Imagine you went to Tesco for some baked beans, but when you got home you found the tin was packed full of monkey nuts. Or if the box of Corn Flakes you opened for breakfast actually contained not salty lumps of processed maize, but with inch square sheets of paper cut from Croatian travel brochures how would you feel? Irritation coupled with bemusement most probably. Which in a roundabout way brings me nicely to 'Severely Raped', a film that, with such a bald, 'in your face' title, I approached with a certain apprehension and with my finger hovering on the fast forward button in case, as often happens in films of this genre, the on-screen events graphically degenerate into something I'd rather not watch. Well my finger quickly found the controller button, but it was rewind rather than fast forward 'Severely Raped' is one of the few films I had to actually stop half hour in and start watching again with the right 'mindset' because the events unfolding on screen bore absolutely no relation to what I imagined from the title and, I must confess, I didn't know what the hell was going on.
'Severely Raped' seems to concern the adventures of two friends - a forty year old virgin called Fok who's desperate to pop his cherry, and his mate Kam who may or may not be trying to swindle him out of his money. They arrive in Hong Kong looking for ladies and Kam quickly hooks up with Bobo who in turn introduces Fok to her friend Ling. Sure enough, Fok's quest soon comes to an end when they end up in bed together. For a while, all seems fine and dandy between the four of them, with Fok more than willing to splash out his money on his new lady-friend, but trouble looms when Fok and Kam find out that both Bobo and Ling are in fact two prostitutes playing them for suckers and are fleecing them of every dollar they have. Kam discovers the pair of them with their pimp and, after being laughed at for a bit, he slinks away with his tail between his legs to tell his mate the bad news. And that seems to be it.
I say 'seems' because the subtitling makes it very hard to tell what's going on here. Lengthy speeches of on screen dialogue are frequently condensed into three world lines of text that may be easy to read, but bear as much relevance to the source material as the winner of Monty Python's Summarise Proust' competition. But the trouble is of course, 'Severely Raped' was not scripted by Proust (or if it has, it's by Proust's idiot brother in the attic rather than the more famous sibling). It's quite possible that the acres of un/mistranslated dialogue contain the sharpest one-liners and wittiest dialogue this side of Noel Coward, but somehow I doubt it.
One thing that IS certain though is that nobody in this film gets raped or anything like it. Indeed, 'Severely Raped' plays more like a grittier version of an instalment of the 1970's 'Confessions' series of films, but without any humour. Whatsoever. (Thankfully we get no scenes reminiscent of Robin Askwith and his pneumatic arse but there are some softcore scenes that are rather more graphic than necessary when they involve a bald, overweight forty-year-old bloke with a moustache, but I digress).
Indeed, it's difficult to see what the whole 'point' of 'Severely Raped' is - what exactly are the filmmakers trying to say here? The acting and production values on display would shame Ed Wood, and the static direction and solid oak acting make the above-mentioned Confessions films play like Fellini in comparison.
'Severely Raped' is an undistinguished, unremarkable and unmemorable piece of work that fails to engage, interest or satisfy on any level. The overriding impression is that the filmmakers agree with this assessment too and so stuck a controversial title on top of it in a feeble attempt to generate the levels of controversy and interest that calling it 'Forty Year Old Virgin Tries To Pop Cherry' simply wouldn't. (Actually, in that respect, 'Severely Raped' is the antithesis of certain other Eastern cinema gems like 'A Day Without Policemen' or 'There's A Secret In My Soup' which sound like jolly Ealing comedies but in fact contain prolonged sequences of horrendous violence!). Doubtless the punter settling down to enjoy 90 minutes of sadistic rape scenes will be sorely disappointed by all this, but such people deserve all they get to be honest and they'll get no sympathy here.
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