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Anthony Chau-Sang Wong,
Man Tat Ng
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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 is directed by Danny Lee (co-star of The Killer and the cop in The Untold Story) and Billy Tang (director of Red to Kill and Run & Kill) and this film is one of the earlier Category 3 movies with Sentenced to Hang and Story of Ricky. After these films, brutally violent and sexually explicit horror thrillers began to be made and that highest age limit was invented.
Dr. Lamb is not as superb as The Untold Story or Run & Kill but it is still very chilling and stylish true crime film but I don't know how close this is to truth. Anyway, a disturbed young man drives a taxi in Hong Kong and he has very bad traumas from his childhood. Murdered and mutilated women start to appear and the police investigation begins..The horrific truth is about to be discovered..
Simon Yam is among the greatest psycho actors in Hong Kong (and world!) and only equivalent for him is Anthony Wong. The acting in Lamb is once again very professional and unforgettable, and when he "freaks out" it sure is scary and horrific to watch. At times, it makes me wonder how these gentlemen can act like that, no matter how professionals they are! Yam's motif for these killings is that he is on a mission from God and he has to kill all the bad women. Prostitutes and addicts are for instance "bad" women and due to his traumas and awful childhood he thinks that he has to purify and clean the streets out of this scum. But the main point and theme in Dr. Lamb is exactly the same as in The Untold Story: the power and behaviour of police. How far can police go in order to get info and answers? The police no longer is the "good" guy and they are no better than the victims. The message is not as powerful as in Untold Story which is at times almost unbearably hard to watch due to the acts police commits. But the same problems are discussed in Dr. Lamb and this can be described very important issue and no-nonsense film.
The film is also pretty stylish and professional, as we can expect from these film makers. The use of blue and dark colours and light is gorgeous and the film looks fantastic. The rain is always there and so is depressing atmosphere. This looks as wonderful as the finale in Billy Tang's Red to Kill. Dr. Lamb is almost hypnotic at times, so this is once again unforgettable cinema from the great Hong Kong and has no equivalents in Western cinema. The music is also important element here and I can't point out many technical flaws in the film. There are couple of "funny" scenes which should have been left out, but fortunately they are only very few.
The violence and sex is always the thing which alienates people from this kind of cinema and Dr. Lamb is not easier to watch than any other of its kind. The violence and gore is not as extreme as in Untold Story but it is still too much for mainstream audiences. Dead bodies are abused and body parts are cut off. The imagery is occasionally off-putting, but then we have to remember, what actually led the protagonist to commit these horrific acts. The difference between Western and Orient (horror) cinema is as clear as crystal: subject matters and imagery which is definitely a no-no in West (necrophilia, brutality towards women/children etc.) are by no means taboos in Orient. I am not too familiar with the Chinese culture, but watching Chinese films definitely shows that there are many cultures in the world and our Western is just one of them. And when the Chinese/Orient film makers show in their films such a horrific acts mentioned above, it definitely means NOT that they accept these things and don't think they're bad. They are bad and the Orient films say they're bad, so only thing the viewer has to be able to do is to INTERPRET these difficult films and see though them and analyze them. This is too much and too hard for most of the people and that's why the films are considered just sick, disgusting, pointless and so on. Orient films as seen through Western eyes are difficult and require a lot from the viewer, and I like difficult cinema which require brains.
Dr. Lamb is one of the greatest achievements in this field and absolutely worth seeking out for Hong Kong fanatics. Too bad that the newly released DVD from Hong Kong is cut for violence and reportedly the uncut print doesn't even exist anymore, or at least is not likely to be released anywhere. The Spanish VHS tape is the only uncut version I know but it is dubbed into Spanish. Some old HK versions may be uncut too but I don't know about them. But the new DVD is still OK because the cuts are not as bad as possible and there are no any substitutes, especially for English speaking people.
8/10 and recommended for the lovers of Eastern cinema.
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