The Merits of Sin: Possessed (1983) (Hong Kong)

Ming and Hsiao are two Hong Kong detectives and when a heavily drunk Ming is almost rundown by a car, he and his partner pursue. They follow the car to a house out in the middle of the forest and not only find the vehicle wrecked (obviously long ago) in the middle of the woods, they also see a man attacking his wife with a cleaver. Hsiao manages to apprehend the man and handcuff him but when Ming comes in the man transforms into some balloon faced goon and Ming shoots him. Granted the man was still handcuffed but I’d probably fire on a madman with a cleaver and a rapidly transforming face as well. Hsiao removes the handcuffs and helps out Ming to make it look like he’s not a drunken cold blooded killer.

What? Partners lie for each other all the time.

After they successfully get away with murder, weird shit starts happening. Ming immediately turns to prayer while Hsiao just laughs it off. His real world problems concern a horny and rebellious teenage sister he looks after since their parents are no longer around (mom is dead and dad is in an asylum). He kicks out her boyfriend more than once and tries to keep her in line. He also has a pretty girlfriend named Sue but she won’t be important till later.

Sister act

After some poltergeist activity, an attack by his closet, and a horrific hallucination Hsiao begins relying on religion for help. He and his partner also come across an obviously possessed man attempting suicide. They fail to stop it when his demon face scares them off the roof he eventually jumps from. So, all in all, things could be better.

Jumpin’ jerk

After a night of passionate lovemaking (peeped on by his sister) Hsiao leaves Sue alone in his apartment. She decides to put up posters advertising Korea (ok) and removes some of the religious crap Hsiao has hanging on the walls. She is immediately attacked and raped by the demonic force. Hsiao comes home to find her covered in green goo and vomiting up the same stuff.

Goo girl

Hsiao rushes her to the hospital and his sister uses this opportunity to sneak in her boyfriend. A little Pac-Man, a little sex… you know the usual… is disrupted by the evil force. The sister is thrown around and then meets her end by fatal ceiling fan. Hsiao and Ming finally decide to get investigating and come to realize that the man they killed and the suicide have a connection. A trio of thieves botched a burglary which left one man dead. Hsiao’s cop father was on the case and used excessive force to get a confession out of one of the burglars. He was speedily executed and now Hsiao is paying for his dad’s shitty police methods.

And how!

There’s a few more possessions and deaths in the cards until an apartment exorcism climax. It goes horribly wrong until some heavenly intervention seems to save the day but a last minute twist proves that evil always seems to prevail.

Hallelujer

The first act is a bit subdued with some minor flourishes of excitement but when the shit hits the fan (or in this case, the teenage girl) it gets wild. The exorcism has a flaming chicken, a malicious fish bowl and some popped eyeballs. The demon that shows up is pretty cool looking for the brief time it’s on screen. The characters are all pretty likable (although the lack of subtitles may have aided in that) and the film never overstays it’s welcome. An under seen gem from that wild and wacky Hong Kong 8/10


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