Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Honourable Mention: Devil’s Vendetta

This Hoi-Ching Cheung directed film was an action/comedy hailing from Hong Kong and released in 1991. The basic story was set around a devil or demon named Twiggy (Mondi Yau, the Romance of the Vampires) who is cursed by Buddha after tricking a priest into giving his heart (literally) and drinking the blood from it – turning from a male looking, rotting demon to the female-appearing demon we see later in the film.

The demon is ordered not to kill but her plan is to defeat the curse and take over the earth by having a daughter who will join in power with her. The daughter (born from an egg) is Tracy (Vivian Chow) and is unaware of her heritage. Watching over her is Mandy (Man Cheung) who is the leader of an all-female Taoist school, situated next to an all-male school run by Principal You Tse-Nam (Stanley Sui-Fan Fung). Tracy is having to go through an arranged marriage with Liu Chun (Joe Nieh) as intercourse with him (and his special energy due to his birth date) before a given astrological point will dispel the propensity to be evil. Unfortunately he runs away, as he wishes to be a Taoist, and, on hearing this, she runs back to her school.

child kyonsi
So, vampires… Well we have kyonsi – both child ones and an adult one, plus someone pretending to be a vampire. First of all, Chun comes across students from the male school trying to “fish” for vampires (in order to torment them) from a cave, which we know contains vampires because we can see the red glow of their eyes. The leader, Dawn (Billy Lau), forcibly sends one of his gang into the cave on the end of a rope and pulls him out with a child kyonsi on him – which they subdue with the traditional talisman. He then pushes a bigger guy in, who is pulled out with several on him. They then have the kyonsi hop into each other until Tracy comes along and releases them.

acting as a vampire
Later Mandy and Tse-Nam compete to gain control of the other’s school – and the competition is vampires (control of one to play a variant of capture the flag). Mandy summons a vampire's coffin, which flies with lightning in an impressive entrance. Unfortunately, Tse-Nam knows nothing about controlling vampires and so Dawn is dressed up as the female kyonsi the coffin is meant to contain. Thus, as the female students use various traditional methods to stop it (talismans, black dog’s blood and sticky rice) he continues towards the flag.

the real deal
This, of course, ends up going wrong and Dawn ends up finding the real kyonsi out in the woods. She wants to take a bite out of him but it is just a passing moment in the grander scheme of the film. Indeed all this adds up to a couple of fleeting visitations as an aside from the main story about Twiggy. There is another fanged woman in the film but she is the human form of a giant demon cockroach and not a vampire at all. Some moments within the film are genuinely funny – some dated and/or that odd level of Chinese body orientated humour common in Hong Kong films from this era.

The imdb page is here.

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