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The Untold Story
|     review by Kozo    |     review by Magicvoice     |     availability     |
"I want one of those Best Actor statues!"

Anthony Wong gets the business from Danny Lee in The Untold Story.
AKA: Bunman: The Untold Story
Year: 1993
Director: Herman Yau Lai-To
Producer: Danny Lee Sau-Yin
Cast: Anthony Wong Chau-Sang, Danny Lee Sau-Yin, Emily Kwan Bo-Wai, Lau Siu-Ming, Shing Fui-On, Parkman Wong Pak-Man, Yee Ka-Fat, Lam King-Kong, Lee Wah-Yuet, Wong Tin-Fai, Tony Leung Hung-Wah, Cheng Choh-Fai, Lee Yi-Chong, Long Chi, Si Man
The Skinny: Yeee-hah! You must be this tall to watch this movie.
by Kozo:
     This grisly horror drama is one of the most notorious HK flicks around. Dismembered body parts are found on a beach in Macau and Danny Lee (The Man Who Plays Cops™) and his band of cops (including Parkman Wong and Emily Kwan) are called to investigate. What they find is a creepy restaurateur (Anthony Wong) who murdered the previous owner and his family and ground them into meat-buns for his customers. Yeah, that's right. They've become dim sum.
     Not that the details are easy to come by. Lee and company nab him easily enough because he's such a creepy weirdo, but getting him to admit what he's done is another story entirely. And when he finally does, we see in graphic detail what he did and IT IS NOT PRETTY. We get graphic recreations of his murder and dismemberment of a family, INCLUDING THE KIDS! Yeah, this is a movie to take home to Mom. At Thanksgiving. 
     All squeamishness aside, this is a compelling and entertaining horror movie for those who can stomach the stuff. And trust me, this one takes quite a stomach. Saying that the film is vile and almost totally without redemption is one way to go, but to be honest director Herman Yau manages to be as satiric as he is sensationalistic. He has great fun portraying the police as total buffoons, who even sample Wong's delicious buns in one hilariously sick sequence. Producer/copmeister Danny Lee is saved the indignity of ingesting four year-olds but he manages to show up at the police station with a new female friend every day. 
     There is a definite audience for this picture and those who dig stuff like this will not be disappointed. Furthermore, Anthony Wong managed to snatch the 1993 Best Actor Hong Kong Film Award from Lau Ching-Wan, who was up for C'est La Vie, Mon Cheri. C'est La Vie
is a winning, family-friendly drama that managed to snag every other major award including a complete sweep of all the acting trophies. That is, except for Best Actor, which went to a man whose onscreen character kills, rapes, and grinds people into dumpling filler. That must have been quite an awards ceremony. (Kozo 1996)
Alternate Review
     Prior to The Untold Story, Western audiences probably only knew Anthony Wong from John Woo's Hard Boiled, where he played psycho triad Johnny Wong. However, it was his role as real life Macau serial killer Wong Chi-Hang in The Untold Story that propelled him to stardom in Asia, and justifiably so. The performance is great. Don't rent this expecting a re-hash of The Silence of the Lambs. It is far more painful a film to watch and Wong's performance was rewarded with his first Best Actor Award at the HK Film Awards.
     Wong Chi Hang is far less charismatic than Hannibal Lecter and the viewer often walks the line between hating him and actually feeling a little sorry for him. This is especially true when he's subjected to beating upon beating at the hands of Macau police in order to get a confession. Apparently Macau police do not have a very good reputation in HK, and the film makes sure to demonstrate that. For example, Danny Lee plays the head cop, who shows up with a new whore on his arm in every scene. The extreme beatings given by the police are also meant to reflect reality. This realism comes to a crescendo when Anthony Wong actually vomits for real on cue. This was verified by both Wong and Herman Yau on the the audio commentary track of the special edition DVD.
     Wong Chi Hang finally confesses that he not only killed all his suspected victims, but that he ground up their remains and used them to make Human Barbecued Pork Buns or Cha Siu Bao (a tasty little Dim Sum item made from fluffy dough with meat
filling.) This film is not for the squeamish by a long shot and the flashback scenes where we get to see what actually happened are probably some of the most brutal ever committed to celluloid. If you can stomach it, The Untold Story is definitely worth watching. Besides the great acting and creepy realism, the abundance of violence is sure to keep cinema gorehounds happy. Chopsticks will never be the same. Ever. (Magicvoice 2002)
Availability: DVD (USA)
Region 1 NTSC
Tai Seng Video Marketing
Uncut Version
Cantonese Language
Removable English Subtitles
Audio Commentary from Anthony Wong
DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
City Connection
Uncut Version
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 2.0
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
image courtesy of Tai-Seng Video Marketing, Ltd. Copyright ©2002-2017 Ross Chen