On Sunday, I went to Nate’s for the first batch of Halloween horror movies. One of his picks was Three… Extremes which tells three different stories by three different Asian directors.
Fruit Chan’s Dumplings follows a middle aged actress who eats special dumplings to regain her youth. I guessed the special ingredient aaalmost immediately. It’s a truly sickening concept, involving a few stomach-turning scenes, but I’d argue the tone is kinda fun. It’s a little bit like Elizabeth Bathory meets Death Becomes Her… except in Hong Kong with Bai Ling as a cheery kitchen witch. The customer/actress’s bottomless vanity made me sad. I wanted to leap into the screen, give her a shake, and say, ‘Girl, this is bananas.’
In Park Chan-wook’s Cut, a successful director is kidnapped by a deranged extra. He is anchored to a stage wall by a giant rubber band and subjected to the sick whims of his captor. Visually, it was interesting (the piano bound wife, the kooky dance break, the BLENDER) but it wasn’t really for me. I dunno. I’m still thinking about some over-the-top parts though so maybe there’s something there.
Takashi Miike’s Box was my favorite of the three- if only because I thought it was the most effectively haunting. The main character is Kyoko, a young woman who is plagued by dreams of her twin sister. They were child performers (creepy in and of itself) and Kyoko was jealous of the attention her sister received (extremely creepy). I liked the way the story was told- it’s suspenseful, spooky, and confusing- a bit like a David Lynch movie… until the end.
This was a really fun thing to watch with friends- especially mine who know a lot more about these directors than I do. We also watched Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror and The Shining. Refreshments for the evening: pumpkin chili, raisin bread, hot cocoa, popcorn. :)