Devil Touch

Director: Billy Tang

Billy Tang of Red to Kill and Run and Kill fame had lowered the queasy factor considerably by 2002 due to changing audience taste, but he still throws in a few enjoyably gruesome moments in this corporate thriller. One would think that with Hong Kong having become a city of skyscrapers and multinational corporations, that there would be more films dealing with corporate shenanigans but off the top of my head none come to mind. Not that this is a subtle discerning exploration of corporate greed and deal making, but one would not expect that from Tang as he fills the screen with backstabbing, blackmail, ambition, seduction and murder.

A large corporation is in the process of secret and delicate merger negotiations and all the contenders for the top job are trying to outmaneuver one another and if that doesn’t work, then sabotage is the order of the day. Mr. Cheuk (Michael Tiu Dai-yue) appears to be the leading candidate for the CEO job until his ex-secretary Amy (Iris Chai) attacks him in his office with a knife and accuses him of previously raping her. The owner of the company (Henry Fong) brings in Joe (Alex Fong) to shift through the evidence and decide what the truth is. Cheuk claims it was mutual seduction, Amy claims it was a brutal rape – in the end Amy is bought off with a corporate check and Cheuk sent off on suspension. Was he set up or not?

But there are twists within turns as nothing is quite as it seems and no one is to be trusted, especially Jacqueline (Pinky Cheung), an ambitious woman who is determined to break the glass ceiling even if she has to do it with a ball peen hammer, a vegetable slicer or a chainsaw. This is a woman you literally do not want to turn your back on – ever. Pinky brings this film to life whenever she shows up and thankfully she dominates the second half and wrests the film from a bunch of anemic male performances. Pinky is in true psycho mode here and we are blessed not only with a modest lesbian sex scene but also getting to see Pinky in red – blood red that is on a few occasions. It is far from a good film, but whenever Pinky is in it, it is more than watchable.

My rating for this film: 6.0