OK folks, here’s a Hong Kong shocker so disgusting I was literally jumping out of my chair (and by literally, I mean literally, not “almost” as the word has come to mean in the minds of many). There’s a jump scare just seconds into Murderer (2009) that's so repulsive, I almost (there, see the difference?) had to look away. Nevertheless, I was standing behind my chair and that’s saying summat … I’m no babe in the woods when it comes to shocking Asian cinema, so if this flick got under my skin, chances are it’s gonna mess with you as well.
Aaron Kwok plays Ling, an amnesiac cop who’s trying to figure out who’s framing him for a string of serial killings, as well as the horrendous near-murder of his partner (the latter lies jacked-up in the hospital for the majority of the film, having been done over with a power drill and tossed off the roof of an apartment building). It doesn’t help things when Ling discovers the power drill in question (the weapon of choice in all the murders) in the pump room of the apartment building, then notices his own (same model) is missing. As the film progresses, we find ourselves deeper and deeper in “is this guy just fucking nuts?” territory. When the denouement arrives, it's so outlandish, you’re really wondering whether this is all just a weird fantasy playing out in Ling’s head.
But man, the gory bits are truly disturbing. They could have just shown the long, black hair hanging out of the oven; we would have gotten that there's a head in there. We really didn’t need to see Ling open it and look inside to find the contents cooking … Meanwhile, Ling himself is no saint, and as the pressure and paranoia grows, he winds up doing some nasty things himself. The film is a moral quagmire, and nothing is as it seems. I love it!
As in the previous post, I award no points for originality of title. But in Murderer, I sense a yearning for the good old days of 80s/90s Category III madness. Director Roy Chow (Nightfall) is just getting started, and, I predict, is one to watch. However, Murderer is not for the faint of heart or the weak of stomach, so you might want to wait ’til after the movie to order that pizza …