The Gambling Ghost Movie – Kung Fu, Money, and a Ghost

    Over the last few decades, gambling movies have become a genre of their own in Hong Kong. Critics argue that nothing represents better the Hong Kong society's aspiration for wealth than gambling films. In this review of the Gambling Ghost movie, we will look at one of the classics that contributed towards the popularity of the genre. First, we will begin by briefly familiarising ourselves with the plot, followed by detailed information on the cast, production, and much more!

In the following chapter of the Gambling Ghost review, we will follow the story of Fatty and his grandpa’s ghost, so you get a general feeling about it. However, we are not going to go into the deepest details as we don’t want to spoil all the fun for you. After we are done with the plot, we will continue as mentioned earlier by discussing the cast, production, and where you can stream the movie.

The Gambling Ghost Movie Review – About the Plot

The Gambling Ghost movie tells the story of Fatty, played by Sammo Hung, who is an unsuccessful gambler. His straight-laced father, who is also played by Sammo Hung, looks at him as a big disappointment which is unable to get his life straight. Anyhow, Fatty works as a valet in a hotel and yearns for sudden wealth. That desire to quickly enrich himself gets him and his co-worker to enter the gambling world.

The climax in the Gambling Ghost appears when Fatty has an intriguing encounter with a gorgeous car thief (Nina Li Chi). Consecutively after that event, the protagonist loses his job, while his gambling friend is captured by gangsters. However, amidst his despair, Fatty is visited by the ghost of his grandfather. The role of the grandfather is also played by Sammo Hung, meaning that the same actor plays different generations of the same family, respectively son, father, and a ghostly grandfather.

During their conversation, the ghost of the grandfather promises Fatty that he will make him rich. However, the grandson must first seek revenge for the old man’s murder. Fatty agrees to the deal, and the elder spirit helps him to win some money from multiple gambling games. And that is how the wild adventure filled with martial art kicks and fists begins. However, if you prefer watching movies that are more focused on gambling rather than throwing some punches around the roulette table, then our Cooler movie review might be just the answer.

The climax of the Gambling Ghost comes when Fatty and the old ghost find the murderer, who, by this point, has become an incredibly powerful boss. In the spirit of the movie, the two sides clash in an epic hand-to-hand combat, breaking many tables and windows. Eventually, Fatty and his crew prevail the numerously superior enemy, and the son of the gangster king ends up killing his father. With the revenge completed, even from an unexpected hand, the gambling ghosts completes his purpose and fades away.

What did The Gambling Ghost Film Critcs Say?

For this chapter of the Gambling Ghost movie review, we dived deep into the critics and users’ feedback. On IMDB, the movie is rated at 5.8, which is not that bad considering that comedy productions tend to get a bit lower rating than, for example, action movies. For instance, Mr. Nice Guy (1997), starring Jackie Chan, is another comedy movie and has a rating of 6.2. In other words, the Gambling Ghost movie has a pretty decent score.

Anyway, critics point out that the Gambling Ghost (1991), like a typical representative of this prolific era of Hong Kong production, has the characterisation to a minimum, while the pace is quick. There are countless places that the characters of the movie visit throughout the scenes, including many outdoor locations. Perhaps, the most reoccurring sets are the father’s shop and the hotel.

Sit back, enjoy, and you will probably have forgotten most of it by morning. It’s 85 minutes of broad comedy and decent action. Nothing more, and nothing less.Ben Stykuc – Asian Movie Pulse

As just presented, the characters lack any depth whatsoever. The main actor, Sammo Hung, plays three different characters but all of them have been compared to “surface sketches”. Moreover, according to the critics, the only depth in the three characters comes from the change of clothes.

The combination of martial arts and the supernatural moments in the movie is seen as an innovative and interesting flavour to the production. However, some are concerned that these aspects have taken too much screen time, while the comedy is left a bit “dry”. The jokes seem to be like fillers, and before you know it, the next scene has begun.

Anyhow, the Sammo Hung production contains some excellent fighting scenes, with outstanding choreography. For instance, the moment when Fatty fights against the thugs on the docks is amazing. Ultimately, the Gambling Ghost is labelled by the critics as “decent at best”, and that is by no means a masterpiece.

