Little Devil (Review)

Little Devil

aka The Devil Warrior

1969HKMDB link
Directed by Chan Lit-Ban
Written by Sze-To On

Taiwan has been a source of lots of rarities, but for once let us look at a Taiwanese rare film that doesn’t have giant monsters in it. Sad, I know, but we’ll have more Taiwanese giant monster flicks soon enough. Instead, we got a sort of fantasy film that has a demon dude and funky kung fu powers, but only goes over the top in various parts. There is good fight choreography, best I have seen so far from a Taiwanese production back then. There are also lots of blood sprays and blood packs that make the sword kills rocking good fun.

Little Devil is also known as The Devil Warrior. It does not look like it was ever released in the US, so get your butt to the rare tape circles if you want a hold of this one!

Now, TarsTarkas.NET doesn’t need no stinking subtitles, and we especially don’t need no stinking subtitles when the subtitles are only in Korean! The language spoken is Mandarin, which my wife can understand but not well. So even though I scored a coup by actually getting her to watch this one (probably due to her recognizing Bobo Fung) the words were flying by too fast to catch all the small details, but we should have all the big ones. Most of the rest is a guess based on what is happening onscreen and the plot synopsis off of the HKFA.

Yeung Siu-fung (Petrina Fung Bo-Bo) – Despite being a boy, Yeung Siu-fung is played by a girl! Totally unheard of in Chinese cinema. I mean, totally normal in Chinese cinema, the weird films are the ones where everyone is the correct gender. Fung Bo-Bo was nicknamed “Shirley Temple of Hong Kong” as a child star, the daughter of actor/director Feng Feng. Her most recent role that Western audiences will know is 1992’s 92 Legendary La Rose Noire (unless you recognized her cameo in All’s Well Ends Well 2009.)
Chui Yuk-wah (Nancy Sit Ka-Yin) – Speaking of weird gender stuff, Yuk-wah is a girl played by a girl who disguises herself as a boy. Nancy Sit was a teen movie queen who retired to be married, raise kids, and get divorced. Oops! Thus, she returned to show biz in the popular Auntie Ho tv series and made mad money, and even popped up in The God of Cookery and Black Rose II.
Pak-chuen (Chiang Nan) – Yuk-wah’s father and evil dude. He hate orphans so he kills Siu-fung. He’s so evil his daughter runs away, and then he uses his magic eye power kung fu to attack Sound Devil.
Sound Devil (Gu Sam-Lam) – Sound Devil is a crazy devil guy who always has a weird look on his face, flies around, spends his spare time being buried in snow, and also rescues murdered orphans and trains them in kung fu. Just like the real devil! Gu Sam-Lam is also known as Ku Sum-lam
Mui Yau-tang (Adam Cheng Siu-Chow) – Owner of an inn with his sister. Yau-tang longs for some action in his boring life, but he can’t even get the guests at the inn to pay their bills. Gets more than he bargains for as the film progresses. Adam Cheng is probably best known to cult movie buffs for his role in Fantasy Mission Force as the boss of the female tribe, and he also appeared in The Eight Hilarious Gods.
Mui Fung-kei (Sum Chi-wah) – Sister and co-owner of the inn that Siu-fung and Yuk-wah end up at, and thus she and her bro get dragged into the drama going on.

Siu-fung collects flowers for Chui Yuk-wah, but her evil father Chui Pak-chuen grabs her and shoves Siu-fung (who bleeds a LOT from his lip) He goes to Yuk-wah’s house to give her back the flowers, but instead witnesses Pak-chuen murder some people and ends up getting murdered in the snow himself by Pak-chuen. Yuk-wah cries over his body, and there is a pipe blowing out smoke by them. It looks all weird. In addition, the wind goes all crazy and Yuk-wah runs back to her house.

Underneath the snowdrift Siu-fung’s body is on, Sound Devil pops out and recognizes Siu-fung by a birthmark. Sound Devil laughs a lot, floats off with Siu-fung’s body. Takes him back to his lair and revives him via a smoke-box house. Teaches Siu-fung to fight with circular saw blade weapons. Siu-fung then attacks evil gangs. A gang in black, a ninja gang, and a gang with no clear theme all die before his blades. Then Siu-fung realizes that violence is not the answer and instead starts wandering. Glad he figured that out. Unless you are one of the hundreds he killed, in which case the answer was figured too late.

