Hong Kong’s 1989 Satanic Cult Action Flick- BLOOD RITUAL!
After re-watching the 1976 classic satanic cult/ road trip/ action/ horror/ hybrid ‘Race with the Devil’ I was still in the mood for more “devil cult” related flicks. Well lucky for me, Hong Kong gave us a nice little CAT III gem from 1989 called ‘BLOOD RITUAL’ and it delivers quite the grimy punch-a wild and crazy little forgotten actioner that’s ripe for a fancy-ass blu ray release!
I had quite a bit of fun with this one and it’s sorta refreshing when weeding through so many overly slapstick Hong Kong horror comedies, when you come across something that really balances just the right amount of humor action and gore all into one weird little freaky package. ‘Blood Ritual’ definitely starts out with a bang. Featuring a sexy sweat covered woman in red high heels, completely naked being, stalked by a gang of cult members all dressed in white. She’s caught, carried away and immediately enters into, you guessed it, a god damn blood ritual!
We then get a tuff cop who’s hot on the case and a detective who’s just been released from prison, who’s trying to start a new life. At least that’s what I was able to cobble together with rudimentary & hard to read subtitles on this film print. They both get way more than they bargained for when it comes to their attention via a pretty sweet looking indie comic book zine that’s been making the rounds in Hong Kong that a killer satanic cult has been taking innocent victims for their bizarre ritualistic sacrifices. It’s all dressed up with evil hand drawn imagery, sexy sinister situations and pentagrams a’ plenty! It’s the kind of comix I couldn’t seem to get enuff of in the late 80s- DAAAAMN~!
This starts a race against time, trying to track down the wicked cultists before they snatch their next innocent victim. Meanwhile we get a pretty likable/comical cast and I’d go as far to say that it at times actually moves a bit into the “rom com” category as well, making it quite an interesting little over the top mash up. So the “recently released from prison detective” (I’m guessing that is what he is?) manages to meet a sassy bar room singer one evening and even manages to rent a room from her family. In classic form, neither of them get along too well together at first and their “relationship” leads to one of the strangest sequences I’ve seen in a Hong-Kong movie yet. Involving a severed finger, a ring, laxative, a fishbowl and chopsticks. Ok so if your imagination is running wild you’ve probably guessed exactly the truly bizarre scenario that unfolds to help complete the detectives bizarre lead on these cult members whereabouts. It sorta has to be seen to be believed, you won’t see this line of action in ‘Silence of the Lambs’ or ‘Se7en’ to get a lead on a case that’s for SURE!
I really love checking out these obscure and in this case forgotten foreign films like this that managed to hit all the right wild beats yet still remain unknown to the general public, here in the USA at least. Movies just like this that manage to show you something you’ve never quite seen before in a film-it’s pretty impressive. ‘Blood Ritual’ delivers some genuine thrills and chills as well as some frenetic action sequences that are quite unique to this era of Hong Kong cinema. Stunt work that blows your mind. Also the cult members are the real devilish deal, sever their limbs and they’ll use them as a weapon in a total animalistic rage against you-it’s not being played for laughs either, something I totally can get behind. Check this shit out if you’re in doubt!
Filled with spooky locales, intense bloody action, some pretty decent humor (as least from what I could make out), some “romance” and a finale that’s right up there with the best of anything that USA produced in that era, imo better – Blood Ritual will knock you right on your ass. Think a bit of Stallone’s ‘Cobra’ with more over the top action and a vicious killer cult to dismantle. I got a copy of this on DVD from Far East Flix, though I enjoyed it, I’d say this movie is in desperate need of a cleaned up blu ray release with better subtitles.
The subs at times don’t seem to make a lick of sense either, many of them disappearing completely into the background of the movie doesn’t seem to help, still I was able to get the gist of things and could tell it’s a unique littler horror thriller in need of a “CULT” following. Someone step up to the plate and give Blood Ritual the damn respect it rightfully deserves!