Good morning everyone! Happy dang Friday. Professor Brian O'Blivion from The Cathode Ray Mission talks about a film remembered best for its scenes of puking and... I think some puking.
The Devil AKA Devil's Express (1981)
Director: Jen Chieh Chang
Writer: Pai Sheng Lu
Starring: Hung Lieh Chen, Mei Hua Chen, Shao Tung Chou, Wai Hung Ho, Wen-pin Liu
This is the film where many characters puke up their guts and various critters for what seems like an eternity (Is this Hell?) and some kid named Ding-Dong gets slapped around by half the cast. Is it any good?
Well... how much puking of snakes could I take before it goes from mildly disturbing to enough already. Really darn quick. After the second puke-a-thon I was hitting that fast forward button quicker then Katherine Heigl can star in unfunny romantic comedies. Just like those romantic comedies all the throwing up got real repetitive, real fast. The Devil is no Black Magic or Boxer's Omen. It tries it's darnedest but there's really nothing going on.
The story concerns hunky con-artiest Chao who gets fixed up with a wealthy hotel owner's daughter by the hotel bell boy, Ding-Dong!!! Ding-Dong looks like he's about twelve (Child labor, ain't it a stitch!) and sounds like he was dubbed by that duck in the old Tom and Jerry cartoons. Anyway after a ridiculous romantic montage Chao is married into the family. He starts acting like a dick and causes the hotel owner to die from a heart attack. The girl's cousin goes to his mother, who practices magic and asks her to put a death curse on Chao. You should know that while all this is going on, there's a disfigured woman roaming the forest. She's attacking random guests of the hotel and making them puke up snakes and centipedes. How does she tie into the other story? It's revealed at the film's climax. But it's a bit of a "Yeah, sure. Why not?"
The scenes of the girl in the woods are the best looking scenes in The Devil. Nice and moody. Reminiscent of Black Magic with a touch of the ever popular long haired ghost girl thing happening. Sadly, save for the aforementioned puking and a scene were a girl gets bashed in the head with a rock...there's not much craziness going on. In the Black Magic films, Boxer's Omen or heck Robo Vampire, there's always something insane going down. There's a hints of it here. Like the scene were the girl in the woods flies around whilst fighting one of her victims. But, it's over almost as soon as it began. The dubbing is atrocious as you'd expect and the music...it's groovy.
The Devil is good on a Hong Kong horror double bill with a stronger film. Just be sure to put some paper down on the floor. All that puking could stain something.