At a town, after getting rejected playing bricks with the other children, Siu-fung is bullied by a jerk. The bullying continues when Siu-fung tries to feed an orphan girl, the girl getting robbed and beaten by the bullies. This pushes Siu-fung to his limits, so he fights again and kills the bully and part of his gang. Siu-fung says his name, and thus him being alive makes its way back to Pak-chuen. It may be 14 years later, or it may have been 14 years since Pak-chuen last fought Sound Devil. Take your pick, we got a lot of movie to cover and can’t sweat the details.

Some scrawny dude is wandering around an inn listening to stories from liars who claim their kung fu skills are good. He is hostel owner Mui Yau-tang, and he is ripped off by gamblers with fake dice. No one at the hotel except Siu-fung is paying for their room. Mui Yau-tang’s sister Fung-kei is upset, but she is a girl, so she can’t do a good job collecting the money. Yuk-wah arrives dressed in a fighter uniform looking more and more like a girl even though she is supposed to be disguised as a boy.

The people won’t pay and are assaulting the innkeepers when an official who is the son of Pak-chuen arrives with men, who force the revolting guest to flee on their knees. But these new guests are an even bigger problem as they just take free food and drink. And then they try to rape Fung-kei. By now Yuk-wah comes out to stop them and fights with the bad guys, but she runs when she sees the guy is her brother.

Never fear, Siu-fung comes out to challenge them. He fights them off and the official runs. Siu-fung chases after and catches up by the morning. The official is killed by his own sword as it flips back into him. I wonder if this happens a lot in Australia, what with the boomerangs. That’s probably why there are no Aussie kung fu flicks.

The innkeepers are following Siu-fung to try to reward him but he runs off. They run into swordswoman Yuk-wah instead, though she is going by Siu-fung’s name, causing confusion, especially when another one of her father’s thugs runs into her with his gang. They quickly get into a fight with Yuk-wah, and though Yuk-wah kills a few of the men she is hit with a throwing knife and staggers off. The innkeepers find her and hide her, and they also flag down Siu-fung, and enlist his help fighting off the bad guys

Yuk-wah argues with Siu-fung because she thinks he is another imposter using Siu-fung’s name. She knocks him down and Siu-fung refuses to fight back. She stops and appears to recognize Siu-fung when his lip is bleeding profusely, which happens so often with the real Siu-fung it is like his trademark. Who needs “Don’t have a cow, man!” when you can just bleed your lip?

Pak-chuen’s men rally and declare they will get Siu-fung. They do an excellent tracking job as Pak-chuen’s chief lieutenant, his brother who wears green, and his men are fighting Siu-fung the very next scene. In a forest swamp area. Siu-fung kills all the green guy’s men, but the green guy is too good fo a fighter for the tired and injured Siu-fung, who is about to get killed when Yuk-wah arrives and saves him. She fights with her uncle, and although she pleads with him, she is forced to kill him.

Siu-fung and Yuk-wah talk and have proper reunion. The innkeepers catch up again and the four chat a while. Then the whole group is attacked by soldiers that were pretending to be dead. It is a neat trick. The four heroes kill them, then Pak-chuen shows up with more men. His daughter tries to reason with him, but to no avail and we get another fight!

It is a sword fighting good time. Eventually Pak-chuen must fight Siu-fung, who now uses some fancy flying upside down trick. Pak-chuen fights back with spooky magic eye that causes everyone else to faint and Siu-fung to get hypnotized. The others get up and beg Pak-chuen to spare Siu-fung. He won’t, but then the laughing Sound Devil flies in, turning off the hypnosis.

Everyone collapses again thanks to the sound of laughter, so Siu-fung helps them while Sound Devil laughs at Pak-chuen. Sui-fung finds out that Sound Devil is his father, because we need more family unity before the final battle.

Sound Devil spins around and laughs and causes a bunch of special effects to go off. He blinds himself so the magic eye attack won’t work, then the two struggle on the ground rolling around choking each other. Sound Devil fires a breath of cold blast that almost kills Pak-chuen, then Pak-chuen throws a sword into Sound Devil. Both fathers die with their children by them.

Siu-fung and Yuk-wah walk off together. Then dead Pak-chuen crawls over to dead Sound Devil and grabs his hand. Yep. Symbolic. Of something! Take that, movies without symbolism! You can’t compete with Little Devil.

Rated 7/10 (ninja raiders, sassy, other raiders, yahtzee, evil dude, other evil dude, the eyes have it!)

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Written by Tars Tarkas

Tars Tarkas

Runs this joint!