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The Gingko Bed
  Year: 1996
Han Suk-Kyu and Jin Hee-Kyung
  Director: Kang Je-Gyu
  Cast: Han Suk-Kyu, Jin Hee-Kyung, Shim Hye-Jin, Shin Hyun-June
  The Skinny: (Insert Skinny Here)
  Review:      TA Korean fantasy film from 1996, The Gingko Bed is, like most Hong Kong movies, an uneven blend of many genres. The film tackles horror, romance, science-fiction, and thriller with abandon. Although The Gingko Bed ultimately gives the impression of a bad eighties fantasy movie (think Highlander), it still entertains.
     Su-hyun (Han Suk-Kyu), a geeky art lecturer, spots a creepy, mammoth bed in the garbage outside of his apartment building. Soon, heís dragged the bed to his apartment where it not only emits a creepy vibe, but also gives him terrifying dreams. In an alley across town, a man in black dines on human hearts. Meanwhile, Su-hyunís girlfriend, a doctor, has a patient who dies and is born again, but only after she has already donated his eyes.
     But what does it all mean? Apparently, in his past life, Su-hyun was a court musician who fell in love with a princess (Jin Hee-Kyung) who in turn was loved by evil General Hwang (Shim Hye-Jin). The General has chased Su-hyun through centuries of reincarnations for a drawn-out (to say the least) revenge. The General is also on a quest to own the princessí soul, which now resides in the gingko bed. Meanwhile, the only way the princess can live is by possessing (and thus temporarily killing) human bodies, while Hwang lives by eating human hearts. Cheesiness ensues.
     The acting in The Gingko Bed varies; as General Hwang, Shim Hye-Jin comes across as a parody of all Highlander bad guys, while Jin Hee-Kyung is utterly forgettable as the princess. However, Han Suk-Kyu, South Koreaís premier actor, asserts himself nicely as the baffled art professor. Also of particular note is the opening sequence of The Gingko Bed, a dreamy scene which incorporates gorgeous fx and cinematography. Likewise, the gingko bed itself is a masterful prop, evoking the only genuinely creepy moments of the film.
     Overall, this film is a nice companion piece to Chow Yun-Fat and Brigitte Linís Dream Lovers, another film about reincarnation and true love which handles the topic far more dramatically and effectively. The Gingko Bed is by no means an excellent film, as the shoddiness of the costumes, mostly unsuccesful acting, and mishmash of genres detract from the film. However, if the film is viewed as a silly fantasy flick (in other words: not taken seriously), it is highly amusing. The Gingko Bed is a nice escape from the American blockbuster rehash that is so typical of current Korean cinema (Shiri, Tell Me Something), and offers two hours of interesting, original entertainment. (Gilroy 2002)

DVD (Korea)
Region 0 NTSC
16x9 Anamoprhic Widescreen
Korean Language Track
Removable English subtitles

DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Universe Laser
Full Frame
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Removable English and Chinese subtitles

image courtesy of Copyright ©2002-2017 Ross Chen