30 December 2016

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Candle In The Tomb 鬼吹灯之精绝古城 - Episode 3 (Recap)

Posted by SakiVI on December 30, 2016
SakiVI: Bring on the Scary-Funny! It's to warm us up for straight out scariness later, so enjoy it while you can, muahahaha!
kakashi: Even JoAnne admitted she was a bit scared. That means a lot. She's never scared.
JoAnne: I watched all the episodes! I need more!
Trotwood: I wasn't scared at all in this ep, but I was worried--more for our Ying Zi. She's exactly the kind of character that writers make us love and then kill off to show us how dangerous the big bad is in a show.

Episode 3

Sidebar: does anyone else like the penguin in the beginning credits? And yes, I know I started with a sidebar.
Yes, I like penguins in general - but every time I see it, I wonder what it has to do with Tencent, and then I wonder if Tencent is really Ten Cent. I haven't bothered to look it up yet.
Well, Tencent Pictures is a production company and someone there just likes penguins? Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer has a lion, the name wouldn't give that away either
Back to Ying Zi down the robber hole. She twisted her ankle and can't climb up. Bayi climbs down to her and notes that Ying Zi can move her bone, and so she's fine. I think she likes to be touched by him. Who wouldn't. Fatty, on the other hand, falls down the hole like the comic relief he is. Then, he sees the carvings in what looks like a tomb. Fatty is thrilled! He hands Bayi a shovel and Ying Zi a black donkey's hoof. Okay, I hope that donkey was properly dead before they took the hoof. Fatty also has glutinous rice - what for? to get fatter? - and our handsome, gorgeous, delicious mullet-headed Bayi fusses over Fatty, tucking Fatty's pendant into his shirt.
Ying Zi down the robber hole! Jin Dong with a big gun! What will we have as a saying for Fatty?
The donkey's hoof is against evil spirits and I'm kind of glad they have it because I'm already scared. As for glutinous rice, they need provisions!!! Tombs are large and they are much more life-like and not like Fo Ye at al. who go to the middle of the earth and never stop to eat one single time
I warmed to Fatty when he gave YZ the donkey hoof. 
Fatty starts enthusiastically throwing ropes ahead of them to check for traps. Ying Zi is confused (I'd be confused, too, if i were her. She has no idea all the time he spent studying up for this trip. frankly, he doesn't seem the type at first glance--and not because of the curls), and Bayi tells Fatty enough, someone's already been this way, so the traps went off already. Ying Zi asks what they are going in for, and Bayi simply tells her, "outside you protect us, but inside, we protect you." Aw. I bet he was an amazing commander in the army. And his magic charisma has totally worked because Ying Zi is walking fine.
I'm glad you pointed that out. She didn't even fake limp.
He is really deliciously yummy in this, I can't get over how good he looks even with the silly hair.
Are you still alive after seeing him with his new hair in episode 6? 
Our gang sees a spooky open stone door and enter tomb room with a coffin. Ying Zi screams at a mural of some demon. I don't blame her: it was ugly. Bayi notes the other murals depict a battlefield, complete with triumphant victory, calamity, and rank promotion. Ying Zi notes the man buried there was a general.
I loved that she was afraid, but not afraid to show it. This woman is awesome
I wouldn't be afraid now. Fatty got chased by a boar, squeed like a pig, and no one batted an eyelash except to remind him to buckle up his pants. There is a high tolerance for fear in this group.
Off they go into the next room, where some metal shield falls down. Fatty notes the general only has broken pottery and scrap metal, so he must've been poor. They also see the skeleton of the general's horse, probably sacrificed at the burial, poor thing.
I love he's all like "A Dinosaur!" 
Ying Zi asks where the coffin is? I like how she gets right to the point. They search for it, although they also stop to admire a battle mace as one does in ancient tombs. Sidebar: this is a really impressive stone tomb, and I wouldn't mind exploring it myself. Also, wouldn't that dais in the middle possibly be a coffin?
That's what I assumed. I mean what else could it be? I have absolutely no desire to be underground wandering around, thank you. I don't even like basements.
That is a dais, not a coffin. That battle mace looked HUGE. What kind of giant was that dead general?! 
This looked super cool. I'd go with them. I'd probably brought more "warding off evil spirits" stuff though. And doesn't a dais indicate a coffin or a marked burial spot when it's in a tomb since it's usually a spot for a throne when people aren't dead? I didn't understand why they didn't assume this.
Bayi sees stones sticking out oh-so-conveniently, and presses one. Nothing happens, until Fatty goes and presses another. Bayi shouts to him not to, but too late. Right about here I go from 'Fatty's ok' to 'Fatty needs to get as far away from me as possible before I kill him.' I did, too. I was like "Don't touch ANYTHING!" The ceiling is crumbling and acid arrows are flying! Luckily, our gang all fell to the floor on Bayi's command.
Ah, but we need Fatty, JoAnne. Not only as comical relief, but also as the guy who presses things he shouldn't and in general does things he shouldn't. Without him, we wouldn't have a drama.
 
