Friday, May 29, 2009

Devil Fetus (1983)

Uhhhh... ahhhh... ohhh babyyy...

Yes, close to VHS orgasm!! I've secured a deal with a very nice gent in Holland who is willing to part with this beauty! Obviously, he's getting something very nice too but THIS... is just fan-tastic!!!

In case you aren't quite familiar with the ins and outs of Hong Kong cinema; DEVIL FETUS belongs to that niche within HK horror movies that predominately existed in the dark ages. Yes, I'm talking about the 1980s. Back then the Hongkongese churned out a couple dozen horror movies that were dark, nasty, gory, and didn't have any slapstick humour in them. They were a far cry from horror films like the beautiful A CHINESE GHOST STORY or action filled films like MR VAMPIRE (not that I have anything against those films, I love them dearly, I'm just stating a fact).

By the way, you don't need to spend neither dough nor much of your valuable time on tracking down a 20 year old obsolete ex-rental tape from a video rental shop in Kowloon, haha. DEVIL FETUS was recently re-released on DVD and VCD in HK from Fortune Star so it's quite easy (and cheap) to get hold of. You can get it from DDDHouse (link almost at the bottom on this page in the bar on the right).

(click scans for bigger size)

Now, if someone could just get me THE RAPE AFTER (HK vhs, vcd, LD), RED SPELL SPELLS RED (HK vhs + LD), SEEDING OF A GHOST (HK vhs), and CENTIPEDE HORROR (HK vhs + LD) I'd be a happy man.

A couple of years back my mate Günter Müller in Austria reviewed DEVIL FETUS on his legendary site WEIRD ASIA. Unfortunately, Weird Asia is no more but I wrote to Günter and asked him to send me the old review which I'm posting here.

Günter, old buddy, if you're reading this let me just once again point out to you how sorely missed Weird Asia is!! In a Cyberspace world of kung fu movie freaks who dis dark HK horror movies for not having enough kung fu in them (duh!) and for being too weird/gory/sadistic (gee, makes for a GOOD horror movie in MY book!!) your site is definitely needed!! I hope you'll find the time to come back one day.

aka MO TAI
Hongkong 1983
Directed by: Lau Hung Chuen
Cast: Lui Sau Ling, Ngaai Dik, Lo Pooi Pooi, Lau Dan, Ho Pak Kwong, Leung Saan, Gam Wing Cheung...
Running Time: 88 min.

[by Günter Müller]
If I’m informed correctly DEVIL FETUS should be easily available on VCD, in wonderful widescreen, both in subtitled and unsubtitled versions! I also own a DEVIL FETUS tape, that has English subtitles, but sadly is a horrible full screen version. It should go without saying that the subtitled widescreen disc is the way to go. All those versions seem to be fully uncut too, by the way. DEVIL FETUS is rated Category III, and to be honest, I can’t explain why. Sure, it’s gory and bizarre, but I think it won’t get a CAT III rating if released today. And if you’re expecting gratuitous sex and/or explicit sexual violence because of the rating - you definitely are wrong! There are a few spoilers ahead so read at your own risk!

The film opens with a girl who buys a statue in an auction, from where at night a monster gets out of, and it does exactly what monsters out of statues usually do: it rapes the girl (parallel’s to the excellent THE RAPE AFTER (1983) are obvious; accidentally, both movies were made in 1983!). At this time you think that the girl will produce an offspring that jumps out of her womb and kills various people in many gory ways, right? Wrong! The confusing story deals with possessed people, dogs and furniture, who attack various characters and try to finish them off. They don’t succeed most of the time. Then why is this one called DEVIL FETUS, you wanna know? Don’t ask me, I have not the slightest idea. But who needs a fetus when the movie is as entertaining as this one, with a few outstanding set-pieces and gory highlights?

Such as a man who rips the decayed flesh on his face away and reveals crawling and writhing worms underneath. A girl who vomits live worms (also seen in CENTIPEDE HORROR (1982) and SEEDING OF A GHOST (1983), yuck!). A nice dog who is possessed and attacks a man, and in the fierce struggle gets killed with a sword (I do hope not for real!) Later, it (the dog) is eviscerated and another possessed guy munches on his guts in best Italian cannibal movie fashion (I again hope not for real!). A big bird (an eagly maybe) is killed by cutting its throat (this sadly IS for real). The absolute highlight: a man is trapped in a small room, when suddenly the walls are closing in on him. It’s nice that one side has a glass window, so we are able to witness the slow crushing of his head in wonderfully gory fashion! Yeah! This scene is incredible! One of my favourite head-crushings of all time, even better then the classic sequence in the unrated THE TOXIC AVENGER (1985). And then there is the showdown where the monster appears out of a possessed man (it rips his skin away), gets decapitated, but a few heads grow instead of the old one, and all of ‘em are decapitated too. The last shot is one of the most wonderful in Hong Kong horror cinema history, with a severed head - after attacking a woman - being killed with a sword and then the head starts to decay before our very eyes via stop-motion! This effect looks a bit cheap and phony, but it is very inventive and incredibly charming (think of the stop motion scenes in THE EVIL DEAD (1982) and BASKET CASE (1982), and you get the idea). Well done, folks! Give me more of this! With scenes like that, who cares if the movie makes any sense (which it doesn’t)? Certainly not me!

DEVIL FETUS is maybe one of the weirdest movies I ever had the pleasure of watching. There’s so much going on, and little of it makes any sense, so you sit there, shaking the head, and wondering what the hell is going on. A very entertaining, bizarre and gory horror movie from the wonderful 1980s, not to be missed! I think I will never forget the excellent head-crushing and the last image (of the severed decayed head ‘rolling’ towards the camera and grinning into it) when the credits start to roll...

DEVIL FETUS was Lau Hung Chuen’s debut movie as director. He followed it with THE GHOST INFORMER (1984), A CHINESE LEGEND (1991) and THOSE WERE THE DAYS (1996) among others. Beside being a director, he made himself a name as a very competent cinematographer. His credits include UNDECLARED WAR (1990), QUEEN’S HIGH (1991), THE SWORD STAINED WITH ROYAL BLOOD (1993) and THUNDERBOLT (1995). The producer of DEVIL FETUS is a certain Lo Wei, well-known as the director of the Bruce Lee starring THE BIG BOSS (1971) and FIST OF FURY (1972).
The review is based on the unsubtitled VCD. I didn’t bother to watch the subtitled full screen tape again, sorry. There’s too little time anyway.


  1. I love this movie! The DVD is very fine, and I need more movies of this kind :)

  2. So do I, Fred. Definitely! I haven't got round to buying the DVD yet but I have two different VCD versions of the film, and I'm gonna get the DVD as well soon.

    I don't remember which of these dark HK flicks you've already seen (and mentioned on your blog) but if you haven't already you really ought to get hold of BLACK MAGIC 1 & 2, BOXER'S OMEN, SEEDING OF A GHOST, THE RAPE AFTER. Just for starters. :-)

    PS: I added Günter Müller's old review in the post.