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Chinese: 邪教檔案之末日風暴
Louis Koo and Andrew Lin
Year: 1998
Director: Ivan Lai Kai-Ming
Cast: Louis Koo Tin-Lok, Anthony Wong Chau-Sang, Andrew Lin Hoi, Grace Lam Nga-Si, Emily Kwan Bo-Wai, David Lee Seung-Man, Mark Cheng Ho-Nam, Zuki Lee Si-Pui, Evergreen Mak Cheung-Ching
The Skinny: Atmospheric horror thriller features average direction and acting, but a truly heinous script. This might be diverting for some people, though the identity of those people is a mystery of untold proportions.
by Kozo:

Lazy horror-thriller starring Louis Koo as the proverbially haunted cop. He's Officer Chan, who's investigating a cult-influenced group suicide. He consults Officer Chiu (Anthony Wong), a fortune-telling cop who has a past with similar cult-themed mysteries. It seems that Chiu once put away Lam Yuet-Tin (Mark Cheng), a confident cult leader who likes to say that he was God, Satan or some combination of the two. Chan couldn't care less about such supernatural mumbo-jumbo, but he probably should. His parents died thanks to cult-inspired shenanigans, and the new evil cult leader Pope (Andrew Lin) claims to be another God/Satan combo. Chan must attempt to solve the crimes while maintaining his own sanity.

The dilemma faced by Officer Chan could easily extend to the audience. Ivan Lai's collection of cheapo horror clichés is told with screwy camera angles and annoying musical cues which only add to the lack of suspense. Furthermore, lots of useless exposition is foisted upon the audience in place of storytelling. It seems that both Lam and now Pope claim to be reincarnations of God/Satan, but neither really can be. Or can they? That metaphysical question is probably the central hook of this unnecessary production, but it's handled in such a poor and undeveloped way that the final twist only annoys in its utter randomness.

The acting is passable to nonexistent. Louis Koo has shown fine presence in the past, but he's so dour and intense here that it borders on annoying. Anthony Wong sleepwalks through this production, and newcomers Andrew Lin and Grace Lam do nothing of any interest. At least Mark Cheng seems to be having fun, but that's probably because he shot all his scenes in one day. He also has the most howlingly stupid lines, which is where the film's true fault lies: screenwriting. You could knock Ivan Lai's direction, but it's the nonsensical and frankly stupid story that make this an all-out loser. Louis Koo fans: watch something else. (Kozo 1998/2000)

Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Mei Ah Laser
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles

image courtesy of Mei Ah Laser Disc Co., Ltd. Copyright 2002-2017 Ross Chen