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THE DEVIL (1981) ***

A woman gets her skull smashed in with a brick (excellent freeze frame of the blood spurting out of her head by the way), then the plot begins. 

 

An ugly old witch cuts open a sickly man’s stomach and removes about a thousand slimy nightcrawlers from his large intestine and says, “You’re lucky this is within my power, or else you would’ve surely died!”  Then she makes the guy drink a milkshake which causes him to puke up a bunch of snakes.  She warns him, “No drinking for the next three days and no women within the next seven weeks”.  Of course, he doesn’t listen and pretty soon he’s puking up green slime while snakes start oozing out of every pore of his body.  While he is busy puking, the ghost of the girl who got her head caved in shows up (imagine if Two Face was played by Yoko Ono, then you’d have some idea of what the chick looks like) to scare him to death. 

 

Meanwhile, the girl’s killer checks into a hotel room and an obnoxious bell boy (named Ding Dong!) tries to set him up with the hotel owner’s cute daughter.  She falls in love with him and they are soon married, but the vengeful ghost shows up to freak out the new bride on her wedding night.  The ghost’s brother later shows up looking for his sister’s murderer and it doesn’t take long for him to start sicking up serpents as well.  The town takes him for a witch and promptly burns him at the stake! 

 

Then there’s a whole bunch of plot about the murderer running the hotel into the ground and beating his wife.  But that’s okay though because the ghost finally shows up and causes the dude to hack his own hand off with a meat cleaver.  You can probably guess what happens next:  Puke-Snake-A-Rama. 

 

The Devil is a solid example of entertaining Hong Kong horror.  Sure there are probably two too many characters that are mixed up with all the supernatural shenanigans (like the vengeful brother of the murdered woman), but there is plenty of slime spewing gross out scenes to keep you watching.  I mean, I’d gladly sit through plenty of sub-par Chinese melodrama as long as I was rewarded with mucho scenes of people puking snakes.  So in that respect, The Devil certainly delivers.  (I especially liked the finale where the bad guy pukes green sludge directly into the camera in super slow motion.) 

 

The dialogue is dreadfully dubbed in, but I’ve seen worse mangling of the English language.  I’d also like to point out that the Devil never shows up, but I guess the title “The Devil” fits better on a marquee than “Chinese Dudes Puking Up Snakes Every 15 Minutes”. 

 

Bottom line:  Any movie that features somebody vomiting venomous asps every fifteen minutes or so is okay in my book. 

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