Away from HK lies the quiet and peaceful island
of Cheung Chau where Hong Kongers go to get some relief from the fast pace
of the big city. Here the Sunshine Resorts hotel is having its troubles.
Guests are checking in but like the roach motel they are not checking
out. Either they are disappearing or committing suicide. Its not the bad
room service driving them to this either instead there appears to be
evil afoot. No one on the island though appears particularly concerned
about this rash of coincidences not the owner, Helen Law Lan, not her
son, Lam Suet and not even the police chief (William Ho) who just happens
to be Law Lans brother.
This low budget, slightly erotic, somewhat
squeamish and partly nasty horror/thriller film was not nearly as bad as
I was expecting. I have to admit to purchasing the VCD primarily for the
charms of Sophie Ngan (pictured above) but that aspect of the film turned
out to be a real disappointment. Ngan received a lot of attention for her
portrayal as an evil but sexy sorceress in Horoscope II - but like
that film the poster art was actually taken from a Penthouse pictorial
that she was in. In this film sadly to say at no time is she clad or
I should say unclad as shown on the cover of the VCD.
In fact, neither she nor the other box office
draw on the cover, Mark Cheng, are really in the film all that much until
the last twenty minutes. The film really focuses on Law Lan, Lam Suet and
the very brutal William Ho and their performances in particular Suets
are absolutely terrific. Lam Suet has become somewhat well known as a terrific
character actor and Milkyway films in particular have made great use
of his talents. He was the oily cop in Where a Good Man Goes, the none
too bright minion in Running Out of Time, one of the boys in The Mission
and he is completely different in all of them. He is here as well.
Hidden behind thick glasses, blotchy skin and
a mole with a long whisker hanging ominously down his chin, Suet is a repressed
man-child who is sweet and very Peter Lorre like creepy at the same time.
He walks around the hotel watching everything through his bleary sight
and capturing every sound on his tape recorder. He knows things secrets
long buried in the past that his protective mother begs him to forget about.
Chengs girlfriend is one of the suicide victims
and he returns to Cheung Chau to investigate and Sophie is a journalist
trying to get to the bottom of these mysteries.
Though I said the film was better than my expectations
I would not go so far as to call this a good film. It has a very slow
middle section but some surprising twists, the last twenty minutes and
a top notch performance from Lam Suet made it better than many of the HK
horror film these days.
For those that bought this film with the hope
of seeing a sexy Sophie Ngan and only for those people here
are a few pictures from her Penthouse layout that a fellow HK film fan
sent me. Before you get disappointed once again, I should point out that
though the pictures are revealing there was no nudity in the layout no
points were shown as Sanney would phrase it!
My rating for this film: 6.0