Demon Warriors (2007)

Calling Demon Warriors wildly, brutally insane is perhaps an understatement. It is confused, excessively violent, baffling and thoroughly enjoyable. A great watch, but any attempt to understand the story will have even the smartest person scratching the scalp off their skull. Mad, confusing, bloody fun.

Demon Warriors begins with a screen declaring “This movie is to make people realise that suicide is a sin and afterlife is a misconception. This is an imaginary story. It happened in a world where people were misguided about the sin of suicide and were cursed for their sins in a parallel world called Opapatika.” It’s a mental, religiously didactic start, but a very intriguing premise.

Although the opening parable claims Opapatika is a world, Opapatika are actually supernatural beings brought into existence when certain people commit suicide. Our presumed protagonist is Taesit, persuaded into shooting himself in the face by an enigmatic Opapatika, who wants to use him to gather other Opapatika together, his reasons hidden. The other Opapatika really do not want to be gathered, and a war begins between newly Opaptika-ed Taesit and four angry Opapatikas. Taesit has an army of seemingly endless soldiers, while the Opapatika have some very extreme powers.

The result of the Opapatika fight is furious, bloody carnage, and as the lines of allegiance blur, Taesit begins to question who he’s fighting for and quickly learns being an Opapatika comes at a heavy price.

Demon Warriors is visually arresting, featuring some great urban scenery and spectacular fights scenes. Some of it is utterly incredible – an alleyway battle between one Opapatika and a squadron of soldiers is brutal and brilliantly choreographed. The machete through the hand moment is so painfully stylish it’s a wonder to behold. The violence is more Kill Bill than actually realistic, with blood spurting from cuts and blades never blunting, but it’s immensely good fun. Bullets blow open skulls, swords slice off limbs, hundreds of people die. It’s manic, massacre-filled mayhem. It’s just a shame the storyline doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.

Demon Warriors suffers from a confused mythology that any audience will find hard to follow. The reasons for Opapatika’s existence is unknown, as only a small portion of suicide victims become them. Their purpose is unclear, their love of a random, sedate woman is unclear, the weird-clawed uber-Opaptika’s motivation is unclear, the subtitle translation is often flawed and the main twist is baffling and unexpected. Yet all this doesn’t particularly matter, as it’s a furiously wild ride of insanely enjoyable violence.

Each Opapatika has a special ability – telepathy, immortality, supreme fighting skill, the ability to conjure an animalistic ghostly version of yourself, super-speed and more. Every action, however, has a consequence for an Opaptika. Taesit, our apparent hero, has telepathy, but the more he uses it the quicker it dulls all his other senses. The super-warrior’s body is covered in all the scars of his victim’s wounds; the immortal guy can never, ever die and spends eternity in torment. It’s a tough gig, but with great power comes… a lot of confused motivations.

Demon Warriors is a fresh idea, totally bonkers and difficult to grasp, but so visually splendidly wild that its inconsistencies fail to concern. Mad, bloody and perhaps too confused for some, Demon Warriors is definitely worth a watch.

Rating: ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆

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