# 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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Devil's Box (1984) Directed by: Tommy Chin

Some boxes with holy incantations on them should never be moved. Director of commercials Tong (Simon Yam) learns this and now he's being hounded by the spirits whose been claimed by the box...

From one-time director Tommy Chin, Devil's Box attempts a little commentary on artistic merit vs. commercial interest in filmmaking but primarily the film wants to be a showcase of atmosphere over gore. Good intentions and Chin staging's rank as fairly eerie at a few select points (most unsettling moments resides in the staircase murder) but at most others the spooky feeling of it all is rather tame. Can't blame a guy for trying very sincerely though, which is very true for Chin's only work.

Devil's Love (1992) Directed by: Wong Paak-Ji & Tin Chan

An alias for Devil's Love on the Hong Kong Movie Database is His Way, Her Way, Their Ways and looking at evidence presented , it might have actually been released with that title with a tinge of the Her Fatal Ways-movies starring Carol Cheng. Because it's more that than the Category III rating suggests but it's still correctly rated that way. Let me explain, a trio of Mainland cops (Wu Ma, Frankie Chan and and Sarah Lee) go to Hong Kong to assist the local cops (Waise Lee and Yukari Oshima) in a case involving female trafficking. The expected differences in working methods, fish out of water gags and mild hilarity ensue. Occasionally we're also treated to a view from inside the smugglers lair where the new arrivals are trained, raped but one of the henchmen take pity on one and plans to take her away. The dual directors have little fame attached to their names respectively and little in Devil's Love changes that fact but some amusing Wu Ma scenes makes the movie memorable. Incredibly naive (not ducking when bullets are fired at him, thinking the toilet brush is a washing brush and that a vibrator is an electric tooth brush), it's the initial sequences of misunderstandings and loathe of the capitalist Hong Kong that works the best. Much peters out after that and exaggerated, clownish characters usually drag the movie into boredom. An amusing time on its own overall, complemented by the nudity that is literally inserted IFD style (and lacking subtitles as well) with no interaction with the main cast whatsoever. One wonders if it even was edited this way originally but it makes for a minor curiosity piece and merely a fair Her Fatal Ways-clone during a few scenes.

The Devil's Mirror (1972) Directed by: Sun Chung

Sun Chung's (Human Lanterns, The Avenging Eagle) debut at Shaw Brothers and a gem finally unearthed when it got a deserved local dvd release in 2006. The Jiuxuan Witch (Lee Ga-Sai) is waging war on the clans of the martial world and is zeroing in on a pair of mirrors needed for her to achieve invincibility. Clans are in need to stand together and find out who's switched sides to work for the witch as well. Simplicity itself shot with an eye for eye popping design (yes the Shaw sets could get stale at times) and the need to thrust forward when you're not saying much. It's all about the delightful mix of the supernatural (the witch gives kidnapped clan members the Corpse Worms Pills that causes extreme skin detoriation) and the numerous, violent action scenes. Whether low or big on characters, action directors Chui Chung-Hok and and Simon Chui provide elite action that ranks above most that came out of the early 70s, the pace (without being undercranked) is furious, the sound design is jarringly loud and the Shaw Brothers blood is spilt generously (to splatter like levels at times). Also with Lau Dan, Wang Hsieh and Cheng Miu.

Devil's Treasure (1973) Directed by: Jeng Cheong-Woh

KENNETH'S REVIEW: Leaving Shaw Brothers behind in classic fashion after directing King Boxer, Korean director Jeng Cheong-Woh turned to Golden Harvest for the remainder of his career, capping it all with Broken Oath in 1977. His Devil's Treasure sees him directing O Chun-Hung as Wang who struggles to make a future for his family to be (containing the most supportive girlfriend in the world, played by Nora Miao). Having dipped into the gangster world a bit, he takes a job that will secure him enough dough but he ends up securing a gold treasure instead. That treasure is on the radar of many and although evading the gangs, 6 years later in family and money-bliss, they turn up again at Wang's countryside home...

What blessing and what curse riches bring ya is asked and while fairly stylish and tense with the welcome addition of different environments in a Hong Kong movie, there's little sense of what makes good pace in Jeng's frame. Endless scenes of chasing at different locations and various theme-dips into morality that could possibly drive loved ones apart just doesn't cut it in the long run. What really feels like a goofy gang in goofy wear chasing the Wang's, Devil's Treasure flashes frames of interest but pretty much is one big problem overall. Sammo Hung (also co-action director) and Whang In-Shik co-stars as part of the gang.

Devil's Vindata (1991) Directed by: Cheung Hoi-Jing

There's a devil to be fought by the likes of Sharla Cheung and Stanley Fung but for two thirds, the script dictates that the characters care little for matters plot related. Magical, naughty hijinxs and in between magicians longing for love, it's a wonder Devil's Vindata (which is the on-screen title. Was obviously meant to be Devil's Vendetta) warrants attention. That director Cheung Hoi-Jing (The Sword Stained With Royal Blood) knows and he gleefully offers up a bunch of off the wall insanity to fun effect. You'll get weird sights such as Billy Lau turned into brown soap just to get a glimpse of female flesh, Stanley Fung possessing actual fine, dry wit for his role and an almost non-stop final act of special effects mayhem (with extravagant attempts at CGI as well). When the film does turn "plot driven" after its assaults, you definitely do not regret having been jerked around. Ngai Jan and Vivian Chow also stars.

