Sunday, July 17, 2011

Rape/Revenge is Back in Hong Kong




If you got into Hong Kong films in the last couple of years, you'd be forgiven (I guess) for not being familiar with the rape/revenge genre. These fine flicks, a staple of the late 80's and early 90's, traded in deliberately nauseating but stylish rape imagery, its grisly, traumatic aftermath, and the obligatory revenge. Usually, the revenge was far bloodier and more permanent than the rape itself. Traditionally, the rapist and his cohorts came to a sad end. If you want to get sticky with these beauties, I suggest a mini home movie festival. Be sure to include Red to Kill, Love to Kill, Her Vengeance, The Untold Story, Peeping Tom, The Rape After, Dr. Lamb, and Diary of a Serial Rapist. Most of these have been lovingly praised on this blog. I won't call them guilty pleasures as I experienced no shame enjoying them. Hopefully, you won't either. If you do, perhaps this blog is not in your future stars.


Juno Mak is a glutton for punishment in Revenge: A Love Story

If a return to Hong Kong-style rape-revenge gets your engine revving, please consider Ching-Po Wong's Revenge - a Love Story (Fuk sau che chi sei; 2010), a cracking, marginally improbably rape-revenge sickie with a generous helpings of perversion. Not surprisingly, I loved it. In addition to the traditional elements of this unfairly maligned genre, you get a Japanese porn actress (the mouth-watering Sora Aoi) leading the cast's vagina brigade, and you get a subplot involving fetus buns ripped from pregnant ovens. It would be spoiling matters to reveal the plot's specifics, but I'm going to step out on a limb and recommend this baby with minimal reservations.

As noted above, credibility does get its muscles strained towards the end, but my irritation faded when I wisely decided to accept that if you'd been stabbed and filled with bullets on several occasions, you'd still be capable of kicking rapist butt, anyway. You'd have a few minor abrasions and you'd limp like a three-legged mutt, but bullets and torture wouldn't prevent you from achieving your sociopathic goals.

 Actress Sora Aoi has a healthy adult film career in Japan

The film's lighting and post-grading are sensational thanks to the talented Jimmy Wong, who also shot the delightful Extreme Ecstasy: Sex and Zen, the 3-D must-see. Juno Mak, who plays the film's hero and victim by association, is superb in a physically demanding turn.  The film's fight choreography is solid, the gore is splashy, and the bad guy is one foul muthafucking see (c) you (u) next (n) tuesday (t). Where Revenge A Love Story rises to the upper ranks of its above-mentioned brethren is in its balls-to-the-wall portrayal of a sickeningly evil villain. This guy made me physically angry as he proposed raping a traumatized young woman and carried it out over and over again (in a police station, by Crikey!). Are the rape scenes full-on, you ask? They're not Red to Kill, but they're filmed to muster maximum outrage from the audience and they're lit like an expensive TV commercial for vomit.

Accolades must go to production company 852 Films and producers Andrew Ooi and Josie Ho for soldiering forth with yet another graphic horror pic that ignores China's recent influence on Hong Kong's movie production. Since the communists took back Hong Kong, their filthy, conservative influence has been felt in the colony, and films possessing the gruesome, lurid, graphic content that was once celebrated by the Category III rating have been as rare lately as penises at a lezbo gangbang. I reviewed 852's last film, Dream Home, in a recent blog, and, despite my admiration for it, had several reservations about its muddled structure. Revenge-A Love Story has no such structural deficits, and manages to unfold in a novel way thanks to a script that knows what it is and a director who squeezes maximum dramatic juice from its creative nipples.


 The Panorama Blu-Ray, recently released, sports a dashing, low contrast transfer (which suits the film's muted color scheme), and includes four mini movies centering on different aspects of the project.

I assume broader distribution is imminent. If it isn't, someone fucked up.

Some recent criticism that the film is hypocritical (rallying against violence while writhing in its excesses) is old news to me and predictable. Most rape-revenge thrillers are "guilty" of having it both ways. In fact, it's virtually impossible to make good exploitation without the moral outrage. The two have always gone hand in hand.  

8 comments:

  1. I recently told a friend to watch "Red to Kill." Needless to say, he couldn't finish it!

    I must see "The Big Tits Zombie." They should have beat the new "Pirana" movie to the "3DD."

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  2. Yeah, RED TO KILL is a must-see. That is one grimy little movie. I do miss the days of over-the-top cat III carnage. Pretty fond of RUN AND KILL and EBOLA SYNDROME too. Thanks for the heads-up on this one.

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  3. Damn. It's times like this where I regret smoking so much pot before finishing off puberty. Anywho, I unfortunately didn't enjoy this one so much. Besides two stand-out back-to-back scenes involving gas in a gut and a flying car crash, I felt pretty neutral about it all. I felt like I was being tantalized instead of being molested; which is what I wanted and hoped for. More than anything I think my biggest gripe was not truly caring for our two leads.

    The lack of nudity from Sora was also massively deflating. Hmmm...come to think of it...that could have been my biggest gripe. ;)

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  4. Jesse W -- 'Red to Kill' sorts the men from the boys.

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    Aylmer -- Of course, 'Ebola' and 'Run and Kill' are classics also, but I didn't mention them in this context because they're not rape-focused (well, 'Ebola' is somewhat).

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    Diary -- Lack of Sora nudity was shameful. I get your 'care' gripe, but it didn't bother me too much.

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  5. jervaise brooke hamsterJuly 23, 2011 at 11:51 AM

    It looks like that British Potter dog-shit is thankfully dead and buried at the box-office already in only its second week-end of release (relatively speaking anyway), lets hope its a long, long time before so much British scum and filth pollutes and degrades American cinema's again.

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  6. I was kinda non-plussed by this one. It was well put together--especially considering the shoddy storytelling in Dream Home--but I felt it was lacking something... hammy melodrama and hilarious Engrish subtitles, perhaps? Did have all the other pre-requisites for Cat III fame: the over-the-top scumbag villain and his cohorts, retard rape, delicious tragedy, excessive violence--but overall lacked something of the "charm" of the classics. Still, I wish 852 Films luck and hope they churn out more of these more traditional Cat III nasties.

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  7. Great article. I like the attitude. Keep it up.

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  8. d -- I appreciate your take on the film, as always. We're all different.

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    lipo-6 -- Thanks, mate. Count on some attitude here!

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