# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
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Demoness From Thousand Years (1991) Directed by: Jeng Wing-Chiu

Flying fairy Yun Yuk Yi (Joey Wong) and her assistant Siu Yi (Gloria Yip) battle against Evil (Meg Lam) as she's killed their master. In the aftermath of this particular battle, Yun Yuk Yi is along with her opponent transported to the modern era. Here she meets and shacks up with womanizing cop Mambo (Jacky Cheung) but love is soon in the air as well as more magic battles...

A pre-credits sequence set in the supernatural netherworld gives the impression that few out of the crew and cast have their heart invested in this film. With one hand creating wirework and animation, the other quickly gets busy being craaaaazy and wacky once we switch settings. To more than an unbearable degree, director Jeng Wing-Chiu gives us clownish triads and pretty much retarded cops around the character of Mambo. All while Jeng tries to play up this nonsense comedy stylistically also but there's no talent to add sparks to this choice. When Hsiao Ho enters as the spirit master destined to provide answers about how you battle Evil, you at least get a worthwhile cartoon side to Demoness From Thousand Years... literally. Often calling upon the King Of Hell for advice, that being is manifested as a wonderfully insane looking cartoon character. It adds a little dedication to the proceedings and the Zu: Warriors From The Magic Mountain style ending contains better action directing by Hsiao Ho. But as yet another love story about man and spirit plays out, Demoness From Thousand Years early and forever seals its fate as an emulation of other emulations. Also with Andy Hui, Fennie Yuen and Ku Feng.

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The Demon's Baby (1998) Directed by: Kant Leung

Mix a little bit of Night Of The Living Dead with not so subtle nods to Alien an you have this Wong Jing produced b-movie. Now, I'm a fan of hokey movies, preferably those from Hong Kong that manages to be very energetic and creative on modest budgets. The Demon's Baby should've come out at least 4 years earlier though because then, this is my feeling anyway, the filmmakers could've made sure that the audience would've had a good time at least. Instead, in 1998, the film has virtually no spark or fun. The quote unquote horror happens quite late in the film and while there's plenty of imagery to win us over with, it's clear that no one really had it in them to assault the audience like a director would've earlier in the 90s. The cast look lifeless but Anthony Wong's cameo is fun for the moment. Too bad the movie wasn't just that.

As a sidenote, The Demon's Baby actually could've benefited from the Wong Jing humour but it seems, in 1998 anyway, that he was trying to produce straight, serious movies. In this case, it doesn't really work and another example is A Chinese Torture Chamber Story II produced the same year.

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Desire (1987) Directed by: Ho Fan

Recurring actress in 70s and 80s Taiwan melodrama, Shirley Lui decides to bare it all (yes, that does mean nudity) in this rather ineffective drama. She plays Daisy who has a tendency to be drawn to and draw attention from bad men. Men like Fan who takes her virginity but never goes through on his promise to marry her. Instead, it's off to the next girl. And with another wolf out there to get Daisy, the character of Shek who doesn't consider marriage should stop one from sleeping with others, the marriage to timid Dr. Kong (Jonathan Lee, also a composer on the likes of Princess D) doesn't signal safety for Daisy. Desire screws with you, both males and females. Something which is the strongest thought in Ho Fan's direction as Daisy naturally feels guilt and believes fate has dealt her this hand. But intelligence stops there as the idiotic characters of the piece, the horny males, becomes increasingly sillier as they portray desire on a deeper level. All culminating in a car race. Oh boy. I think Shirley Lui deserved a little bit better and genuine artist Ho Fan (mainly in Yu Pui Tsuen) nearly desperately tries to make visual art of his smut. Doesn't quite work outside of the period arena. Released as The Lock of Hearts on Ocean Shores laserdisc.

