RED SPELL SPELLS RED Directed By Titus Ho Wing-Lam (1983).
by Steve Fenton
By purest coincidence, mere minutes into my initial viewing of RED SPELL SPELLS RED back in the ’90s, I sat down to enjoy a juicy Oriental-flavored Mr. Noodles (“Instant Noodles In A Cup”); probably a BAD idea, as attempting to ingest edibles during these more excessive HK grossathons may easily result in extreme stomach distress.
|Use caution, may cause projectile vomiting|
An interfering documentary film crew defiles the holy temple of the Red Dwarf Ghost by opening its long-sealed burial container. Later, in a hallucinatory sequence as he views the daily rushes, the documentary’s editor watches his hand ground down to a bloody stump by the rotating metal spool of his splicing console (he is also lassoed and nearly throttled by a length of film which suddenly takes on an unnatural life of its own). A man is paranormally propelled into a river and has his head cracked repeatedly on large pebbles; another is impaled on a tree; another’s arm is severed via machete; a woman is spread-eagled over the lighted wick of an oil lamp by poltergeist influence; suppurating sores spout pus right into the camera’s unflinching jaded eye.
|HK's answer to Terry Gilliam's Brazil|
On the Mondo front, much-more-genuine atrocities are apparent: suckling pigs graphically have their throats sawed open and are systematically disemboweled while still twitching with diminishing life; an elderly Oriental gentleman geeks a live chicken and suck gizzards like stringy wet noodles from its headless neck-stump.
The Good versus Evil conflagration of RED SPELL SPELLS RED’s latter minutes is a typically-unhinged Hong Kong combination of unabashed cryptic occultism and flashy physical pyrotechnics that manages to be repellently irresistible. If you’ve got the guts – and the stomach for it – by all means check it out: just prepare to be horrified!
|I knew I shouldn't have tried to make Italian Kimchi, what was I thinking?|