Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Red Spell Spells Red

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?


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