Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Rape After

Any film that is big on scabs, sores, scorched flesh, and tragic mutations is for me. The Rape After is no exception. With a title like that, you couldn't be faulted for expecting an orgy of angry vagina violence in the glorious I Spit On Your Grave tradition, but you would be wrong.

Meng Hua Ho and Moon-Tong Lau's '86 flick has more in common with Seeding of a Ghost, Boxer's Omen, and Shaw's Black Magic flicks than other Hong Kong obscuros like The Rapist, Bloody Beast, or Devil of Rape.

Admittedly, it's a more modestly budgeted effort than the Shaw films, and nobody turns in what you'd call a praiseworthy performance.

Still, it's well worth catching if scabs, sores, third degree burns, pus, and reanimated corpses rock your boat.

It's important to make it clear from the get-go that the plot makes little sense. In order for the film to justify its unrelenting onslaught of weirdness, the storyline chops and changes and does impossible somersaults that will leave you slack-jawed and reeling from the implausibilities.That aside, there is plenty of enjoyment to be had for the adventurous viewer.

Melvin Wong, a super-sleazy photographer, lives to bed as many gullible women as possible. Not surprisingly, one gets pregnant.

But being a card-carrying gentleman...

... Mr. Wong arranges for a late night abortion at a spooky house (as you do) for the unfortunate lass. The abortion goes haywire when the unborn asserts its right to life. All hell, naturally, breaks loose.

So does the semi-aborted baby with its umbilical cord in hand.

Still in character, Wong steals a rare statue from a spooky gallery, takes it home, and finds himself cursed.

The rest of the movie is a wild, gory ride that teaches us not to steal old statues of scary looking critters.

Although the opening sequence has little to do with the rest of the movie, it's a ripper.

A woman goes to visit a classroom of deformed, freaky, sore-infested children. The emphasis on scabs and sores in this scene is beyond affection. More a celebration of corrupted flesh.

One pus-faced freak is a relative -- not mine, unfortunately, hers! I was hoping to God that these very special characters, who look like extras from Horrors of Malformed Men, would play major roles in the film.

Unfortunately, they're only there for their good looks, not their infinite storyline potential.

Like other flicks of its moist, bloody ilk, the tone of this is hysterical and unrelenting. Old superstitions win out, of course...

... and every supernatural encounter is an excuse to show zombies, running ghosts, melting faces, monsters groping humans... and more sores and lesions.

For my money, any film that ends on a freeze frame like this one deserves respect.

Shuffle, don't walk, to see The Rape After. And bring a used condom.


  1. I'm fond of this little gem. Aside from being an unapologetically nasty and tasteless gross-out horror, it's got some decent atmosphere. Looks like you've got just about the best looking version I've seen... DVD?

  2. d -- yes, very decent atmosphere. The version I have is a DVD.

    There aren't any perfect looking versions available anywhere, unfortunately.