Reviews written by
KingLear (jeromekeller@freesurf.ch)

3 reviews in total 
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3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
utter garbage, avoid at all costs!!!, 9 March 2002
2/10

After consuming "Human Pork Chop" and properly digesting it, I felt urged and obliged to inform potential viewers, that chewing on this product is NO FUN and its substance of LOW nutritive value.

According to the dull nature of this film, the following is gonna be a WARNING more than a REVIEW. This is the first time I wished, that there is an "I-don't-care-to-rate-this-movie"-button on IMDB, because the only reaction to this boring piece of TRASH is stasis and indifference. Every possible rating would do injustice to all the other items listed here, a "10" is out of question anyway, "1" might persuade some readers, that this is one of those cases where "it's so bad that it's actually REALLY bad and that's kewl!", and "5" is unsatisfying as well, people might think, that it's an OK-flick and alright if you wanna have some cheesy fun, which it is not... Honest to God, it's neither a "10", a zero nor a 5, it's nothing, a black hole, A FUTILE WORK CONCEIVED BY AN EMBRYO. I bought the region 3 DVD, which was cheap (7 bucks!!!) at least and of good picture-quality, I bought it mainly because of the positive and promising reviews posted below my own entry. Oh boy, was I to be DISAPPOINTED. This movie is neither shocking nor disgusting nor unnerving nor... it's not even laughable, it doesn't take itself too serious to be laughed at, but still serious enough so as not to be comic. A truly unpassionate, amateurish effort. The only sequence that I found MILDLY DISTURBING is when two giggling thugs put an ugly dog in a bag and bash it against a brick wall... but even such a cruel premise only lead to a poor execution. The further down cited TOILET SCENE is unrealistic and filmmed without any sense for suspense, suffering or humiliation - the feces look like painted marsh-mellows!!! There is a butchery scene at the end of a loooong 85-minutes where three men dressed in plastic raincoats (a setup which one finds also depicted on the front cover of the DVD) start to dispose of the female body. Reminded me of "American Psycho" and "Shallow Grave", now these flicks are worth watching and true masterpieces.

Let's be REALISTIC for once and not rush to make a myth out of every Asian-wannabe-scary-movie, as seems to happen lately...

If you are looking out for some eastern horror then try Danny Lee's masterpiece of the very same (English) title "Ba Xian fan dian zhi ren rou cha shao bao" (Human Pork Chop) it's from 1992 and has - not without reason I might add - been compared to "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer". There is also a similar film telling the same story by a different film crew called "Ren tou dou fu shang" ("There Is a Secret in My Soup") of the same year, sort of a rival production. It's available as a region 3 DVD and by most regarded as superior to "Peng shi zhi sang jin tian liang". I might add a few more words on the special effects... what special effects?!?... there are a few chopped off limbs, they look awful - in a wrong sense - probably "Made in Hong Kong".

That's about all the info I can share on this subject, hopefully it will prove helpful... ENJOY YOUR MEAL!

Scarecrow (2001)
2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
stretching and boring with some glimpses of genius, 29 December 2001
6/10

Be prepared to embark on a thoroughly phlegmatic (!) roller-coaster ride (!!) that won't leave you indifferent (!!!).

Kakashi (which means scarecrow) is moving at a very slow pace, it appears even static at times (reminiscent of films like "The Sixth Sense"). It almost desperately tries to be UNSPECTACULAR, which helps to build a sinister atmosphere throughout the movie, unfortunately not quite strong enough to keep the viewer interested permanently. STORY as such is hardly existent, the CHARACTERS are flat and stay one-dimensional (but who said that the quality of MOTION pictures has to be measured against the two-dimensional axes of story and character?). Other than that it is cinematic poetry (the third dimension in my opinion) conceived by a madman, ABSURD but truly BEAUTIFUL. There are some nice shots of pure melancholy and then again some pretty scary stuff too. This mix of moments of sudden shock, terror, regret and human suffering makes it well worth a look. SOUNDTRACK was pretty cool too, has a haunting quality to it. I bought the Code3-DVD which is alright to watch, picture quality is O.K. although a bit blurred and unstable at times.

Finally, to sum it up: A horror movie that got the blues endlessly...

