Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Imp

The Imp (Xiong Bang) Directed Dennis Yu Starring Kent Cheung (1981).
Dennis Yu is a recent criminally overlooked director that I've discovered by way of the Deep Red catalog, which has countless rare Asian horror titles. He followed up The Beasts with this one, chock full of things found in the Mr. Sparkle Simpsons commercial like wind,ghosts and evil babies waiting to be reborn.

   It starts off in an interview, where the character mentions he used to sell bras (that Seinfeld episode instantly came to mind). Mr. Cheung (Charlie Chin) a sad sack down on his luck goes home to his pregnant wife up a long staircase. He seems like a caring husband, not the typical maniacs seen in most Asian horror films. When he shows up for another interview, it turned out that a disgruntled lunatic chopped up the boss and they carried him away to the morgue. All of a sudden a job as a night watchman just falls into his lap and he's in uniform at the mall getting trained, What Luck! 
   In the control room he meets Fatty, a character played by who else, but the fat dude from Run & Kill, Mr. Kent Cheng with a 70's looking porn stache.
   The main character gets a call that his wife is having their baby, but gets trapped in a sinister elevator that fills up with water. It descends to a level of hell with green smoke and a shrieking mutant! A security guard named Big Hulk (Ching Wong) proudly boasts that he killed a poor dog and its now in a giant bowl of soup that they all share! He accidentally swallows a bone and chokes!
How do I feel? What do you think?
The lighting and shot composition are miles above some of the inferior Asian video dupes, I've seen lately. The music has this frenetic quality and does a nice job of creating tension. It's a welcome change of pace from the usual stolen soundtracks from big budget Hollywood. Fatty tried to drive Cheung's wife to the hospital but his dog turns vicious and fears the child (possibly an homage to The Omen)?
Yeah, I'm trying to score
All of his co-workers are in danger from an unseen baby sounding creature on a rampage! 
What I can only describe as a business warlock steps in to offer help, he's an odd ball who calls frogs in jars "ghost suppressors" and his beliefs seem to be rooted in the Chinese calendar and Yin and Yang.
They call me Biz-Lock for short
   Late at night he attempts to battle the creepy green fog, wearing a sacred medallion that protects him from almost getting his ribs caved in. The green smoke can do some horrific damage and later burns up a car and turns Cheung's co-workers into blood thirsty zombies. The "business warlock" tells the security guard to place religious amulets around the hotel to ward off the evil. You never know what you're going to get with these Eastern religious motifs, its a mixed bag and always fascinating to me.  
Why is this bullshit happening to me?
Ah Cheung's wife starts turning into a guts eater and keeps intestines in the fridge. The Imp visits the main character in a hellish land of water, chains and blood, it swears to take over and become reincarnated as his child! The ending is very ambiguous,we see the evidence, but how do we really know if the protagonist was insane and dreamt up all of the madness in a haze of stress! The Imp plays tricks on your mind and leads you through a manic ride ending in a brilliant climax just as compelling as The Omen.  
   This seems kind of random, but Fatty wears two separate shirts that form the sentence "Am I A Girl, No I am a man! and it's never mentioned or referenced at all, watch out for this zany moment! 
What is the deal with that shirt?



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