They try to leave, but Fatty falls over a stone animal. Oh dear, something else is moving now! Some stone slabs come apart and a coffin rises from the dais. Our gang are stunned. Fatty smirks, so the mechanism was that stone animal, and the three stand up with the flashlights forming a little light constellation, hee.  
My worry in shows like this is whether people brought extra batteries for the flashlights.
Much like another Fatty, this one is thrilled because all the good things, er, the ones with the greatest archeological value, would be in the coffin. Bayi pulls him back despite his protests. Bayi uses his feng shui compass, and lights a candle. He explains that when humans light a candle, ghosts blow them out. This is a rule left by earlier tomb-robbing generations: first light a candle on the southeast corner of the coffin before opening it. If it stays lit, it's fine to open the coffin. If it goes out, leave fast without taking anything. This, says Bayi coolly, is an unwritten contract between the dead and the living.
I spend quite a lot of time thinking about this but come to no certain conclusions.
I love this. It seems to real! And I wonder whether there really is tomb-raider lore like this. In contrast to the U3 stories, this one seems to believable!
They need to publish a tomb raider lore book to accompany the selling of the dvd of this show. I'd buy it. It could even be fiction and I'd still want to read it. I also love how calm he is when he says this type of information. But now I'm worried about whether they have enough matches for those candles and whether they're in a protected case.
As they wait for the candle, Bayi looks at the finely-made coffin and says the general was a soldier his whole life, so he only ever had money for his coffin. Fatty tells him to shut his inauspicious mouth because there must at least be a fancy antique sword. Guess Bayi doesn't want to wait any longer either, and tells Ying Zi to hold a light for him. She protests, saying they had agreed to leave, but Bayi just gently repeats to hold the flashlight. The two men scrape their shovels around each of the coffin's sides, and then lift the top. Suddenly, their consciences get the better of them, and they check the candle. Still burning, good. As they shift the coffin top, they check again, still burning. And then they look inside. Oh, the body is there with a mask on. Bayi says, "I told you he was poor." Pffft.
I'm thinking poor is relative. His tomb is fancier than most houses.
I agree. There may not be gold, but all this stuff must be worth something! 
Me, too. I kept looking around to see if there was anything they could actually carry out. Anything old might be worth something, and they'd have proof that they found the tomb.
Fatty lifts off the mask, and Ying Zi yells in fear. Yes, well, I would too. I was wondering about the scream. They open a coffin, lift a mask and find . . . a skeleton. No surprise there, people. Fatty starts to apologize to the dead, promising to use the money for the common good and to improve the nation's life for all, ahahahahaha! He goes on to promise to do good deeds and live well (messing with resting places doesn't count as a good deed, dude). But Bayi tells him not to take anything. Um, why are you there, then? Fatty feels the same way, and tells Bayi to sit this one out while he just takes a look.
Fatty's butt is sticking out the coffin, and we see he has grabbed a couple of jade pieces. Damn, Fatty.  They were in the general's hand. But oh noes! the candle went out! ARGH. Fatty says Bayi bought a cheap candle for such an important task, ha! Bayi says, okay, I'll buy American, German or Japanese ones next time, but put the two jade back. Fatty refuses. Ying Zi yells at Fatty to put them back and even puts her hand on her gun, but Fatty is incorrigible, mainly because a girl is telling him to put the jade back. I don't think it matters. He's just a dumbass. Yup, but also he's broke, and he's got money right in hands (lots of it) for the first time in a long time. Bayi finally says he will light the candle again, and if it goes out, then put them back because ancestors, yo. This lets Fatty save face, and he agrees. He at least puts one jade piece back in the meantime. and when the candle stays lit for like 10 seconds, Fatty shoves the jade piece at Ying Zi, saying see, I have more guts! Urgh, this machismo is just annoying.
Damn, I just knew something had to go wrong after this. You don't talk about pacts with the dead and then disregard them!!! 
Ohhhh, this hand creaks out of the coffin. And the candle flame is flickering. The flame's turning green, and Bayi notices. Another hand comes up, and the coffin just explodes!
