mie men can an zhi nie sha
Directed by: Kai-Ming Lai
Review by Machine Gun Kristin
Chinese movie "Daughter Of Darkness" begins with a look into the future of the main character, Mak Wei Fong (Lily Chung, supposedly representing Hong Kong at Miss Universe 1987) applying make up with a vengeance in a dark jail cell. This cosmetic palette holds some serious sentimental value, but we have no idea why just yet. She's being taken away by the prison guards, while the mirror breaks in the compact. Her hand is gripped tightly around the shards of glass blood spurting out, ready to defend herself against those who have wronged her time and time again. This scene pretty much sums up the entire plot line for the film, but you don't necessarily realize how just yet.
The tables turn completely within a second and we're taken to meet these strange slapstick characters. Captain Lui (Anthony Wong) is a goofball, womanizing, gross character or is he? He feels up drowned corpses and even smells her crotch to supplement his evidence gathering. He's joined by Kid, a female (sometimes male, if she's asked to by the police) sidekick to help him solve a new case of mass murder just brought into the station. It's reported by Fong who may or may not have murdered her entire family. I like how Captain Lui tampers with almost all the evidence while figuring out the crime scene. He asks the most inappropriate questions, which could signify that he has some sort of strategy or again, he's a total creep.
There is a lot of soft core sex scenes in this movie (maybe 20-30 minutes collectively). I'm not entirely sure if they serve the plot really, but I suppose it'll keep some people watching through the end of the movie. There's a couple of awful beer drenched rape scenes involving Fong's stepdad (Ka-Kui Lo, who you might remember as the Warden in "Story Of Ricky"). The mother only shows feeling once in defending her daughter, so you start to think that maybe these heartless characters aren't so horrible. You can scratch that idea when she jumps right into bed with the stepdad after he gives her some lame excuse. Fong's brother and sister don't help matters either. Her sister steals her fancy "designer" make up palette (given to her by her undercover cop boyfriend, Kin) and basically says she doesn't deserve something so nice. The family is mercilessly mean to this girl, without any real reason.
I kinda wondered if Todd Solondz' "Welcome To The Dollhouse" was slightly influenced by this. The family in that film is also unrelenting in their cruelty toward the older sister. There's also a little of this film in "Lilya 4-Ever", about a viciously raped young prostitute. It is probably the most depressing film ever made. The difference in "Daughter" is that we actually see her take out revenge. It does make her character seem stronger to fight back, but does that mean that also makes her a monster to have the nerve to end the lives of those that have wronged her? Is it better to have moved on without defending one's self and just taking in the abuse?
There's actually a sequel to "Daughter Of Darkness" that came out just a year after this one. Based on the cover art, it looks like somehow the evil step dad returns from the grave. Maybe in flashbacks? I'll have to take a look at it to see what that's all about. This movie has bit of an identity crisis where it can't figure out if it's a soft core porn or a horror movie. There's simply not enough of either to define it as one or the other. The movie is worth a look, but probably more so if you like Asian horror/drama. I think it needed more gore in it personally.
You can watch "Daughter Of Darkness" HERE
Or, you can purchase it HERE