The Desperados (1980) Directed by: Directed by Wong Hei-Dak

The desperate plight of the literally poor Mainland Chinese immigrants gets a spotlight but the crude dramatic treatment here makes one appreciate Long Arm Of The Law so much more. It's tragic fates galore, led by a pouting Kenny Bee as Cheng who goes through being a prison bitch, being disliked by his relatives and on top if it all, has a girlfriend who has to chose abortion. Uplifting stuff and the reasoning for all this that leads to criminal action is inane and basic. The film contains some raw power in the violent sections but its aim is still to be a valid drama and you don't get anywhere with the sledgehammer making one. The Ocean Shores vcd contains two endings to the film. First the Mandarin dubbed Mainland Chinese one plays out followed by the more immoral and inconclusive (meaning one character gets away) Hong Kong coda. Wong Man, Ho Pak-Kwong and Walter Tso also appear.

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The Desperate Chase (1971) Directed by: Kao Pao-Shu

Jimmy Wang Yu is Lung Tai (or The White Dragon) who's gained a reputation as a top spear fighter. When stopping a bunch of the emperor's henchmen bullying young beggar Ni Chiu (Yau Lung), he finds out Ni Chiu is carrying a namelist of rebels opposing the ruling emperor. Bringing it to its destined owner, it turns out the leading rebel is the son of a fighter Lung Tai disgraced once to the point of suicide. But what matters most? Personal revenge or fighting for the well being of the people? And the troops are closing in...

By female director Kao Pao-Shu comes a surprisingly intelligent genre excursion. Never complicating the drama as The Desperate Chase lives and breathes via its frequent fight scenes, it's nevertheless entirely engrossing the journey's on display. Lung Tai has a chance to break his cycle of violence and make a serious, heroic contribution. A journey carried very well within Jimmy Wang Yu while he also with a spear in his hand never misses a beat in providing trademark/requisite fury. Of note is the terrific finale where Jimmy goes toe to toe with multiple henchmen and elite warriors with sneaky weaponry. The heroism of The Desperate Chase resonates here. That's such an important key. Released in America as Blood Of The Dragon and sporting, for the genre, a well-performed dub job but an awful re-score by Flood. Also with Wang Yu's One-Armed Swordsman co-star Chiao Chiao and Taiwan martial arts cinema token baddie Lung Fei (who's taken down to earth a few notches here).

Desperate Desperados (1984) Directed by: Lousipher Lai

While I know IFD used to make up their credits, this is the flick blessed with the most "creative" thinking in that regard (look at the name of the director above!) and for maybe half a flick, Desperate Desperados (which is just a production IFD provided a dub for) is a goofy dub experience on wheels. After a while it falls and breaks its jaw however. Presumably shot in Taiwan as it stars O Chun-Hung as a veteran police officer and mentor, he dispenses advice to rookie Benny who is in conflict with his elder brother about how to conduct yourself in the name of the law. Lessons will be learnt and blood spilt as the Black Dragon gang case lands on their desks. Straight, basic and totally ordinary, the original flick clearly would never be a standout so IFD decided to dub the hell out of it to at least generate the chuckles. They do in combination with basic story coherency but around the halfway mark ordinary turns incoherent and confusing is not even beginning to describe matters. Not even the most awkward dialogue in the dub can remedy that although I have to say the dubbers occasionally seems to want to match the exaggerated, wacky performers on-screen... for once.

Detective Dee And The Mystery Of The Phantom Flame (2010, Tsui Hark)

Not that Tsui Hark needs to impress us anymore after setting the tone for special effects in Hong Kong movies with Zu: Warriors From The Magic Mountain and leading a kung-fu revival with Once Upon A Time In China but he’s still working on new content and formulas. And before 2010, the output had not been clicking largely. Producing a grand costume epic here mixed with a rather familiar and relatable murder-mystery story structure should make those not receptive to this chosen style of visual filmmaking more receptive however. With Detective Dee, mostly following it as a mystery and visual spectacle despite distant characters is enough for a good time with commercial filmmaking. There’s plenty of imagination visually, engaging setpieces but there is a tint here of modern style that Tsui Hark isn’t able to make his own. Therefore a good amount isn’t captured well in the cinematography and the heavy reliance on computer imagery paints more of a cartoony picture (the fight with the deers is abysmal looking) than that of transferring the audience to a fantastical world. But despite its running time, Tsui Hark keeps a good pace, there’s enough starpower added, with Andy Lau in the lead, to ease us into the ride it ultimately is but impactful it certainly isn’t. More so than most of the Tsui Hark movies just prior but there’s no new wave in the making here. Also with Carina Lau, Li Bing Bing, Tony Leung Ka-Fai, Deng Shao, Teddy Robin and Richard Ng.