Devil's Woman (1996) Directed by: Otto Chan

A connection cast-wise exists between Devil's Woman and The Eternal Evil Of Asia (meaning Elvis Tsui and Ben Ng returning) in addition to their respective Cat III ratings. Calling it some form of sequel seems a bit steep though even though director Otto Chan (Diary Of A Serial Killer) includes another wicked wizard into the mix. Tasty enough with its inclusions of softcore sex, gore and deadly spells, Chan keeps a pace to his proceedings that means it's not this kind of Hong Kong cinema on autopilot but don't mistake it for class reincarnated. Elvis Tsui's psychological problems as a character is very well suited for the rating, leading to rather unwelcome sights of his nether regions and his given direction is really laugh-inducing when designed to be dramatic. Or it's designed as satire or parody, who knows. Also with Marianne Chan, Cammy Choi, Helena Law, Ivy Leung and Benny Chan.

Diamond Hill (2000) Directed by: Soi Cheang

May (Maggie Poon) and her brother (Woody Chan) are separated as young when she is adopted by a family (mother and father are essayed by Carrie Ng and Hui Siu-Hung). However the bond is strong and the two won't be apart for long, even if it means crawling into and living in a confined, dark place the rest of your life...

Soi Cheang (Love Battlefield) occupied himself early on directing Digital Video movies, achieving acclaim for his debut Our Last Day. Diamond Hill represents the step forward as most of the production is shot on film with the DV look being reserved for flashbacks.

The premise is slightly far fetched (as you will find out by watching the film, not just by reading my synopsis) and the low-budget look for a while feels like a hindrance. Soi does grasp the audience quickly, giving us ventures into horror but primarily, a sweet little tale of poignant bonds of love between sister and brother. That's really the only thought that runs through Diamond Hill but it doesn't have to be anything else than that. With quirky touches visually and generally affecting performances, Diamond Hill succeeds (also thanks to composer Tommy Wai and DOP Lam Wah-Chuen's splendid work) in giving us something fresh at almost no cost.

Cheung Tat-Ming co-stars as a thief who shoots all his break-in's on DV and the late Joe Lee briefly appears.

Buy the VCD at:
Yesasia.com

Diary Of A Serial Killer (1995) Directed by: Otto Chan

Otto Chan's true calling became glaringly obvious with this seemingly true life re-telling and his San Francisco set Gates Of Hell the same year. Being interviewed from his prison cell after having killed 14 women, Lau Shu Biu (Chan Kwok-Bong) in voice-over tracks back to his 1992 persona. An intense one that eventually starts murdering prostitutes. His reasoning being that they're now allowed to reincarnate. Still, Lau isn't to be considered a saint as he stuffs dynamite up his victim's privates, plays with them post-death like puppets, cuts off body parts for his scrapbook and has sex with them...again post-death. All taking place in his private loft while the unknowing wife (Farini Cheung) works in the field at their village home every day. The one he couldn't kill as Lau claims is Jade (Strawberry Yeung), a relative of the family who's in Guangzhou to seek out her boyfriend and start a marriage. Lau and Jade strike up an unlikely bond where the fragile, actually kind side of Lau's is allowed to breathe but the urges to kill aren't taking a step back...

Certainly adhering to what Category III aficionados witnessed again and again during the 90s Hong Kong exploitation craze but Chan provides more skill and subtext than one of its closest comparison pieces, the Danny Lee/Billy Tang co-helmed Dr. Lamb. Being quite extraordinary cruel, graphic and with a lead performance where singing, giddy laughing and twitching is key, exaggerated aspect, Otto Chan has more control over his moods. For one the movie attempts and succeeds well with its darkly comical touches. One being that Lau's family almost eats fish caught in the waters where he dumped his first victim and the mentioned dynamite scene wanders the line of cruel and comical in terrific fashion. But it's when putting Chan Kwok-Bong and Strawberry Yeung at center that the dramatic magic happens. Their shared emotional story is a melodramatic but a very effective piece of Diary Of A Serial Killer, maintaining momentum and even poignant beauty all till the end. The couple would register required emotions equally in Chan's Gates Of Hell the same year.

Dirty Ho (1979) Directed by: Lau Kar Leung

Part of what can be perceived as a comedy stretch of films (among those Mad Monkey Kung Fu, Return To The 36th Chamber and My Young Auntie), Lau Kar Leung and Shaw Brother's probably unknowingly made sure that a lot of units were shipped overseas thanks to the English title Dirty Ho. However translating the Chinese title reveals the film as Rotten Head Ho, something that will makes much more sense as you follow Wong Yue and Gordon Lau's adventure together.

While I'm sure countless fans can name 3-4 other movies of Lau's that rank higher than Dirty Ho, it deserves praise and remains very enduring thanks to a sly sense of humour that also carries over to the highlight choreography of the film. Gordon Lau (in one of his coolest roles) takes on Johnny Wang and Wilson Tong in fights concerning civil manners on the top surface but deadly, sneaky confrontation underneath and there's as much meticulous detail in here as in any other great fight in Lau Kar Leung's career. Even the finale, not the most memorable one among Lau's films though, can't overpower these set pieces. Weaknesses exist, tracking back to Wong Yue who is on his own a grating comedy presence but thankfully comes off much better when bouncing off Gordon. Another concept that doesn't flourish is one concerning crippled fighters and a confrontation with a team of fighters either summed up as masochistic or cartoonish goes nowhere. Lo Lieh, Kara Hui, Hsiao Hou and Peter Chan also appear.

Buy the DVD at:
Yesasia.com

Dirty Trick (1982) Directed by: Tse Kwong-Lam

You could blame the fully impenetrable nature of Dirty Trick on the old VHS print but in all honesty, the mix of prison, conman, gambling and action movie with an end reel twist would be abstract even in fully visible form. A cast of notables, some with only a few minutes of screentime includes Lo Lieh, Norman Tsui, Wilson Tong, Chen Kuan-Tai while Wong Goon-Hung and assistant takes on the gambling syndicate. Maybe. No distraction in the form of gritty, bloody action either makes Dirty Trick a thorough dud.

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