Holy Virgin Vs. The Evil Dead (HK 1990)

Rating: **
Review Date: 6/28/99
Cast: Donnie Yen, Ken Lo, Ben Lam, Pauline Yeung, Cathy Chow, cameo by Sibelle Hu

Someone help me out here. This is almost as crazy as "The Seventh Curse" (1986), and the fact that the subtitles were completely chopped off the screen didn't help any. Here's what I can gather - A nerdy, but handsome, professor (Donnie Yen) gets framed for murder when a nasty Moon Monster (villainous Ken Lo) slaughters a bunch of his female students. Then to make things worse, his wife/girlfriend (sexy Kathy Chow) dumps him for one of the cops that's on his case (familiar kung fu face, Ben Lam). Bitchy Sibelle Hu shows up in a pathetic throw away role as another hot-headed cop who's after Donnie. Donnie decides to try and clear his name by doing some research at the library, where he meets an incredibly cute librarian. She starts to unlock the mystery of the Moon Monster, but is killed shortly thereafter (damn!). Meanwhile, forensics is performing an analysis of a hair sample that the Moon Monster left behind and we learn about the various different types of hair. There's curly (African), wavy (Caucasian), straight (Asian), and screwy (for sexual maniacs). All very interesting... The roots of the Moon Monster get traced to somewhere in Cambodia, so everyone goes there and Ms. Chow gets kidnapped by the high priest of the Moon Monster cult. We also meet a radiant Pauline Yeung who is a super powerful kung fu princess. She has a wonderful fight with the Moon Monster, but he's too much for her. Fortunately, our heroes from the mainland hook up with her, and together they all storm the bad guy's fortress, which is guarded by cheetahs, tigers, aligators, "man-eating fish", and an endless stream of white uniformed armed guards who can't hit anything. Ultimately, this leads to a fun and exciting undercranked kung fu free-for-all jamboree between Donnie Yen, Ken Lo, Ben Lam, and Pauline Yeung (all great fighters, I might add). The Moon Monster is destroyed, the high priest is killed, and the world is safe from black magic once again.

A rather unusual role for Donnie Yen, but he handles it extremely well. It's always a treat to see him fight, and even though the fight scenes are excessively undercranked, they're still pretty impressive. The camera manages to capture the divine quality of Pauline Yeung's character very well, and she successfully embodies goddess-like beauty and fierce destructive power. She's a surprisingly competent martial artist and swordswoman, and handles herself with great confidence and conviction. I was impressed! Kathy Chow also pulls off some great fighting moments, much to my surprise - especially since about half of her scenes feature her in naked submission. A very odd juxtaposition to see women sexually exploited in one scene, only to have them beat the crap out of everyone in the next. Overall, a marginally entertaining low budget kung fu horror film with a healthy dose of T&A.