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An abnormal taxi driver lusts for blood every rainy night, and several young women are killed as a result. The muderer, Laiu, likes to take photos of the victims dismembered bodies as momentos. Inspector Lee is called onto the case in this bizarre thriller. Written by
Towne 3, San Jose, Ca
Dr.Lamb's narrative structure bears more than a passing similarity to that of another infamous category III shocker, The Untold Story. Both deal with 'true-life murders', both show the police investigation and apprehension of the murderer, the subsequent interrogation (ie. beating) of the prisoner, and the retelling of the crimes in shocking flashbacks. And both have seemingly out of place comedic moments.
But where The Untold Story was unashamedly OTT sleaze and gore, Dr. Lamb is a more stylish affair. The cinematography is beautiful (maximum use is made of creative lighting with many scenes swathed in blue and red), the acting is great (Simon Yam and Danny Lee give solid performances and even the actresses playing corpses are convincing) and the direction is well handled by both star Lee and Billy Tang.
Simon Yam play serial killer Lam Gor-Yu, who prowls the streets at night in his taxi, looking for 'bad' women (mostly foul mouthed drunks) to strangle, dismember and then photograph. After he takes some of his more 'risqué' snapshots to the equivalent of his local Boots Chemists, he is arrested by the police, who wish to know the truth behind the disappearance of several women who they suspect Lam of reducing to a pile of spare parts.
30 minutes into the film, and Lam confesses all, finally giving fans of Cat III horror what they were waiting for well almost...
I know that Dr.Lamb has suffered at the hands of the censors, and that the Winson Entertainment DVD I saw is missing some seconds of strong gore, but I was surprised at how relatively bloodless this film was, especially considering that it is often mentioned in the same breath as The Untold Story and crazy shocker The Ebola Syndrome. Blood is sprayed around during the first dismemberment and we get the odd severed breast thrown in (quite literally during one 'funny' moment!), but I had been hoping for a higher 'yuck' factor.
As if to make up for the lack of gore, we get a fair amount of unsavoury action in the form of Lam's predilection for messing with the bodies of his victims, prior to cutting them up. Lam poses them for photos, uses them like puppets, and in the case of the final victim, he 'marries' her and then humps her corpse for a solid 40 minutes in front of a video camera.
For me, Dr. Lamb's mix of classy production and lurid subject matter is its main stumbling point; is this meant to be a serious study of a psychotic killer or an exploitative sleazefest? The film ends up being an uncomfortable mix of the two too much sleaze for those wanting a stylish thriller and not enough sleaze (and gore) for those wanting a memorable slice of extreme cinema.
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