Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Mo tai (1983)

Devil Fetus is a Hong Kong film directed by Hung Chuen Lau. This is Lau Hung Chuen’s debut film, and boy, what a smashing way to start a career. He was working with a pro, however, as producer Wei Lo produced Fists of Fury (1972) with Bruce Lee, not to be confused with another Wei Lo production, Fist of Fury (1976), with Jackie Chan. The only other little bit of interesting Devil’s Fetus trivia that I know of is that Pak Kwong Ho (Mr. Cheng—who gets crushed by the room) more recently had a bit part in John Fawcett’s Ginger Snaps (2000).

A bargain basement budget doesn't keep the filmmakers from deploying a battery of cheap and sleazy special effects that hurt you. No CGI monster, or fake, latex wound can horrify one's sensibilities as much as a poorly-paid actor chewing on a mouthful of long, squirming, black worms. Tsang Man-wah has so much hate for his ugly antiques that he wants to bludgeon the viewers' eyeballs with gore until they are bruised. The film is littered with gleefully gross setpieces, and half-finished optical effects that indicate what the special effects director was going for, but don't quite get there. The whole thing zips along like a spooky car with a big skull on the front and a horn that plays the TWILIGHT ZONE theme, careening up on the sidewalk and taking out as many pedestrians as possible on its way to drive off a cliff.

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Completely rare, and completely slimy, DEVIL FETUS is a warning to all those who look to fill their apartment up with hip toys and knick knacks, not knowing that those ugly knick knacks may want to mate with them and give birth to...the Devil Fetus.

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