THE NINE DEMONS Chopsocky goes to hell JERUZALEM Through glasses, darkly
released 11 April 1984 | 15 | DVD
Director Chang Cheh
Cast Cheng Tien- Chi, Wang Li,
Chang Fu- Chien, Chiang Seng
So there’s these child acrobats, right, and they jump on people, bite them; then they turn into flying skulls, and the skulls fill up with blood…
Yep, The Nine Demons is one bonkers movie.
One of scores of kung fu pics by director Chang Cheh ( best known for Five Deadly Venoms), it’s a rough version of Faust, with a young fella ( Cheng Tien- Chi) granted demonic powers so he can seek revenge for the death of his father. He goes too far, though, and abuses his gifts.
The result is endless scrapping, somersaults, wire work, jump cuts, crash zooms and ear- slapping sound effects. The costumes are flamboyant, the action frantic, and it might just be the most colourful film ever made. But the novelty fades after a while. Despite being infused with a bizarre imagination it’s all a bit one- note, and the lack of breathing space – it’s pretty much either talk or tussle – is ultimately numbing.
Extras The main bonus is an “old- school English dubbed picture” which is a little shorter, badly cropped and of poor picture quality, with amusingly appalling dubbing. You also get an interview with actor Yu Tai- Ping ( three minutes), a stills gallery and trailers. Russell Lewin
John Woo describes Chang Cheh as his mentor; Woo spent three years working for him as an assistant director. released 4 April 2015 | 15 | DVD/ VOD
Directors Yoav and Doron Paz
Cast Danielle Jadelyn, Yaelv
Grobglas, Yon Tumarkin
Found- footage horrors often struggle to justify why anyone would keep filming when all hell is breaking loose around them. Jeruzalem has a great solution to that problem: it’s shot from the ( literal) POV of a tourist who’s wearing Google Glass- style smartglasses. After getting her specs stolen on the first day of her Holy City holiday, Sarah ( Danielle Jadelyn) is left with no option but to wear her high- tech lenses – and to keep filming, no matter what.
It’s a clever conceit that lets the filmmakers tell bits of the story through the text messages and photos that pop up in front of Sarah’s eyes. The setting is intriguing, too; the first half of the film makes the most of the religious and political tensions that already exist in Jerusalem, creating an atmosphere of dread even before the horror kicks in.
But then it does, and everything goes wrong. The carefully constructed tension collapses when the crappy CGI demons pop up, which just leaves a bunch of people running and screaming in the dark. Shame there aren’t smartglasses that can swap out bad endings to promising horror movies.
Extras Commentary; deleted scenes; Making Of; music video; trailer. Sarah Dobbs
The Paz Brothers cheated filming in Jerusalem – they had permits for shooting a documentary, not a drama.
Bloomin’ jam doughnuts!
They laugh, but that’s a severed hand.