Saturday, 20 November 2010



Sometimes we don't really want subtle, restrained and cerebral. Sometimes we don't want to have to use our brains, imaginations and intellects. Sometimes what we really want is a thoroughly bonkers slice of sex, gore, violence and general stupidity. Don't suggest what's going on - show us, as graphically as possible within the law and within the rules of basic human decency. And if it has to be subtitled (because the British Film Industry doesn't really do bonkers) then they should be as incoherent and chaotic as the plot - just about comprehensible enough for us to fathom the dialogue in a very general sense.

Certainly the English subs on the DVD of Satan Returns appear to have been produced by someone with only a passing experience of English grammar like what its writed down (I can talk). Still, you should more or less get by. The basic idea is that a bloke called Judas is possessed by the Devil, and is searching for Satan's daughter by ritually ripping the hearts out of women who were born on June 6th: if the victim survives, she is indeed the Devil's child and will bring about Satan's return and the apocalypse and the usual blah blah blah. (By chance, I do know someone born on June 6th.) Donnie Yen is the maverick cop on the case, and the next victim might well be the hot police psychologist.

In places it's clearly trying to emulate the look and feel of Se7en (which came out the previous year), but for much of the time it's much more in the traditional HK action/horror style, with lots of weird camera angles and everything lit in steely blue. Ultimately, though, it's just not very good and it's not half as dementedly crazy as it needs to be, though there are a few half-decent action scenes in which Donnie Yen can do his stuff. But, sadly, it's not enough. (It should also be noted that the picture quality on the DVD isn't great either.)


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