I wanted green candle light lore here, show.
The gang duck, and when they get up, they see the coffin lid against the doorway, trapping them in. I was pretty impressed by that. They turn and this thing is sitting up. Okay, he's more a Lurch, but still. Ying Zi does the smart thing and runs behind both geges because heck, she's there because of them, and Fatty recites, "All scary things are just paper tigers, all scary things are just paper tigers." Good luck with that, Fatty.
Aren't paper cuts exceptionally painful, Fatty?
Yikes. I don't like dead things that sit up :( I've always imagined the Golem to look like this to be honest
I immediately thought, "We need to run around him to that other opening. Run now because it's going to take a bit for him to get that large body out of the coffin." Really. I thought "we" as if I were in the tomb, too. I even felt mad for a sec that no one was listening to me.
Lurch steps out of the coffin. It's all ragged and looks like it's made of paper, come to think of it, but has these heavy footsteps that shake the tomb's stone slabs. Lurch is definitely more than papier-mâché. Fatty gibbers to Bayi to talk it out with Lurch, but Bayi says Lurch won't understand, so they have to fight or die. Then, Fatty gets all macho and tells Ying Zi to hide while the boys fight. They attack, and Lurch just sends them both flying into the stone walls. Ouch, that has got to hurt. (Also, I notice Fatty has a sword. Where did he get that, anyone?)
Not too sure, was it in the coffin?
No, from the Japanese skeletons before. Lurch (is he a Big Zongzhi?) looks to be made of stone at this point.
He is indeed a Big Zongzhi!! 
Fatty tries again with he sword, and is thrown off. Same for Bayi. Fatty is in major pain, and can't run from Lurch, who is about to stomp on him, when Ying Zi shoots it. I think Lurch's preferred mode of killing is to step on people. Lurch turns to Ying Zi who desperately tries to reload, but Lurch knocks the rifle out of her hand. Fatty rushes to save her, and it looks like they're both going to die, when Bayi throws a shovel at Lurch. When Lurch turns around, Bayi offers the jade back. He puts the jade in the coffin, but Lurch isn't happy. It chases after Bayi who calls for the black donkey's hoof.
I can't wait to see what that does. 
Come on, you big schnook, he put the jade back!!! 
Too little. Too late.
Then, in what has to be the best tomb-robbing scene ever, I love how this shows how close they are. They didn't have to talk; they've done this before (not tomb robbing but this lift up/catapult thing). Fatty makes a boost with his knee, calls to Ying Zi to shine a light on his hand, and Bayi jumps on Fatty's knee and up punch the black donkey's hoof into Lurch's mouth as Ying Zi follows the jump arc with her head. See, I knew Jin Dong was going to punch some undead in this show. Totally satisfying.
I giggled.
It was well done.
Clapping.
Fatty starts kicking the frozen Lurch until Bayi tells him to stop. Lurch is so still! It's weird, really. I think if someone shoved a dead animal foot in my mouth I'd stand there for a minute in shock, too. Fatty thanks Ying Zi for her excellent shot, and gets to moving the coffin top blocking the exit. Oh shoot, Ying Zi sees Lurch move. Dammit! I was actually screaming at them to watch their goddamn backs. They had to know it wouldn't be this easy, right? Lurch just throws the hoof out and starts wrecking havoc. I laughed. This time they run to the back. Oh, there's a door there. And a stone mace. Oh shoot, do they really want to tell Lurch here's a weapon, help yourself and smash us to bits?
As Bayi continues to struggle with the mace, Fatty and Ying Zi hurl all the pottery in the room at Lurch. Lurch just blocks it all because, let's face it, Lurch is awesome. But, finally, finally, finally, Bayi gets the mace into position, and he and Fatty charge it into Lurch's abs. Our heroes fall down too. They charge again, but shoot, Lurch just grabs it, hahahahahaha! Not only are the boys knocked down, but Lurch throws the mace into the opposite wall, and shattering the stone. Okay, who made Lurch? Well, we all knew there had to be something in that tomb to be able to use that mace, right? That's some crazy-level magic there. At any rate, the hole gives the gang a place to run into, and where Lurch can't easily reach them. Lurch lurches along, all determinedly unstoppable, even when Bayi throws a pot at its head, and Lurch even smashes through the wall to be with them all in the next room. Yunno, I'm beginning to think Lurch just needs a friend.
