The Demon's Baby (1998)

Directed by
Not good
Reviewed by Simon on 2002-02-20

After enjoying Eternal Evil Of Asia so much last night, I was hoping for similar joys from THE DEMON'S BABY. Here we have Elvis Tsui again, as a general rich from looting a tomb, where he also happened to unearth 5 demon spirits that were sealed there. These demons are a nasty bunch, taking root in a pregnant woman and corrupting both her and the fetus. If all 5 demons get as far as birth, it's the end of the world. Soon enough, Elvis' 4 wives are pregnant and it's all down hill from there. Amongst all this we get the love story between a maid (Annie Wu) and the chef (Emotion Cheung), and Anthony Wong playing a small part as a Taoist ghostbuster in the Lam Ching-Ying mould.

Sadly, THE DEMON'S BABY never even comes close to the heights of invention & exploitation that ETERNAL EVIL manages. The story itself is pretty good, but it's left flaccid due to completely uncharasmatic leads (Emotion & Annie, who get the most screen time), poor post-dubbing of the voices, absolutely dreadful special effects and a general shodiness to the production. I presume the budget here was low, but the fact that it doesn't even come close to the quality of A Chinese Ghost Story or even The Seventh Curse is sad when it was made a decade later... certainly no signs of progress shown here.

There was probably a time that I would still have enjoyed the movie, I guess I'm jaded about these things now. The thing that always drew me to HK cinema despite the low budgets & intelligibility was the invention displayed by the film-makers, and I can't help but feel that DEMON'S BABY has a lack of ambition in that department. It's pretty much all been done before, better, so why bother doing it again? They even forgot to get anybody naked here...

Maybe it suffered from following such an exemplary example as ETERNAL EVIL OF ASIA on my viewing list, but overall I can't say that I would recommend DEMON'S BABY to all but the most desperate of Elvis Tsui/Anthony Wong fans...