Monday, October 24, 2011

Movie Review: We're Going to Eat You

I looked at the cover of this Chinese movie.   I saw the title.  We're Going To Eat You!?  Finally!   A Hong Kong produced Chinese zombie movie!

The Gweilo's Movie Ratings for We're Going to Eat You
The Chinese movie review continues below this info box!
Category Rating
WTF Meter 3.8 out of 5
MST3K-Ability 4.5 out of 5
OVERALL QUALITY 2.2 out of 5
Chinese Movie We're Going to Eat You
Director Tsui Hark
Actors Norman Chu, Eddie Ko Hung, Melvin Wong, Michelle Yim
Year 1980
Format Viewed VCD (Mei Ah VCD937) What is a VCD?

But there were no zombies.  What was I thinking?  Hong Kong never had many zombie movies.  But they did have a whole bunch of this kind of movie.

It's a cannibalism movie!  And cannibalism movies can be even more fun than zombie movies in the right hands!

The film opens as two bumbling friends with bladder control problems happen upon a remote island.

"Weak bladder!"
One of many pee breaks.

Just as you start wondering if this movie is a mis-packaged documentary for urologists, the horror suddenly begins!  It's an attack by cannibals!  How can we tell they are cannibals?  They fight with kitchen implements, and they all wear cooking aprons.  Duh!
Apron + Cleaver + Stupid Mask = Cannibal!
The leaky, bumbling friends fight valiantly, even using a cage of ducks as a weapon (!), but they succumb at last.  They are "batchered", cooked up, and doled out to a hundred ugly, screaming townspeople, the whole insane flesh-eating population of this remote island.

Some cannibalism movies might raise interesting ethical, moral, and philosophical dilemmas for their characters.  Not this one!  This whole town just loves being cannibals.  Just how comfortable are they with their cannibalism?  Here's an example:  If your restaurant food arrives with a mysterious, curly human hair in it, you are likely to complain and send it back.  At one point in this movie though, a guy complains because his dinner doesn't have any pubic hair in it.  That's how enthusiastic and untroubled these guys are about their cannibalism.

Cage of Ducks Cleverly Deployed as a Weapon!

"Take the body and batcher it!"
There's lots of "batchering" in this movie...
This film's director, Tsui Hark, is not known for subtlety.  There's lots of over-the-top silliness in all of this violence.  The kung fu is impressively choreographed for such a low-budget movie, but there's an overall Three Stooges aesthetic to a lot of the fights.  And while cutting up a person and eating them is generally considered pretty gruesome, in We're Going to Eat You the victims get batchered with an over-sized saw at a raised table, creating a cheesy "Saw The Lady In Half" magic show vibe that is equal parts macabre and ridiculous.

Unlike a Hollywood horror/comedy though, the silliest scenes in this movie are played entirely straight.  From the Gweilo's perspective, you never actually know if it's supposed to be funny (and missed its mark), or terrifying (and missed its mark).  Riding this line and trying to figure out how to respond is a large part of the fun of watching this film.

Yay!  We're extras in a Tsui Hark movie!  Er, I mean, Rawrr! We're cannibals!
Eventually, the hero of the film, "Agent Number 999" shows up to put an end to all this inappropriate dining.

"I'm coded as agent no. 999."
Serious Business, this guy!
He has a weird sidekick, who introduces himself to 999 this way:

"I like forgetting toilet paper after taking a shit!"
Um, OK.  Personally, I don't like doing this, but to each their own.
Agent 999 is a Goodie-Goodie, and the weird guy is a Bad-Guy Thief, not to mention Really Weird and also Unhygienic.  So they make a terrible crime fighting team.  In fact the weird guy steals all of 999's stuff and abandons him as soon as they get to the island, leaving 999 tied up and suspended in the air between two trees.

Agent 999 fights off an attacking cannibal while tied up and suspended

The cinematography in We're Going to Eat You is pretty silly too.  That's the best word I can think of for it.  The camera jumps around a lot.  Scenes are often shot from down low or over head, for no apparent reason.  There are lots of close-up shots that cut quickly from here to there, and lots of cameras zooming and moving around wildly.  All this don't really help the Gweilo understand what's going on.

What's more, lots of the most important fight scenes are fought in the near dark, with all this enthusiastic, silly, jumpy camera work.  This might be intended to build the suspense, but it primarily builds just confusion.  Which might be Tsui Hark's idea all along?  If you are confused by the fight scenes, don't worry.  So are the actors:

"You killed the wrong guy!"
The frustration of an evil priest, trying to direct a confusing fight scene.

"Don't Kill indescrimanently!"
I think this line was probably the assistant director's.
All in all, it's not a very good movie.  Tsui Hark has done a lot better.  But the high MST3K factor makes this a rollicking good time anyway.  That is, if you find being really confused to be good, rollicking fun!

Bottom Line of this Chinese Movie Review:  Rollicking!

"If you don't eat people, they'll eat you!"
Yeah, but only if they are also cannibals. Which, you know, is really, really unlikely.

2 comments:

  1. Hey, I liked this movie--except for the gore---it was off the hook interms of just plain weirdness and insanity, and the kung-fu fighting scenes were inventive and great as hell! Plus the film is funny on top of that. Real interesting to see one of my fave director Tsui Hark's early flicks.

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