Starring Charlie Cho, Shing Fui-On, Dick Wei, Emily Chu and Wu Ma, directed by Wong Ying, produced by Charles Heung and Wong Ying.
Only a person born in the ‘Hoi’ year, month and day can get the treasure hidden in the hands of a certain Buddha statue. But it’s all an evil trick to enable a superhuman, soul-sucking character known as the Monster to escape from the statue in which it is trapped.
Shing Fui-On’s character is big, tough and somewhat stupid, while Dick Wei plays the scabby-faced, brain-sucking villain as a real ass-kicker, in a movie that’s generally a surface-deep excuse for loosely-connected scenes involving spells, a female ghost, zombies, dog piss-drinking and fights.
A lynching torture is treated as an opportunity for comedic acrobatics, a boulder is revealed to have a pulsing central core, broken eggs are used to age a spell-making Master (who also turns into a fun weredog), and a blue-lit cavern houses a large wheel on which zombies toil. There’s also a network of tunnels set in the rock walls of the cavern, from which the zombies shoot out if a bell is rung. These zombies have a needle in the centre of their heads: pull it out and they die.
RETURN OF THE DEMON is an enjoyable, though lightweight, serving of relentless Hong Kong action-horror goofiness.