Lonely Lurch wants lunch pals.
You would to think that such an impressive monster was guarding something quite valuable, right? 
Or just to wreak vengeance on anyone disturbing the grave. I'd like that. I'd purposely not be buried with anything valuable, just a giant undead thing that beat people up for bothering my eternal peace AND they'd have done all that work and gotten beaten up for nothing.
The other room turns out to be a passageway and our gang just run. They're not running that fast, though they are faster than some tomb-robbers we have met. Finally, they get to a room with an iron gate leaving Lurch behind. Aww, poor Lurch. Sidebar: what if he tries getting out of the tomb from the other direction? It's not like stone or earth could stop him.
Still, it's quite a ways around. It would buy them time no matter what.
I don't think it's very intelligent. It just goes after whoever disturbs its peace
Anyway, as they continue through this new passage, Ying Zi notices a map. Turns out they are in the Kwantung Army's secret fortress, yay! As our gang notes the exits, they can hear Lurch banging on the metal gate. Fatty wants Jin Dong to find a really big gun to blast this monster to death, but Ying Zi, more respectful and kind, says not to mess with him. I agree with Ying Zi: leave Lurch alone! I agree because they need to be thinking about how to get out of there and protecting themselves against further problems. Bayi tells Ying Zi not to listen to Fatty's nonsense and Fatty is all, I want to talk free, and they move on to the power control room in hopes of a generator. 
So they just built the fortress right on to the tomb?
This is SO Nine Gates! Wow. As for the fortress and the tombs, I'm thinking there are many tombs in these areas. Thus, when you build a large underground fortress, the likelihood to hit a tomb isn't close to zero.
Excellent point.
In the power room, they find some fuel and pour it into the generator. Ying Zi's main role is observer, I guess because she notices some weird light pass by. It looked like a ghost!!!! They get the electricity going - what, the village still doesn't have it, but this decades-old underground fortress does? - and Ying Zi sensibly says they should get out of the place. But Ying Zi still sees something weird. She asks if there would be a child there? Fatty asks if she is going crazy, but Bayi asks if she saw something. See, this is why Bayi leads you, Fatty.
Once they get rid of all the monsters and ghosts and stuff, Bayi and Fatty should encourage the villagers to turn the fortress into their weekend spot. You know, bring the TV, lounge around, maybe hold raves.
I was just thinking of all the great storage space. Do you know how long root vegetables would keep down there?
Damn, dead children ghosts. *cries* 
They enter another, larger room which is filled with big guns and other supplies and weird tracks on the ground. They even find Japanese lunch boxes which can't have stayed edible these 30 odd years, can they? The episode ends with Fatty finding rifles.
In the 80s I was eating C-rations that were packaged in the 70s - it's all pressurized and vacuum-packed so maybe? Sidebar of my own: those are tracks for carts, just embedded in the floor.
Maybe they can offer Lurch some of those lunch boxes? 
I don't think he's hungry; he's just doing a job.

Comments

Phew, finally I can start episode 4!  
Who else felt a bit sorry for Lurch, and wondered if it'd lurch up above ground? Or would sunlight destroy him? Maybe magic mummies like him are the reason for the Yeti legend. For the most part, though, although I was legit scared at the candle blowing out and then green, I found the fights with Lurch pretty funny. 
You haven't seen 4? That explains the silence. Just warning you there's a scene that will bother you a lot.
The whole episode (4) is scary as f***. 3 indeed only got us slightly warm. 
Something I noticed while watching but even more so when doing screencaps is the lighting. My pet peeve in other tomb-robbing shows (*side-eyes O9G*) is the unnatural light down in the tombs. Like eternally burning magical fires! In this show, it's really quite dark and the actors flashlights are absolutely needed to point out details in their surroundings. Of course, in real life, it would be much darker even, but this is as close as they could probably get for us viewers. This creates an atmosphere that was missing from the other shows. It's much creepier and it really feels "real". As if we were down there. I can almost smell the tomb. 
I just like how everyone is dirty but Fatty's curls are forever.

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