Satan Returns (1996)

Posted in Reviews by - September 19, 2015
Satan Returns (1996)

A misty, brooding horror comedy which deals – somewhat opaquely – with the creeping fear of Hong Kong’s impending Chinese takeover, depicting an unsettled police force tackling an alien presence calling itself ‘the Antichrist’. Francis Ng goes full lunatic to play Judas, a confused Satanist on a twisted crusade to rip out the hearts of young women on his homemade crucifix. Chingmy Yau is the inspector assigned to the case who is battling her own personal demons, circulating mostly around a missing father who may or may not have been the devil reincarnated, making her the devil’s daughter. Wong Jing’s script seems to be conflicted as to how seriously to take the film; there’s a running gag about Hong Kong celebrity heartthrob Leon Lai and, towards the end, a dead cop possessed by the devil hits a man over the head with his own dismembered leg. It also ties itself in knots trying to explain Christian iconography and symbolism. But the film does well to conjure up a foreboding X-Files-esque atmosphere with good usage of handheld camera and slow motion trickery, and the straight performances from both Chingmy Yau and Donnie Yen as a kung fu cop keep the film from descending into complete farce.

AKA: Devil 666; Satan’s Return; Shaolin vs. The Devil’s Omen

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Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a laptop in London, UK.

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