Beast of the Yellow Night (1971)

A bandit on the run, Joseph Langdon, is about to meet his end in the sweaty jungles of Southeast Asia when he is approached by Satan in the form of a jolly chubby Fillipino guy and offered his life for his soul. He agrees, Satan empties a sack of meat on the ground and our movie begins!

Joseph's soul is funneled into the body of some asshole rich guy who was supposed to have died horribly. He has a gorgeous wife and all the money he needs but unfortunately for him he is basically an agent of Satan. He cannot be killed and basically runs around spreading wickedness and evil wherever he goes. Because Satan thinks mankind is too slow at that stuff (haha). Also, Joseph turns into a werewolf or something sort of randomly (mostly when his wife tries to seduce him) and he then has to go on murder sprees. So obviously this is a movie that works on multiple levels. You've got the "werewolf tearing up things" parts, the philosophic parts where Satan and Joseph have little discussions on whether or not Joseph is still a man (he is), and then the lame parts where Joseph is engaging in subtle duels of wit with his wife and his brother (not the same person).

Oh, you also have a lot of padding in the form of police detectives sitting at desks and endlessly discussing who or what could be killing all these people (I don't think it's giving much away to tell you that it's Joseph... you know... THE WEREWOLF GUY... who is committing the murders).

Overall I'd have to say that this movie is entertaining but could have been even better. As mentioned above there is a lot of padding. Sometimes the dialog is too clever for its own good (so much philosophizing!!) and thus sounds artificial. It's also kind of hard to follow the plot, mostly because two of the three most important characters have somewhat thick accents; a situation that is not helped by the audio quality on the disc I viewed.

But it's also just sort of hard to understand the motives of all these characters. Joseph is tired of his immortal existence and does some weird things, like vaguely suggesting to his brother that Mrs. Joseph secretly loves him and that he (the brother) should go find out what she thinks. It turns out that this is all a lie, but for what? To test the brother? To test the wife? Why does this guy care so much about a couple of people that he just met? Could it be just a game to him? Who cares? Not I!

Since this movie can be found in all those cheap public domain sets there's no reason not to check it out! Is that a recommendation? Probably.

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