(***1/2 out of *****)

Crash (1996)
3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Journey to the heart of steel, 14 January 2000
10/10

"Crash" is about people who get not only excited but even sexually aroused by car accidents. The film's theme is highly dared, no wonder that many of its viewers will be annoyed, disgusted or even shocked by it. Watching "Crash" is not at all a delightful experience, but it is nevertheless an experience which is worth having it. The film does not provide simple answers to what it is about, it leaves room for numerous speculations and that makes it difficult to judge what it is really about. In my opinion the film is about several human beings who are alienated from their organic self. In this respect "Crash" is about a future society in which the body is no longer inhabitable for the soul. We already live in an extremely designed environment, in a reality largely constructed by our mind. Flesh is unclean, it is a dirty and clumsy thing and not worth containing something as pure and beautiful as our spiritual essence. We are therefore obliged to search new vessels for our psychic self, we crave to be transformed into machines of steel. The first steep in this process would then be to violently crush our bodies into the steering wheel of a car.

The film's cinematography is outstanding, a flawless achievement which truly deserves admiration. Right from the beginning we enter a world where everything is infected by cold and unfriendly colors. There are hardly any bright, warm or charming images in this film, instead everything looks sterile as if nothing could grow or prosper there. The film's look is quite realistic and the car crashes seem as if they were taken from authentic sources. There are no spectacular camera movements, no slow-motion sequences and no extreme close-ups either. The simple and honest visual style documents a reality where sensational events do no longer occur, it depicts a society which has abolished the extraordinary. The film's whole imagery roots in the concept of understatement, and exactly this kind of outward modesty exposes every single latent obsession lurking beneath its cold an indifferent surface.

The editor has done a great job as well. Although the film moves at a relatively slow pace it never gets boring. On the contrary, its slow but intense rhythm only adds to the hypnotising atmosphere and a gradual awareness that there is no escape from the world of "Crash". The manner in which sequences are combined and put together supports the impressive images of barren, lifeless and almost suffocating environments. All the various explicit sex scenes are performed in a cold and mechanical way. The abstract and stylish choreography of those scenes clearly reveals copulation as an artificial and functional act. Organic reproduction does not require any degree of emotional involvement, the concept of love may therefore no longer be applied to a future relationship. It seems strange that despite such a cruel atmosphere without room for love there is also something very sensual, very attractive in "Crash". I think that this ambiguity is a visionary quality of most of Cronenberg's films, we are often introduced to a new kind of aesthetics which are captivating and repulsive at once.

All the well-chosen actors give memorable performances. They play their roles in a dramatic, fanatical and self-abandoning manner without ever having doubts about the strange nature of their characters. None of them seems afraid of pushing things to the limit. It is this uncompromising way of acting which makes an otherwise unlikely desire for car accidents believable and gives the story credibility. Their restless, torn and hunting performances hidden by a mechanical almost absent-minded outward appearance add even more to the obsessive tone of the film. What is remarkable about "Crash" is that during the whole film there is virtually no character development. Every character we get to know in the course of the story stays more or less the same, from beginning to the end they all go through various emotional roller coaster rides but they are not capable of changing their attitude or behavior in order to dissolve their pathological state of being. This technique has a claustrophobic effect on the audience, it creates the impression of being trapped inside a world where every attempt to escape is paralysed by utter despair.

The film relies mainly on static description rather than providing a huge amount of successive events, its message is merely conveyed by atmosphere rather than action or unexpected plot twists. The plot itself is best described as impotent, it does not give birth to anything new or surprising. In my opinion it is this frigid story line that makes "Crash" a real work of genius, because it perfectly fits the portrayed characters who themselves live in constant danger of sexual failure and emotional breakdown. Their unreliable bodies do no longer provide a chance for organic satisfaction, their passions can no longer be expressed through the interaction of flesh. Love is still felt and still there but it cannot be articulated any more, the organic way proves to be a dead end. Life has to find new ways in order to fulfill itself. The characters in the story do exactly this, they try to reshape their flesh bound existence, they seek redemption in the ultimate head-on collision of flesh and steel although its result is physical death. However, there is no turning back and the only alternative consists of a life captured inside the heart of a machine.

"Crash" is certainly not a movie for all tastes and its strong sexual content has earned him quite a bad reputation, nevertheless it is a unique film experience and a rare example for grand film making. I consider "Crash" a very inspiring piece of art and a real alternative to Hollywood's countless mainstream productions. As I have already said the film has a visionary quality, its prophetic voice may not be heard or fully understood yet, but I think that Cronenberg's masterpiece (so far) has the potential of becoming a cult classic.