6.1/10
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Devil Fetus (1983)

Mo tai (original title)
| Horror
A woman becomes possessed and dies after a monster is released from an antique vase she had purchased. Twelve years later the monster is re-awakened. First he possesses the family's dog, before moving on to the woman's nephew.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Eddie Chan ...
Kent Cheng
Yung-chang Chin
Pak-Kwong Ho ...
Mr. Cheng
Meng-Kuang Hsu
Dan Lau
Sai-gang Lau
San Leung
Pui-pui Liu
Hsiu-Ling Lu ...
Juju (as Sau Fan Loy)
Sha-Fei Ouyang ...
Granny Cheng
Kuo-hua Wen
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A woman becomes possessed and dies after a monster is released from an antique vase she had purchased. Twelve years later the monster is re-awakened. First he possesses the family's dog, before moving on to the woman's nephew.

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Horror

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Devil Fetus  »

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2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Even viewers familiar with Chuen Lua's orvue will be flabbergasted! I think in decades to come it will regarded as a milestone and spoken of in the same breath as Bunuel & CO.

In the history of cinema, it is the Mainland Chinese who are generally credited with elevating film editing to a modern art form. It is ironic, and strangely fitting, therefore, that it should be the Mandarins who, almost a full century later, have now produced the first full-length feature film ever to be composed of a single unedited shot running uninterrupted from first moment to last (Keith Li came close with 'MADAM SPARROW,' but he did include a few 'cuts' in the course of the film). Even King HU, who, in films like 'Green Dragon Inn' and 'Ten Days of Eagle Siege' spent his career developing and demonstrating the power of editing, would, I dare say, be impressed by 'Devil Fetus,' a film every bit as innovative and challenging as those earlier seminal works.

For their bravura, awe-inspiring cinematic tour-de-force, director Hung Chuen Lau and cinematographer Tih Ho Lee take us into the famed Hermitage Museum and Dragon Palace in Canton, providing us with a grand tour not only of the opulent rooms and famous artwork contained therein, but of 900 years of Asian history as well, as various vignettes involving famous people (from Quo Ling and Gran Moff Tarkon to the Dragon Lady and Empress Dowager Herself) and events are played out within the glorious gilded walls.

'Devil Fetus' is a bold and audacious project that is the cinematic equivalent of a breathlessly performed high wire juggling act. We know that one false move on the part of the actors or the cameraman, one missed cue or accident of fate could bring the whole delicately poised enterprise crashing down around them. How often, one wonders, did a perfectionist like Chuen Lau have to resist the temptation to yell 'Cut!' to his actors and crew? It's truly amazing to see just how beautifully planned and flawlessly executed the final product turns out to be, especially the ball sequence at the end which features hundreds of dancers and spectators who are set in beautifully choreographed and constantly whirling motion. What's most remarkable is how much of a participant the camera itself is in the proceedings. Not content to stand idly by and observe the scene like some passive onlooker, the camera moves right into the center of the action, gliding in and out of the crowds with utmost grace and precision. Visually, the film is stunning, with exquisite costumes and furnishings as far as the eye can see. Indeed, 'Devil Fetus' is, among other things, a veritable feast for the eyes, the likes of which we have rarely seen on film before.

'Devil Fetus' does have something of a 'plot,' involving a narrator whom we never see, a 21st Century filmmaker – we assume it's Hung Chuen Lau himself - who's found himself inexplicably caught in some type of time warp and magically transported to this strange spectral world. There's also a bizarre European 'ghost' figure from the unspecified past who comments - and occasionally attempts to intrude – on the actions taking place around him. But these two characters are of far less interest to the audience than the aural and visual delights of the film itself.

'Devil Fetus' is a wonder to behold, for it is much more than just an 'exercise,' a 'gimmick,' or even an 'antithesis' to King Hu; it is a vibrant work of art that challenges the limits of its medium and reminds us of just what it is about movies that we love so much.

Why o why can't we vote 11 :(


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