Monday, June 15, 2009

182) The Eternal Evil of Asia (1995)

182) The Eternal Evil of Asia (1995) Dir: Man Kei Chin Not Yet Released Date Seen: June 15th, 2009 Rating: 3.5/5

I'm kind of in awe of Man Kei Chin's skill and facility at making Peter Jackson look like a piker at his own game of "adult" schlock horror. The Eternal Evil of Asia is just as cheesy, sleazy and certainly spazzy as any of Jackson's earlier low-budget comedic splatterfests. Here, Chin, an exploitation-meister with titles like The Fruit is Swelling and The Forbidden Legend: Sex and Chopsticks under his belt, formidably capitalizes on the seedier taboos surrounding Thailand and black magic that many of Hong Kong's Category III artisans have fallen in love with. Unlike something like The Boxer's Omen, which has great respect for the basis in prayer and religion that that witchcraft stems from,* The Eternal Evil of Asia is all about sex and ghosts.

Chin's film has such an abundance of crass sex-related visual gags that it handily makes you wonder just how serious the film was originally supposed to be as every laugh the film scores feels inappropriate. Turning a horndog visiting Thailand for a bachelor party into a literal dickhead is just the tip of the libidinal iceberg. Once you get to the black magician battle that involves a spell where a couple copulate in mid-air with a bomb blast accompanying each of their succeeding thrusts, you're flying so high over the type that you'll be lucky to find any kind of grounding logic to hook onto.** And that's not even counting the film's climactic ghost rape scene, complete with an assailant that looks like a cross-between Kevin Bacon in Hollow Man and a Predator, which involves gymnastic-level contortions, a chandelier and one of the most awkward blow jobs on film. 

*At least, it nominally pays lip service to Buddhism just before it goes absolutely nuts for wax corpses and projectile fluids.

**There's certainly a lot of to do in the film about domestic fears of promiscuity and loyalty--mom and dad are zombies now! Try that ramen, son!--but in an exploitation-fest of such explosive proportions, I don't think it really matters.

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