鬼片王之再現凶榜
X Imp (1999)


Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 07/03/2008
Summary: a funny [ha-ha] horror movie.....

This film is a prime example of the best exploitation filmmaking that the Hong Kong cinema had to offer circa 1999. X Imp actually has a few things going for it that may interest some hardcore fans but anybody looking for some horror movie thrills best look elsewhere. Director/screenwriter Kenneth Lau Hau-Wai and producer/screenwriter Peter Cheung Wing-Yiu made a number of low budget films using the talents of second and third tier movie stars like Diana Pang Dan, Simon Loui, and Pinky Cheung Man-Chi. They hired cinematographer Ally Wong to shoot this movie. He does some nice work here with lighting and hand held set-ups, managing to capture some eerie images while shooting totally on the fly.

Filmmakers try making Connie Chan (What ever happened to....?) a movie star but she is just not visually compelling enough to carry a project like this. This film is like a second cousin in spirit to Billy Chung's Last Ghost Standing. Director Lau cast Michael Wong Man-Tak to appear in some short scenes as a police detective[?] and lets him speak some English. Pinky Cheung and Simon Loui appear to be having a good time while Diana Pang Dan looks like she might be anorexic. My favorite scenes in this film involve Lee Siu-Kei portraying a Catholic priest who wears a crucifix that Flava Flav would be proud of.

[en español] Esta película es un excelente ejemplo del cine mejor aprovechamiento que el cine de Hong Kong tenía que ofrecer alrededor del año 1999. X Imp en realidad tiene algunas cosas a su favor que pueden interesarle algunos fans acérrimos, pero cualquiera que busque una película de terror emociones se ven mejor en otra parte. Director / guionista Kenneth Lau Wai-Hau y el productor / guionista Peter Cheung Yiu-Wing hizo una serie de películas de bajo presupuesto con el talento de estrellas de cine segundo y tercer nivel como Diana Pang Dan, Loui Simon, y Pinky Cheung Man-Chi. Contrataron cineasta Wong Ally rodar esta película. Él hace un buen trabajo aquí con la iluminación y la mano de empresas establecidas, logrando capturar algunas imágenes espeluznantes durante la filmación totalmente en el momento.

Cineastas intentar hacer Connie Chan (¿Qué pasó con ....?) Una estrella de cine, pero ella no es sólo visual lo suficientemente convincente como para llevar un proyecto como este. Esta película es como un primo segundo en espíritu a Espíritu Permanente Última Billy Chung. Director de reparto Michael Lau Wong Man-Tak a aparecer en algunas escenas breves como un detective de la policía [?] Y le permite hablar un poco de Inglés. Pinky Cheung y Loui Simon parecen estar pasando un buen rato mientras que Diana Pang Dan parece que podría ser anoréxica. Mis escenas favoritas de esta película implica Lee Siu-Kei interpretando a un sacerdote católico que lleva un crucifijo que Flav Flava estaría orgulloso de.


Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: Dyogenez
Date: 12/26/2002
Summary: man...

It's movies like this that remind me why i like a good story much more than slasher/horror movies. This was definetely not something i would recommend to anyone: not someone looking for a funny horror, good gore, a scare, or anything else for that matter. It was just bad all around and in no way could it be thought of as "funny bad". I was glad when it was over.

The story itself is very well described below. It's about a school where only 5 students are staying over for the summer. They even do some pitiful get togethers such as dances with a single colored ball for the effects. It's not at all scarry, although it does try to be. Definetely avoid this one.

2/10.


Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 05/15/2002
Summary: Bad bad bad

The Imp wasn't a classic movie by any means, but at least it provided some chills and a good smattering of sex, offering the viewer a fun, if forgettable, romp in the exploitation genre. On the other hand, this psuedo-sequel offers the viewer nothing more than a migrane -- and that's if they are lucky. X Imp is the kind of cheap horror movie that gives the genre a bad name.

Like many recent Hong Kong horror movies, X Imp's plot centers on ghosts. A group of students (among them Simon Loui, who must be the world's only high-schooler with perpetual five o'clock shadow) are staying at the school over the summer. Diana Pang Dan plays the prinicpal (and, for some strange reason, a grandmother -- the lack of attention to the simplest of details like what the character's ages should be is just one of X Imp's many faults) whose grand-daughter is mysteriously slaughtered. You might think that this would cause the cops (led by Michael Wong) to shut down the school.

Well, no -- they actually transfer in a new girl (Lee Sui Kay), and more strange things start to happen. One girl commits suicide, and the school's priest has a sudden heart attack after telling the new principal Pinky Cheung that Lee is the "son of Satan" (one example of the great subtitles in here). Now, again, you might think they would shut down the school, but nope -- plus Diana is still running around doing wacky things like cooking dog heads. I know things are run a bit differently in Hong Kong, but this is ridiculous. Anyway, more of the students are killed (my favorite one is the girl who gets a pool cue into her eye, but since X Imp has a budget of fifity cents, she has to run around holding it by her eye to make it appear as if it's sticking in there), and eventually there's a lame plot twist at the end when the "true" ghost is revealed, after an unabashed rip-off of the "spirit cam" from Evil Dead.

I really don't know where to start with this one. There are a lot of points to raise here, and they're all bad. X Imp is as low-budget as they come. The movie was obviously shot in a matter of days; Michael Wong sports the exact same outfit in every one of his scenes, even though the movie's timeline spans several days. The gore effects -- normally one of the easiest things to pull off, even in no-budget movies -- look horrible. Particularly laughable is the dog's head Diana cooks up, which looks like a toy stuffed poodle covered with ketchup. Other "scary" effects include guys with jackets pulled over their head to make them appear headless, and the mainstay of cheap horror movies, maggots.

Now on to the script; even with two screenwriters, there was obviously little attention paid to it. X Imp seems to struggle to even get to its' short eighty-two minute running time, with a good deal of filler scenes that offer nothing and are just thrown away. One example is a long scene between Loui and Lee that suppoedly sets up a romance and a new plot twist, but is ditched minutes later. If you're going to pad a cheap movie, I have three words for you: tits and ass, not love story fluff. Even with a good script, the actors in X Imp probably couldn't do anything with it, though it's hard to tell with the atrociously bad dubbed soundtrack. Let's put it this way -- the guy they found to dub Michael Wong is actually worse that Mikey's usual painful Chinglish.

X Imp does manage to create a couple of chills, the musical score is good, and there is some decent eye candy from the actors... but that's about all it has to offer. There are a lot better horror films out there, and they deserve your time before you sit down with this. Even die-hard Diana Pang Dan fanboys should stay away.

[review from www.hkfilm.net]