Two entwined figures enter into a cheap hotel
room. Only the red neon of Tokyo throws any light into the darkened interior.
The woman is a beautiful prostitute who calls herself Evian – “because
I thirst for you” – but as they embrace her hands suddenly turn into razor
sharp claws and she attempts to devour him. She is a monster – literally
– and turns into a spider like creature – with a lustful need for blood.
Suddenly, a man crashes through the window and with the assistance of the
other fellow kills the monster.
This scene begins the film with a quick jolt and
it rarely lets up. Based on a Japanese anime, Tsui Hark creates a fantastic
vision that captures the feeling and look of anime with rapid edits, blue
tinted colors, strange camera angles, beautiful close ups and startling
Dali like imagery.
The two men in the hotel room were Leon Lai and
Jacky Cheung and they belong to the anti-monster squad. Earth has become
infested and infiltrated with alien creatures that are able to take on
the form of humans. The anti-monster squad hunts them down and exterminates
them, but the monsters have incredible powers and are growing much stronger.
1997 is approaching. Whenever a film points that out I assume there is
some symbolism intended. Do the monsters represent China ? Doesn't really
matter in this drug induced dream of a film.
A wealthy businessman is suspected of being a
monster and Leon is assigned to investigate him. Both Leon and Jackie have
conflicts to deal with. Leon once fell in love with a monster that saved
his life. As this monster looks like Michelle Reis it is quite understandable
! Jackie is half human; half monster and is not trusted by anyone but his
It turns out that the businessman wants to make
peace with the humans, but his son, Roy Cheung, has a very different agenda.
Roy wants to make the human race slaves to the monsters. He distributes
a drug called happiness that will eventually poison the human race.
Images and spectacle come at the viewer like a
hail of bullets and as the film progresses they get larger and more bizarre.
The film runs at an incredibly frenetic pace and Tsui makes little effort
to assist the viewer in understanding what is often going on. He just throws
all this at you as if to say “you’re on your own. Have fun”. This
splendid inventive film is one of the best sci-fi films to come out of
By the way, this film can be found at many video
stores in easy to read sub-titles.
Here are a couple links to reviews of the anime
that I came across.