Local horror more shocking than modern zombies

Gong Tau – Herman Yau’s latest gore-feast is an entertaining romp. I have not watched a similar local film like this for ages; with fewer released these days, HK cinema has seemed to abandon financially risky films like these for a few big-budget star-studded film. Anyway, Gong Tau’s unoriginal plot goes like this : HK man goes to Thailand, gets hooked up with a woman, abandons her to come home, and woman puts a curse on him. What elevates this film from dull to fun is the sheer amount of offensive material, from loads of internal organs during an autopsy to roadkills, full frontal male genitals, etc etc. The flying head vampire is abit silly though.

28 Weeks Later – Inferior to Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later, though not horrible. 28 Weeks Later begins promisingly with the rebuilding of London after the catastrophic events of 28 Days Later but the subsequent action didn’t really engage me. Once the zombies (or infected people) started appearing, the film collapses into a simple chase and kill scenario with very few surprises. The social / political commentary about the failure of US forces in re-establishing order and their general ineffectiveness felt heavy handed. As recent zombie revival movies go, I much prefer Land Of The Dead.

Black Book – Paul Verhoeven’s first Dutch film in decades, this is a solid WWII drama about a Jewish woman trying to survive during wartime. I found the film engaging as the protagonist transformed from hating the Germans to falling in love with a Gestapo officer. Discarding the bombast of his Hollywood films (like Starship Troopers), Black Book is much more drama driven and although it contains a few scenes of sex / nudity, this is not the same kind of exploitative film like Basic Instinct.



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