The Imp (1996)
The Imp (1996)
AKA: Xie sha
Directed: Kai Ming Lai
Genre: Horror / thriller
Country: Hong Kong
Cast: Pang Dan, Mark Cheng Ho-Nam, Emiko Ishizuka, Ruby Wong Jo-Yi, Cheng Lau, Ho Ka-Kui, Dick Lau Dik-Ji, Willie Wai Gai-Hung
This Category III horror/thriller/softcore sexfest is primarily a vehicle for Amy Yip’s successor, the buxom Pang Dan. She plays a Hong Kong woman who’s traveling in search of her twin sister, who disappeared leaving nothing more than a native doll, the eponymous imp. Along the way, she hooks up with a mobile film crew, led by Category III veteran Mark Cheng. They discover that something isn’t quite right with the boarding house in which they’re staying. Then they do it.
This movie is typical of its specific Hong Kong film genre. It’s creepy, raunchy, and sometimes too involved in its own unbelievable plot. Still, it earns points for stealing from The Shining and Psycho, among others. And the film gleefully goes over the top, which is something most Hong Kong Category III thrillers need to do if they want any sort of cult following. We won’t know for a few years whether The Imp will be revered or simply thrown to the trash heap like so many crappy pictures of years past. Maybe that’ll depend on the career trajectory of Pang Dan. It’s hard to tell from this film. Pang, while possessing impressive attributes, just stands around looking pretty and clueless.