I always cite Daughter of Darkness (1993) and its sequel as the ultimate examples of CAT III filth, schizophrenia and stupidity, so I figure it’s about time I reviewed one of them. I’ve decided to focus on the less talked about, but almost as repulsive, Daughter of Darkness II.
(PS, pals: I’m going to reveal quite a bit of the film’s plot, so SPOILERS, I guess? Although really, it’s a hard film to spoil – the real surprises are in its execution.)
DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS II
original title: 滅門慘案II借種 (Mie men can an II: Jie zhong)
Hong Kong, 1994, Ivan Lai Gai-Ming
Ivan Lai is sort of like a less articulate, less skillful Herman Yau or Billy Tang. And with Daughter of Darkness II (and its predecessor), Lai follows the classic CAT III structure put forth by Tang’s Dr. Lamb and Yau’s The Untold Story (1993). It begins with an aftermath of death and destruction and the detection of the perpetrator, then tells its story through flashback. We open with Sergeant Yan (Liu Kai-Chi), perhaps cinema’s worst cop and our protagonist. He is desperate for a big, violent case that will propel him to the same career heights as Anthony Wong’s Captain Lui from the previous Daughter of Darkness film. This is the only connection to the original film.
Lucky for Yan, there’s been a multiple homicide of a family of three. Semen is found on the scene. With this information in mind, Yan tells every man in his jurisdiction that there’s a “present” waiting for them at the station. His stupid ruse works, and every single male in town shows up holding a pan or a pot to receive their present in (why they all instinctively knew to bring a pan or pot, I do not know). The pots and pans conveniently allow Yan to reveal his true intentions: to receive a sperm sample from the moronic male population. He conducts a symphony of wanks, making them masturbate in unison and fill up their receptacles.
Yes, that really happens. For the first twenty minutes of Daughter of Darkness II, we’re treated to a barrage of horrible jokes that would be more at home in a late 90s teen film. At one point a mango is dropped into a beaker of semen and is then eaten by a female police officer. That same officer is treated to a test for STDs, which, of course, leads to her having a cross-eyed orgasm at the hands of the doctor. The heroic Sergeant Yan demonstrates how to tell how long a person has been dead by fondling a body’s nipples and testing their hardness. It plays out like a nightmarish entry in the Police Academy series.
With all these misogynistic antics that have clearly been penned by an exceptionally immature teenager, it’s hard to believe that the film will soon plunge into a sickening tale of rape and murder. But that’s the schizophrenic nature of the Hong Kong CAT III, and the Daughter of Darkness films are as schizophrenic as they come. Sergeant Yan eventually tracks down Sau (Julia Cheng Yim-Lai – who gives a far, far better performance than this film deserves), the beautiful woman responsible for the massacre. Yan listens to Sau’s heartbreaking and grim tale while pulling stupid faces…
Sau and her husband Ken (Ben Ng) love each other deeply, but due to an accident, Ken has lost the ability to engage in sex. Ken desperately needs an heir to his assets, so the couple search for a man to knock up Sau. They find Kun (Dick Lau), a handsome and friendly young man. He becomes fast friends with the couple, and it’s not long before Ken requests that he impregnate his wife. Kun does the business with Sau, while a sobbing Ken holds his wife’s hand. These scenes are presented with the most grief-stricken of straight faces. Gone are the Zucker-esque antics of the opening scenes, and tragedy replaces them. Then it cuts back to Sergeant Yan’s cross-eyed horny face.
Back to Sau’s story. Sau is pregnant, but not all is well. Kun has fallen in love with her, and Sau has succumbed to his advances. While making love, they are caught in the act by not only Ken, but a local conman, Hung (played by William Ho Ka-Kui, CAT III regular and foul antagonist of both Daughter of Darkness and Billy Tang’s ’94 effort Brother of Darkness). Hung and Hung Jr. snap photos of the lovers in the act and demand a huge sum of money from husband Ken. If he doesn’t pay up, they’ll reveal his secret.
Hung takes Sau hostage until he receives payment. What follows is a sequence of horrific abuse. Hung and his son take turns raping Sau. Hung’s wife only laughs at Sau’s cries of torment, disturbingly taunting Sau. According to Mrs. Hung, Sau can never reveal that she’s been raped, because her husband will never forgive her.
Worse still, Hung, being a filthy sex-mad maniac, is infected with syphilis. The film continues to hurtle downwards into a cesspit of depravity; from a soul-destroying home abortion scene to Sau’s vicious revenge on the Hung family.
Daughter of Darkness II does not quite reach the offensive lows of the original film. Sau’s abuse is not as relentlessly cruel as Lily Chung’s treatment in Daughter of Darkness. Where it tops its predecessor is with its jarring use of comedy, which somehow manages to exceed Anthony Wong’s outrageous mugging.
Following the grimmest of scenes, Lai cuts back to the clownish Sergeant Lai for comedic interludes as if to soften the blow – this doesn’t work. Instead, they serve to make the film even more repellent in their unfitting inclusion. Even when Lai is on screen at the same time as Sau, they exist in two contradictory universes – one filled with abuse and broken dreams, the other with crossed eyes and cum jokes. Both are fucking horrible.
Daughter of Darkness II will have sensible viewers howling at the screen and convulsing in a rage. This is a stupid, stupid film. Along with the original, it’s one of the few films I’d describe as pure evil. Pure, stupid evil. In other words, Daughter of Darkness II is a must see film.
Daughter of Darkness II has a super cheap Hong Kong DVD release. It looks and sounds awful and the subs are burnt in (and obviously terrible), but hey, this is never going to get a better release. You can find it on DDDHouse.com and a bunch of other places.