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Red to Kill
Year: 1994 "Call me Mr. Clean!"
Ben Ng practices his overacting
Director: Billy Tang Hin-Sing
Writer: Wong Ho-Wah
Cast: Lily Chung Suk-Wai, Ben Ng Ngai-Cheung, Money Lo Man-Yi, Bat Leung-Gum
The Skinny: Ack! So over-the-top disturbing that two motion-sickness bags may not be enough. While the subject matter contained within is occasionally thoughtful and compelling, the lurid detail with which its displayed is excessively gratuitous.
by Kozo:
     Ben Ng is a mild-mannered teacher of retarded people who genuinely cares for those in his charge. However, when he sees the color red, he goes postal and rapes and kills with disturbingly pronounced glee. Lily Chung is the sweet retarded girl he rapes, which is the cause of his eventual downfall, as Lily's sister Money Lo vows revenge.
    This sounds like your standard rape/revenge exploitation, if not for the over-the-top excess with which Billy Tang portrays the decidedly grim events. It seems he and writer Wong Ho-Wah decided that the best way to tell their story was to shock and disturb with astounding regularity, as everything in this production (acting, music, direction) are geared toward a veritable assault of the viewer's sensibilities. Some may find the ride compelling in that sleazy exploitation manner, while others could be utterly disgusted at the onscreen excess. I found it extreme, to say the least.
     There are some thoughtful portions to the film, as the filmmakers make sure to portray the characters as both "good" and "evil", though it's clear that the mentally-impaired are categorically victims. Flashbacks to Ben Ng's childhood are meant to bring some humanity to the proceedings, but when he goes psycho and begins sweating and grimacing like a WWF wrestler, the thought that occurs might be "Enough!"
     The excess could prove a double-edged sword to the film. The bigtime overacting, numerous rapes, graphic violence and disturbing sequences are disturbing and compelling, but they remove the film so far from reality that you have to wonder if the goal of those behind the camera was simply to get a rise out of the audience. If so, then Red to Kill is an unqualified success which could never be called boring or uninteresting. It is, however, not for the casual viewer, and even those who partake in Category III exploitation might find themselves feeling...well, exploited. My question here: was all this really necessary? (Kozo 1996)
Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Universe Laser
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
image courtesy of Ocean Shores Licensing, Ltd.
 Copyright 2002-2017 Ross Chen