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Posts Tagged ‘Herman Wau’

When rotted human remains wash up on a beach, the police are dispatched to investigate. Their search leads them to the Eight Immortals Restaurant, with it’s local proprietor, Wong Chi Hang. But it seems Wong has ownership of the restaurant without proof, which leads one cop, above all his bumbling peers, to think there’s more to Wong than he’s willing to tell. As their investigation progresses, the cops find themselves on a missing persons case: the man who originally ran the restaurant and his entire family have just gone missing without a trace. The only man with knowledge of what happened to that family is Wong, who very well may be responsible for the disappearances of employees too. What the cops must uncover will be an unlikely horror they couldn’t anticipate, from a very dangerous man capable of doing even more evil acts, in the one thing no one had even considered…

Famed for being one of the most shocking Asian horror movies, “The Untold Story” is surprisingly not as gory as one would expect with that reputation; however, this is not saying that the movie doesn’t live to the hype, as it is definitely a shocking experience although for a very different reason.

The movie features a couple of pretty graphic and sick moments, that makes this movie stand out in its genre. It’s one of those movies that got banned in numerous countries at the time of its release and is heavily cut in others. Not that it’s the most nastiest movie around but it does have its moments that will make some people’s stomach turn.

The first half would make you think that there’s nothing grisly about this movie – in fact it’s pretty light hearted and pictures a comical view of the Macau cops but all that changes in the second half when the horrific stuff appears which includes the shocking murders of several children. “The Untold Story” is often hard to watch, but it’s definitely never boring, and while crude, the portrait of sadistic violence it makes of the crime is captivating in a way that few horror movies are. While this is definitely one of the best CAT III movies of its time, it’s not without flaws.

This movie is now a classic of Hong Kong cinema, and essential viewing for those interested in the infamous exploitation movies rated as CAT III. It’s not a movie for everyone, but if you have an interest for gritty tales of serial killers, “The Untold Story” is a must-see.

Sadako’s Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

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What better way to get this new blog on its way than with a review of one of Hong Kong’s most notorious classic Category III shockers. I present to you the wickedly dark comedy gorefest Ebola Syndrome.

Directed by one of Hong Kong’s prolific directors Herman Wau who also shot another horror called The Untold Story (I haven’t seen this yet) and starring Anthony Wong in an ultra violent exploitation piece of filmmaking.

It’s 1986 and lowlife scum Kai works in a Chinese restaurant in Hong Kong. When he’s not serving dishes out to customers in a nonchalant way, he’s having sex with the boss’ wife! When he’s caught in the act in the room upstairs by the boss and his wife says he raped her, the boss beats him up and vows to inflict some torture on him by tying him up in a chair. Kai though has other ideas and manages somehow to get himself out of the situation, goes apeshit and murders his boss, the wife and some of his co-workers but not before slicing off part of the boss’ wife’s tongue with some garden shears. Nasty!!! Just as he’s about to kill off the young daughter, another co-worker walks in and Kai walks out.

Fast forward 10 years and Kai has fled to South Africa where he again works in a Chinese restaurant in Johannesburg for a married couple. He’s still the same despicable character as before and the boss’ wife hates him with a passion. He’s even prone to listening next door on the boss and his wife having sex whilst he relieves himself into the restaurant’s meat (which he then cooks to customers)! Gross!!!!!

Whilst out on an outing with the boss to secure cheap meat, they end up in a native village where some of the villagers have died from the Ebola virus. On the way back an argument ensues when Kai crashes the car into a tree whilst trying to avoid a herd of elephants. As Kai saunters off in a huff towards a nearby lake he chances upon a young native girl prone on the floor. Seizing an opportunity to have sex, he forces himself upon her. The girl starts to have convulsions and finally spits blood in his face before dying. Now Kai is infected with Ebola but the doctors find that he’s only a carrier and won’t get the full blown disease. It’s not too long before Kai’s violent tendencies flare up again and he murders the boss and his wife, carving and then serving them up as special hamburgers to the restaurant’s customers. When he finds the boss’ secret money stash he decides to go back home to Hong Kong where an Ebola outbreak starts to happen there. Hot on his tail is the daughter of the boss who narrowly survived Kai’s first murderous spree – now all grown up and the police.

I’d heard a lot about Ebola Syndrome during the past 5 years about its reputation and had avoided it just for that but recently I thought what the hell and gave it a go. It’s certainly one of the most gross out horrors I’ve ever seen but also one of the funniest (am I weird in saying that?).  The only thing I found very distressing about this movie was the graphic deaths of live animals such as Kai slicing up frogs to be used in a dish and also in the native village where we get to see some chickens being inhumanely killed (if you’re an animal lover I suggest you look away during these sequences) but if this doesn’t bother you one bit there’s a lot to interest any gorehound out there (including quite a gruesome autopsy on somebody’s face!). Anthony Wong is a joy to watch as Kai. Just the way he acts, his facial expressions and his behaviour in this movie had me in fits of laughter (except when he turned violent of course!). It looks like he was born to play the perverted loser Kai! The script isn’t really up to scratch to be perfectly honest but this movie has enough to keep it ticking over. Overall, Ebola Syndrome is a cult HK classic that any horror fan should check out.

Sadako’s Rating: 3 out of 5

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