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In Hong Kong, Aunt Mei is a cook famous for her home-made rejuvenation dumplings, based on a millenarian recipe prepared with a mysterious ingredient that she brings directly from China. ... See full summary »
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A yakuza enforcer is ordered to secretly drive his beloved colleague to be assassinated. But when the colleague unceremoniously disappears en route, the trip that follows is a twisted, surreal and horrifying experience.
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In the segment "Cut," towards the end of the film there is a panning shot looking in through a window. The reflection of one or more persons standing on the outside portion (the side the camera is on) can be seen. See more »
Directors: Takashi Miike, Chan Wook Park, Fruit Chan
Review: As of late Japanese horror directors are hot as hell. American horror directors have known this for some time and some have even gone as far as trying to add Japanese sensibilities to their films. First guy to come to mind is Eli Roth with his "Hostel". Sadly Roth couldn't really get it right. Hostel turned out to be a bad imitation of a J-horror film mixing Japanese style gore with frat boy mentality. It doesn't work, because for the most part these J-horror films aren't so much about gore or violence. Yes, they have the gore, but its not ONLY about that. They have more of a psychological thing going for them and not only that but they have something to say about society. Something a bit different then just having your average day killer going around killing teenagers, though I don't mind a dose of that every now and again. "J-horror" keeps blowing away anything that's being made in American horror films of today. I know that's a very common statement being made these days, but it is very very true. Sadly most American horror films are commercial throw aways that nobody will give a crap about after a few months have passed by. But that's not the case with some of the horror directors emerging from Asian cinema today.
Case in point the film Three Extremes which unites three of the best Japanese horror directors working today. Takashi Miike whos name is practically a house hold name amongst horror film fans. He is the man responsible for such great horror films as Audition, Ichi the Killer and Gozu among a gazillion others. Then we have Chan Wook Park who shot straight to stardom with his incredibly unforgettable Oldboy. Which by the way is a film I strongly urge anyone who hasn't see it yet to do themselves a favor and go and rent it right now. And last but not least Fruit Chan, the least know of the three, at least to me anyway. The film is divided into three equal parts each part directed by a different director, an anthology film if you will.
The first story is Fruit Chan's "Dumplings". A story about an aging actress who is searching for a way to stay young. When she comes across a rumor about a lady who makes these special dumplings that help you maintain a young appearance she quickly jumps at the opportunity. Whats in the dumplings? And are their any side effects to taking them? That's what shes about to find out. This story is a great way to start the film. Its funny cause at a glance the story appears to be a "light" and somewhat comedic little story, yet before you know it, the story ventures into dark dark territory. Stick through to the end for this one and you will be shocked. I promise.
The second story in the film is Chan Wook Parks tale entitled "CUT". This story is about a young horror movie director who is making a vampire film. The story opens with one of the scenes from his movie and let me tell you, I know it's a movie within a movie type of thing, but that movie that the director is making looked freakin awesome. It's almost as if director Chan Wook wanted to say "I don't make commercial horror films, but if I did this what it would be like!" Those first opening minutes are awesome! After that we follow the director as he closes down the set and encounters a truly screwed up extra that has appeared in all of his films. What follows is a story filled with some great social commentary on the frustrations of an every man who's life didn't turn up as grand as he expected. This story blew me away with its visual style but I expected nothing less coming from the director of Oldboy and Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance.
The third story is Takashi Miikes tale simply called "Box". A story about two twin sisters who live in a circus with their dad. One of the sisters is a tad jealous of the other and goes to extremes to quiet down her jealousy. This story is visually stunning, but then again, it appears that this was a pre-requisite to make this film since all three short stories are equally good looking. Of course this story goes into freaky territory with an incestuous sub plot, but coming from Miike, that sort of thing is to be expected. Still, I think that this story was mild with its violence and gore coming from a guy know for his relentless and extreme use of blood and gore. I guess Miike was going for a more psychological, elegant and slick style. He really was shooting for something more artistic this time around.
All in all, this is a fine anthology film. It united some truly amazing talent and the result is nothing less then one of the best horror films of the decade. I highly recommend this film to anyone who is tired of watching horror films marketed for little kids. If you are searching for something artistic, horrifying and with something to say, then by all means indulge yourself in "Three Extremes" a fine example of how Japanese Horror is kicking American Horror firmly in its ass.
Rating: 5 out of 5
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