Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Devil's Vindata (1991)

(yes, I know how to spell that)

aka Devil's Vendetta (and oh look, whoever's not responsible for the film's actual titles does so, too)

So, there's this demon called Twiggy (Mondi Yau Yuet-Ching) who has some sort of violent difference of opinion with a bunch of monks, until the Buddha himself (in form of a talking golden statue) has to step in.

Some time (years? decades?) later, Twiggy has a new plan for evil: wait until a starchild (right now being born in what might be a plum or on egg) reaches the age of consent and then cooperate with the girl to achieve an eternal kingdom of evil (no, I don't know either). Fortunately, a magic Taoist nun knows of Twiggy's post-model career plans and steals the child away to first let it grow up with her and teach her magic and then, once she'll be old enough, marry the girl off to a very special man whose sperm will be able to cleanse her of the potential evil and make her quite useless for Twiggy.

Once the girl, named Tracy, has grown up into young womanhood in form of Vivian Chow Wai-Man, the master is marrying her off to Liu Chun (Ngai Jan), the young man with the magic libido (if he only knew). Alas, Liu Chun really, really wants to learn Taoist magic instead of getting into an arranged marriage and runs off, leaving poor Tracy alone and pissed, and Tracy's adoptive sister Mandy (Sharla Cheung Man) with the job to kill Tracy if she doesn't get laid by Liu Chun before an exactly appointed date and time. The nun would do the killing herself, but she's doing the Obi Wan Kenobi, just with more cartoon lights, of course.

The rest of the film follows the vague adventures of the trio, who obviously will meet cute, and meet a bunch of other freaks until the film remembers again that it's supposed to have a plot.

I imagine Devil's Vindata came to pass when the God of Hong Kong filmmaking decided it had quite enough of Taiwan having the reputation of being the capital of the weird fu movie and commissioned director/producer/writer (of not many movies before or after) Cheung Hoi-Ching to out-weird the movie output of the complete 70s and 80s output of Taiwan in one single movie.

I'm not sure the good man succeeded completely at his mission, though I am positive he gave it a more than respectable try, turning in a movie that's not even warming up with an intro scene that contains a cartoon magic battle that ends with a demon named after a Western model of dubious fame drinking the blood right out of a monk's heart until the Buddha himself has to appear in form of a statue to set things right. And really, he's only getting a grudging "Oh, alright" out of the girl/thing/whatever.

The rest of the movie delights with charms like more cartoon battles, flying women who leave sparkly residue behind, a guy with cleansing sperm, a giant demon cockroach that can turn into a lovely demon woman, and then continues on through hopping vampires, animated origami towels, a guy who possesses a piece of soap to be able to watch women take a shower, a bunny loving ghost with very big teeth, gender-bending transformations, a dead sifu who still talks to her students in form of a giant head with glowing stuff swirling all around her, and a hero who repeatedly utters the sentence - oh thank you, subtitles - "I want to become a fairy" until you'll begin to feel quite numb - and at that point, the film isn't even half over.

On the negative side, Devil's Vindata is so relentlessly crazy, so full of desperately unfunny humour, and so permanently distracted from what is supposed to be its plot, that you'll have to be in the mood for the out and out, relentless, jump in your face and puke pea soup into it crazy that is its only mode and tone. The film's so utterly relentless when it comes to being crazy that I found myself exhausted and in the mood to watch a bit of Ingmar Bergman next.


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