Plot: Luke (Warhawk Tanzania) is a martial arts master who heads to Hong Kong with his pupil Rodan (Wilfredo Roldan), in order to get in some high level training and earn his next promotion. But thanks to some hijinks from Rodan, when the two return to New York, they’re trailed by an unexpected guest. A medallion that Rodan removed from an ancient coffin might look fashionable, but it has also awoken a centuries old demon that is now on the hunt. The demon soon begins to prey upon the locals and given the tensions on the street, most people believe the killings are part of some conflict between gangs. But another popular theory involves mutant cats, so the police have some leads, if killer felines are indeed involved. Can Luke solve this insane situation before more death arrives and before the police declare open war on both the street gangs and the mutant cats of New York?
Entertainment Value: Also known as Gang Wars, Devil’s Express is a blend of street crime, horror, and martial arts, a fairly wild ride that features some odd moments and fun action scenes. I think the martial arts aspect works the best here, as the crime investigation angle is a little weak and the horror elements are minimal, at least until close to the finale. But the movie delivers a consistent flow of martial arts showdowns, in hokey, but fun brawls. You know, the kind where strikes miss by a country mile, but are still sold like death, which I think is hilarious and super fun. The fight scenes are frequent and even includes one where Luke kicks ass while wearing a pair of golden velvet overalls. The finale is a wild one and amps up the horror, but the martial arts elements carry this one. Warhawk Tanzania has the lead and is an unusual performer, but he is interesting, to say the least. All of the acting tends to lean on camp, but that should be no surprise, given the tone and premise involved. The movie is pure b movie cheese, so those in search of competent, well made cinema might not be impressed, but those who appreciate the less stable side of film, Devil’s Express is a fun watch.
No nakedness. The movie is too focused on kicking ass, fighting crime, and battling an ancient demon to be concerned with romance. We are treated to some bloodshed, in big, goopy gushes, no less. The blood is the wonderful bright red paint looking stuff and it is used liberally, when called on. Most of the blood occurs in non graphic ways, but there is a cool scene where the demon rips open his torso in vivid fashion, so there is a dash of gore present. I also love the painted on, bulging eyes used on one character, it is so stupid looking, but hilarious. The demon creature itself looks quite cool, with a gross visual presence and of course, seeing it fight it out, martial arts style adds a lot of whimsy to the final showdown. The dialogue has street lingo, tough guy talk, martial arts wisdom, and more, often presented in odd cadence with unusual phrasing. I found this to be a great source of entertainment, but some might not appreciate the weird verbal approach as much as I did. On the craziness scale, the premise is much wilder than the movie itself, but it still supplies some solid wackiness. The stilted dialogue, outlandish performances, haphazard fight scenes, and general production oddities add a few points.
Overall Insanity: 5/10