Beauty’s Evil Roses (a.k.a.
Beauty Evil Rose)
Director: Lam Wah-Chuen
Running Time: 79 minutes
This film has long had a reputation as one
of the more obscure but intriguing Cat III movies made in the days when
HK still knew how to make fun sleazy entertainment! I am not actually sure
why I put this off for so long as I enjoy a good sleaze fest as much as
the next guy but I just never got around to it. But I finally dusted it
off, turned down the volume (as I was staying at my parents and was correct
in assuming there would be lots of moaning!) and watched it the other day.
For much of its short running time the film is nearly incomprehensible
with it jumping around quickly from character to character and plot to
plot but interspersed within are more than enough crazy sexual shenanigans
and general weirdness to satisfy most connoisseurs of bad tasteless Cat.
It begins as all good films do with a woman walking
into a cop’s office and doing a strip tease to entice him and then turning
him into a compliant zombie slave that will do the bidding of her mistress,
the evil Dai Jeh (Wong Wing-fong). Dai Jeh ruthlessly runs a female cult
of leather clad motorcycle riding sweeties who use sex as a weapon of destruction.
What their aim is isn’t exactly clear but they certainly have it in for
the male species and find happy fulfillment in one another in lengthy lesbian
entanglements with painful sax muzak playing in the background. In her
splashy red themed lair decorated tastefully with skulls, chains, candles,
bondage ropes and a throne, Dai Jeh dishes out both her anger and her favor
on her underlings. Whipping here is both for punishment and pleasure. Behind
her power is black magic (imported of course from Thailand) in which she
can project an alien looking creature down the throats of others to control
Various good guys are out to stop her - A Kang
(Chung Jan-wang) who is looking for his sister who has joined the cult,
his girlfriend Mannie who wants a career in nude modeling (we wish her
luck) and policeman Cheng (a young Alex Fong). They hire a Taoist priest
to combat her black magic but clearly he isn’t from the same school as
Lam Ching-ying's priest as he needs Mannie’s underwear to weave his spell
and seems to enjoy curing topless female victims. In the end – this being
a Hong Kong film – it all meanders into a chaotic kung fu shootout that
seemed just right. Or as one of the cult cuties said to A Kang “Let me
see how great your penis is”.
As a note of interest according to the HKMDB credits,
the director Lam Wah-chuen has had a multifaceted career. His directing
credits are few – this, Devil Girl 18 (how have I missed that one?) and
a couple others but also 2002’s Runaway Pistol which I thought was very
dark and very good. But as a cinematographer he has some amazing credits
– Made In Hong Kong, The Longest Summer, Bullets Over Summer, Diamond Hill,
Juliet in Love, Little Cheung, Women’s Private Parts among them – he is
clearly a favorite of director Fruit Chan and other indie directors. He
also composed the music for many of those films. Interesting guy.
My rating for the film: 5.5