House of Devil Evil Sledge
Hong Kong 2003
Directed by Zhu Yi Lin.

Behind the great title lurks a good contender for the worst Hong Kong movie ever. Shot on video without style, and populated by non-actors, HOUSE OF DEVIL EVIL SLEDGE is certainly almost as low as you can go.

The story concerns two music producers (Roland and Ricky), dating two cousins. One of the couples move into a new house, and the producer starts behaving oddly, breaking things in the middle of the night, talking to himself while combing his hair (an odd reference to the possessed Lau Ching-Wan of Ringo Lam's film THE VICTIM). At last he picks up the deadly devil evil sledge of the title -- imagine my disappointment when it turns out to be a common hammer. He also keeps sketching something on individual pieces of paper that look like nothing more than lines and right angles. But then his girlfriend notices they seem to go together, and when they assemble all the pages, it forms a neatly sketched picture of a man standing over a dead body with a hammer. How he created that randomly, one disconnected page at a time, is anyone's guess.

His girlfriend, worried about her own safety, does research on the house and discovers a young man murdered his parents there some years before. He is in jail, now, and she pays him a visit, and listens while he recaps his story and chain smokes. The killer is played by Wayne Lai, and he delivers the one decent performance in the whole mess. He doesn't save the picture, and not even a couple hammer blows to the head can liven up the poorly contrived ending.

HOUSE OF DEVIL EVIL SLEDGE contains the debut starring performance of the band Roland Leung and Ricky Fan. Neither of them show much promise. I can only hope that the new boy singers the movie depicts them as producing, the "E-Boys", are not real. Their lack of charisma, style, and talent is palpable. This is the sort of film I might have shot with some friends and a spare video camera in High School, though I'm almost positive we would have made something much better. It is a failed effort, even in comparison to the sloppy, low-budget TROUBLESOME NIGHT films.

Rating: Not Recommended (Not Recommended)

Posted by Peter Nepstad on July 16, 2004.

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