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November 13th, 2000 Issue #27

Hong Kong Digital is a recurring series of movie reviews by John Charles -- a film reviewer for Video Watchdog magazine and the author of The Hong Kong Filmography.


NOTE: In this installment of Hong Kong Digital, the review for DEVIL'S WOMAN has been excerpted from The Hong Kong Filmography. Information about the DVD edition, written specifically for Hong Kong Digital, follows.

Devil's Woman
(1996; Extra Film): 5/10

Cover art courtesy Universe.

Naam yeung dai yat cheh gong

Nan yang di yi xie jiang

South Seas First Evil Spell

Cinematographer: Paul Yip Pak-ying
Art Director: Ring Law Chi-keung
Music: Not Original
Writers: Philip Cheng Chi-tai, Ring Law Chi-keung
Producers: Eddie Wong Hon-wah, Otto Chan Ah-to
Action Director: Ng Cheung-pang
Director: Otto Chan Ah-to
Elvis Tsui Kam-kong (Lam Kwok-kong), Marianne Chan Miu-ying (Dr. Mary Fu Wai-lun), Cammy Choi Mei-lan (May), Ben Ng Ngai-cheung (Tsui Kam-lung), Ivy Leung Si-man (Cheung Si-man), Helena Law Lan (Si-man's Grandmother), Chan Kwok-bong (SDU Officer Bong)
VHS: Tai Seng
Import LD/VCD: Universe
94 minutes

Elvis Tsui Kam-kong. Image courtesy Universe.

A follow-up of sorts to The Eternal Evil of Asia, this Category III cheapie is not as amusingly demented but still offers plenty of exploitation elements to hold one's attention. Following a disastrous rescue mission (during which a pregnant woman was shot in the back at such close range that her fetus blasted out and hit him), SDU officer Lam begins seeing sexy psychiatrist Dr. Mary Fu in order to deal with the nightmarish visions he has been experiencing.

Marianne Chan Miu-ying. Image courtesy Universe.

Meanwhile, in a desperate quest for fame, struggling actress May allows herself to become the murderous puppet of an evil sorcerer (Ben Ng, essentially reprising his role from the earlier film) who is able to control her through a weird spider venom potion he introduces into her system. After May gruesomely dispatches a doctor and his nurse, Lam and his assistant, Si-man, are assigned to investigate. Things get hairy when the wizard places a sex curse on Lam, leaving him in a perpetual state of heat and wanting to attack everything female in sight. With information provided by Si-man's spiritually enlightened grandmother, Lam is able to deduce that Mary is next victim on the killer's list. Her rare birth date of February 29th corresponds with that of the sorcerer's late wife, and the necromancer plans on introducing her soul into Mary's body.

Ben Ng Ngai-cheung. Image courtesy Universe.

Along the way we are treated to such sights as death by poisoned fingernails, a rampaging killer cat (which is later stuffed into a microwave with predictably explosive results), flesh-eating zombies pulling victims down into the bowels of Hell, a group of benevolent ghost children (who play with a red ball, shown bouncing down a staircase a la Mario Bava's Kill, Baby...Kill!), and a decent serving of softcore eroticism.

Cammy Choi Mei-lan. Image courtesy Universe.

DVD Specs:

Universe #5338
Dolby Digital Mono (2.0)
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Permanent Chinese and English Subtitles
8 Chapters Illustrated in the Menu With Clips
Letterboxed (1.75:1)
Coded for ALL Regions
Category III
94 Minutes

DVD menu courtesy Universe.

In the time since I originally wrote the above review, DEVIL'S WOMAN has also been released on DVD as part of Universe's budget line. Colors are good but the picture is soft and very hazy, with some heavy artifacting in spots; the audio is okay. There are no extras, not even a trailer, so if you already own the movie on LD or VHS, stick with them as the DVD is inferior to both. It is slightly preferable to a VCD but not all that much, even with the low price tag.

Ben Ng and Ivy Leung Si-Man. Image courtesy Universe.

Copyright © John Charles 2000. All Rights Reserved.

Hong Kong Digital is presented in association with Hong Kong Entertainment News In Review