Devil And Angel (1973) Directed by: Lo Lieh

Shaw Brothers star Lo Lieh's directorial debut, Devil And Angel is simplicity itself. Lo Lieh wants revenge on former partners in crime (Wu Ma, Tien Feng, Fong Yau among others) after having served a prison sentence. Bashing and brutality ensues. All with his girlfriend (Grace Tong) by his side. Seemingly shot entirely on locations, the wafer thin and threadbare scenario isn't akin to painful attempt at quality. Lo Lieh gets us in an out quickly (the movie is below 80 minutes) and although some footage at the races, mahjong parlor and various chase footage is padding, Devil And Angel does make its point via mostly hard hitting action with often recognizable, favourite faces quickly in and out as well. Examples of that: Michael Chan, Tai Bo, Billy Chan and Fung Hak-On stop by.

Devil Cat (1992) Directed by: Lee Lung

Sung's, the world's most unlucky family have had their ancestors screwing up to the point where afterworld devils (in the form of cats) go after them, one by one. Is the punishment deserved or is it only 100+ years of grudge that manifests itself too strongly? The problem is, those of us not knowing Chinese never figure out why the Sung's are so heavily targeted as possible answers are left in Chinese only text before our end scroll. Before that, Devil Cat still offers up a fair amount of fun despite having much wrong with it. The desperation to create spooky atmosphere is evident and the filmmakers never reach anything due to their own poor skill but also because of trashy tangents (some completely out of nowhere). It's fun to see how the different Sung's goes out though, be it murdered by the family retard, raped to death by kidnappers no one knows what they're doing in the flick or when climaxing during sex! Overacted, featuring disco dancing and sentimentality during what it thinks is pivotal, emotional moments, mildly paced madness rears its head sometimes in order for the movie to qualify as a sleeper of minor proportions but mostly it rolls by without us taking notice. The usage of the A Better Tomorrow theme does draw attention to itself however, which shows you the level we're at here...when Asian cinema is stealing from itself. Not to be confused with the Alex Fong/Yukari Oshima movie of the same name.

Devil Fetus (1983) Directed by: Lau Hung Chuen

Hong Kong's answer to both Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist, and a lot more fun to than those two combined. Take poor scripting, even poorer special effects (especially the animated ones but Hong Kong weren't exactly the top cinema in terms of SFX), a good chunk of gue, gore and worms, supremely poor English subtitles for most of the film, and you'll get a horror effort strolling nicely along the b-movie lane.

Therefore, those of you who can turn on and off your b-movie sensibilities will get much enjoyment out of this Lo Wei production. It definitely does try to scare, which obviously today in 2004 doesn't register and play everything straight but creates more of a hokey and campy experience because of it. Despite that, I at least didn't find myself looking down on this as Hong Kong cinema will always be admired by me for giving their absolute all, despite how ludicrous the results would be. It's not wise to use the word merit but Devil Fetus has that, in spades, but I'll leave it up to you to find out what that actually means.

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HK Flix.com

Devil Hunters (1989) Directed by: Wong Jan-Yeung

Odd, perhaps symbolic English title aside, Wong Jan-Yeung's first of a streak of action movies that came to include Dreaming The Reality and Angel Terminators II warms up fairly slowly, giving us more quick cut, powerful mayhem than anything else. Dodging bullets in an acrobatic way seems to be the height of creativity here but eventually Wong hits a stride working with action director Chui Fat. The last half hour in particular is virtually non-stop major gunplay, bone breaking stunts, sadistic torture and brutality overall. Aside from Sibelle Hu and Moon Lee performing dependently, Ray Lui and Francis Ng hangs in there admirably. Especially the former appears to handle himself quite well when it comes to fisticuffs. Capping the finale is footage of an actual, ill-timed explosion that got Moon Lee, Sibelle Hu and Ray Lui hospitalized. Michael Chan, Ken Lo and Alex Man also appear.

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