Hong Kong Digital
is a recurring series of movie reviews by John Charles -- associate
editor / film reviewer for Video Watchdog magazine and the author
of The Hong Kong Filmography.
Although a band of flame thrower-wielding troops manage to locate and torch a large nest of snake eggs hidden in the sewers, one of the creatures eludes them. Upon reaching the street, it transforms into a young, naked girl (played by Japanese porn star Miho Nomoto, known to her Cantonese fans as Ching Kar-mei) who is discovered the next morning by lonely widower Choi (Elvis Tsui Kam-kong). Thinking that this strange new guest is an illegal immigrant, he lets her stay in his home and dubs her "Fong" (the English subtitles actually identify her as Shit Fong, but I'll go with the short form for the sake of propriety). Quickly smitten, Choi (who has been unable to make love ever since accidentally killing his wife) quite willingly overlooks Fong's bizarre behavior and rather unusual dining habits (like a propensity for eating chickens fresh out of the backyard and swallowing eggs, shell and all).
Choi's cousin, Marco (Vincent Wan Yeung-ming), is constantly hanging around, trying to weasel some capital for a business deal but really needs the money to pay off some murderous loan sharks. His assistant, Grace (Carrie Ng Kar-lai, looking more alluring than her sometimes naked co-star), has been conducting DNA experiments on snakes and spiders, in order to come up with a way to make pests attack and destroy each other. She immediately detects something strange about Choi's new houseguest and suspects that Fong is ready to try and reproduce. When the triads break two of his fingers (which magically seem to have healed themselves by the next scene), a desperate Marco takes radical action to get the money he feels his rich cousin owes him.
Miho Nomoto. Image courtesy Kam.
While not as much fun as last year's exquisitely strange PHANTOM OF SNAKE, this goofy horror thriller is more ambitious and enjoyable than one might expect. Nomoto isn't much of an actress but Fong (much like the snakewomen from the various adaptations of "White Snake") is successfully depicted as a sympathetic figure, with her "animal naviety" making her a better "human" than the real thing. However, lest SEX MEDUSA be mistaken for anything other than the low-rent exploitation film it is, director Lo Wai-tak employs lots of cheesy but colorful CGI FX, showing Nomoto transforming between human and reptile, having snakes sprout from her head, becoming instantly pregnant after sex with Wan, etc. It all adds up to gruesome and schlocky fun for undemanding horror fans but animal lovers are warned that the movie also contains mondo-style footage of real snakes fighting, being burned alive, or stuck with syringes, as well as a pair of tarantulas squaring off to the death. The packaging carries the IIB rating, while the Category III logo appears before the actual presentation. There is plenty of ghastly imagery and Nomoto appears in the buff on several occasions, so this version probably is indeed adults-only.