The Gambling Ghost Cast & Production

Clifton Ko is the Gambling Ghost movie producer and writer. He graduated from Kwun Tong Maryknoll College in Hong Kong and entered the TV and film industry in the late 70s. Like most of his other major works, he has implemented some of his key motives into the Gambling Ghost. Respectively, making the movie a slapstick comedy with moral teachings, family value, and optimism.

As we mentioned earlier, the main characters of the movie are played by Sammo Hung (the Fatties), Man Hoi (as Man Hoi), Nina Li Chi (as Nina Li), and James Wong (Rich Brother Dragon). What is even more exciting for the fans of the Hong Kong cinematography of the 80s and 90s are all the hidden cameos that are put into the movie. The normal viewer might be unprepared to recognise all of the disguised big stars in the Gambling Ghost cast.

Name: 👻 The Gambling Ghost
Release Date: 📅 2 March 1991
Genres: 🤏 Comedy
Worldwide Box Office: 🌏 $7,729,690.00
Director: 🎥 Clifton Ko
Writers: 📓 Clifton Ko
Stars: ⭐ Sammo Hung, Nina Li Chi, James Wong
Runtime ⏲️ 90 min

The Gambling Ghost film was filmed in Hong Kong and premiered there on 2 March 1991. Furthermore, Clifton Ko’s production has a runtime of 90 minutes and has turned out to be a great hit, generating $7,729,690.00 at the worldwide box office. The comedy was shot at multiple places in and around Hong Kong, thus presenting us with many diverse scenes and sets.

Interesting fact:
The opening scene of the Gambling Ghost (1991) parodies another Hong Kong movie of that time, God of Gamblers (1989)

Watch The Gambling Ghost Movie Online

A comedy classic such as the Gambling Ghost can be found and streamed online at multiple places. However, the most prominent are YouTube and Amazon Prime. Moreover, if you search for the movie on YouTube, you will stumble upon a few full versions, in different languages. Each one of them has a similar quality, which is perhaps typical for the movies of the 90s. If you choose to go with Amazon Prime, you will get a slightly better movie quality and more languages and subtitles to pick from.

YouTube English, Mandarine, Cantonese
Amazon Prime Multiple Languages & Subtitles

What Do We Think About The Gambling Ghost?

The Gambling Ghost (1991) is an iconic slapstick comedy movie, which takes you back to this close yet distant setting of the 90s. Anyhow, the film has great action scenes, some flat jokes, and a mediocre plot. It is not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you are a fan of the old Hong Kong productions, then you will surely enjoy it! Finally, if you are looking to watch more films with chips, cards, and roulettes, you can visit our dedicated page on the best gambling movies on Netflix.

Frequently Asked Questions

We thought that a great way to wrap up the Gambling Ghost review would be to examine some of the most frequently asked questions. Not only that, but we used our gathered data to provide you with some brief answers to the selected question marks.

📙 What is the Gambling Ghost plot?

The Gambling Ghost tells the story of the Hong Kong valet Fatty, who is dreaming of amassing quick riches. He tries to achieve that by gambling which rolls the beginning of the actual plot of the movie. Amid Fatty's despair, he is visited by the ghost of his grandfather, who promises to make him rich if Fatty avenges his death.

🎭 Who is in the Gambling Ghost cast?

As mentioned earlier in our review, the Gambling Ghost cast has many great Hong Kong actors, including Sammo Hung, Man Hoi, Nina Li Chi, James Wong, and others. In addition to that, there are many hidden cameos that only the stark fans of the Hong Kong cinematography will be able to unravel.

💻 Can I watch the Gambling Ghost movie online?

Yes, you surely can watch the Gambling Ghost film online. Despite this production being released in the early 90s, the movie has not remained only available on DVD and tapes. Moreover, you can stream the movie online via Amazon Prime or YouTube, dubbed in many languages like English and Hindi.

🎬 Are there other iconic gambling movies like The Gambling Ghost?

This is perhaps one of the most asked questions in all of gambling cinematography. Fortunately, we answer that there is a long list of great gambling movies that can date from the 70s up to the current times. Whether or not you enjoyed the Gambling Ghost, we are sure that you will love the others.

🍿 Is the Gambling Ghost worth watching ?

Typical to many other comedy movies, there is rarely a single opinion. Some people might love the Gambling Ghost, and others might not. Based on the reviews from the critics, we can conclude that the Hong Kong movie is a rather mediocre comedy, if worth the watch.

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