THE NINE DEMONS Chop­socky goes to hell JERUZA­LEM Through glasses, darkly

SFX - - Reviews -

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.

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