The Imp (1981)
By: Devon B. on March 23, 2006  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Mei Ah (Hong Kong) All Regions, NTSC. 1.85:1 (Non-anamorphic). Mandarin DD 5.1, Cantonese DD 5.1. English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese Subtitles. 96 Minutes
The Movie
Director: Dennis Yu
Starring: Fung King-Man
Yueh Hua, Wong Chung. Charlie Chin
Screenplay: Kam-moon Cheung, Ping-hing Kam, Dun Lee
Country: Hong Kong
A man with a low level of employment skill is looking for a job. His wife is pregnant, and they're struggling financially. The man says, 'I don't care for the baby,' which I guess translates to 'I'll take any job I can,' and ends up a night watchman. But the building he's watching has some spookily-wookily stuff happening in it, like an elevator that takes him to a very low level, then fills with water while an unseen infant makes obscene phone call noises. His co-workers start having problems with staying alive, and his wife begins acting odd. Naturally, a ghost is up to no good.

It's an Asian horror movie, after all. Can't have one of those without a ghost.

The Imp
is a somewhat slow movie that lacks any real eeriness until the climax. There is some weirdness on display, like a fat guy who wears a shirt with the legend 'Am I a Girl,' and the follow up shirt 'No, I'm a Boy,' or the curse threatening a baby be born with no asshole. The only really good thing are SOME of the undead guards in the finale, so I found this movie a bit slow and overrated, since it's evidently regarded by some as the best Hong Kong horror film ever.

The DVD presents The Imp at approximately 1.85:1. Even though it's a Mei Ah release, the image is well produced for a Chinese DVD at the time. The print itself, though, is very speckley and suffers blotches and scratches, and the colors, especially blacks, are muted. There's also a weird blotch that shows up in lighter backgrounds, which I thought was just dust on my TV at first. The film bleeds off the lower matte, creating a weird haze.
The film is available in Cantonese or Mandarin with a few sub options, including English. As usual, the Mandarin dub is inferior to the Cantonese track. The subs are on the matte, and get a bit lost in lighter backgrounds, but remain legible. Despite being a Mei Ah DVD, the subs are mostly error free and audio quality is fine, but not impressive.
Extra Features
The Verdict
I didn't really like The Imp, but even if I did, the DVD is not a thrilling presentation of the film. It seems some effort went into the disc itself, which is a rarity from Mei Ah, but no effort was put forth in procuring a decent print of the film as a starting point.
Movie Score
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