsters are already getting ready to rape the girl - gangsters he kills. In his monstruous form, he soon becomes famous as the Oily Maniac, but in his human form he is still the crippled weakling Sheng Yung, whose proposal Ah Yue rejects, instead dating Fu Sin, who is in cahoots with the crooked businessmen who killed her father. Such facts are turning Sheng Yung more & more into a woman hater, & he soon starts killing evil women he learns about at Hu's lawfirm he works at, like Miss Lam, a woman that charges men with rape for money, or Miss Yoko, a crooked plastic surgeon. The only person who learns about his double identity (apart from a pimp whom he kills, too) is his co-worker Xiao Ly (Lily Li), who is in love with him, & tells him of a crooked plan to sell off the coconut oil plant & sell off Ah yue into prostitution that is made up by both Mister Hu, the boss of their lawfirm & Ah Yue's lover Fu Sin.

Even though Xiao Ly tries to stop him from taking revenge into his own hands, even warns his prospected victims & spills the beans to the police, Sheng Yung as the Oily Maniac kills all the evildoers, before being killed himself by Xiao Ly - apparently the only one clever enough to know that oil might burn when lit - with a burning torch.


Though based on an old folks tale but mordernized, Oily Maniac has more in common with American pulp-comics about superheroes with a darker twist, like Swamp Thing (also a strong visual resemblence) or The Incredible Hulk, but on a much more misogynous level. 

However, if you're willing to not take the movie & especially its woman-hating tendencies seriously, it's an entertaining sci-fi-horror romp, with no real substance but high trash value.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD