Monday, January 14, 2013

Satan Returns

Satan Returns Directed by Wai-Lun Lam Starring Chingmy Yau. (1996)
          The Gorgoroth stage props are the most graphic sight in this Jing Wong penned Seven Ripoff! An image of a naked girl hung upside down on a cross with a crown of thorns is the least offensive image I'd expect from the genius behind Ebola Syndrome! It's a bad sign when the film you are plagiarizing (Seven) is a lot scarier then the Hong Kong version. The Biblical character of Judas (the Asian version) is on a mission from Satan, who in this sounds exactly like Jabba The Hutt! He's out hunting for satan's daughter or someone born on June 6th 1969! He rips out a few hearts (in a delicate Red Shoe Diaries way, Barf!)
         The Eastern perspective on Catholicism is pretty embarrassing, or maybe they are just ignorant and that's a huge problem. One of the reason's The Exorcist works and is universally scary is a reason this one fails, even if you aren't religious unknown terrifying powers will take possession of you whether you believe or not. The ambiguity of the demonic origin gives The Exorcist its strength, that's part of the metaphor in Satan Returns because everyone is ignorant to the Western religion and wonder why an upside down cross is offensive. In The Exorcist, it's deep rooted in Catholic fears and for the writers to emulate what ever hocus pocus bullshit based in Christian religion makes the writer seem way out of his element. That's the beauty of seeing an unknown supernatural force and magic spectacle in alot of Hong Kong films, the audience is unaware of where it stems from (its most likely fantasy). The film tries to use the same mythology and screws up the references (June 6th 1969! sure that was in the hippy dippy Omen)! It commits a minor offense with all the goofy padding in the police station (a lot of Hong Kong flicks are guilty of that) but its worst crime of all is that for a Category III movie its watered down and wimpy as hell! Like The Naked Killer it had potential but is mostly a sleek flavorless commercial!    

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