Friday, January 25, 2013

The Untold Story

The Untold Story (or Bat sin fan dim ji yan yuk cha siu bau, Human Meat Buns, Bunman) Directed By Herman Yau. Starring Anthony Wong. (1993).
          Based on a true story that happened in 1976 of a degenerate fry cook who hacked up people and turned them into pork buns. Anthony Wong plays Wong Chi Hang and stated that in reality the restaurant the real killer worked at suffered even after an arrest was made, because it had tainted their reputation. That kinda shit is fine at Jack In The Box, how do they manage to stay open? 
          Wong is terrifying in this role and would later parody it alot in various different incarnations. He makes a bunch of goofy faces but the impact of his ferocious aggression gives his performance alot of merit. Herman Yau and Wong met in film school and they would inspire other rip offs (Human Sausages came out a year later). 
          Severed limbs are found on a beach in Machau in present 1986, the film begins with a flashback of a gruesome murder. Wong Chi Hang is settling a score by dousing the soon to be ex-restaurant manager in gasoline and tossing a lit match right onto his crotch. The comedy relief like most Hong Kong cinema is provided by wacky and overly misogynistic police! Once they get to the crime scene they tamper with evidence and laugh about how bad the rotten bodies smell, saying "it's most likely illegals that were eaten by sharks!" The police behaving like insane baboons is an intentional anti-authority statement.
          Wong is now working at the Eight Immortals Restaurant and he may have changed his identity and hairstyle but his ways of butchery and mayhem are the same. He bickers over a lawyer refusing to grant him ownership of the restaurant and without permission from his boss (the charred corpse from the beginning flashback) he can't take over. Wong gets pissy anytime someone calls him a cheater. The police mishandling evidence and clowning around is so over the top that it's as if they crossed an Asian version of the cops on Barney Miller and left them in charge of the cases on The Shield.
           A new employee and a hostess/cashier are in on Wong's cheating at Mahjong, but they have no idea what level of sadism he is capable of! Later on that night he pummels the living shit out of the new employee with a ladle and stabs him in the eye with a receipt holder (in front of a huge 7-Up sign)! Then he separates his chest, immediately boils his organs and dresses the carcass like a pig (it all looks alarmingly realistic)! He washes his hands in his piss then uses the remains to create tasty looking dim-sum, where's the motherfucking health inspector when you need them! The police finally show up at the establishment and he feeds them dim sum filled with human carcass meat and no one suspects anything (I mean why would they?)
          The first half of the film is grotesque, but nothing is as vile at the last 15 minutes, it's just so unpleasant. Wong traps the hostess in the back room, molests her, burns her hands with scalding water and violently defiles her with chopsticks, ending her life. The contrast between vicious slaughter and wacky police comedy stylings is very unsettling and alittle frustrating. 
          Incredibly enough, the police catch him by staking out a dumpster and find the former resturant owners ID's and passports in the trash. Once he's sent to prison, the police and different convicts put him through rigid torture and sleep depravation and he drinks someone else's piss to cure his internal wounds (I think he read that in Martha Stewart: Living)! 
          Just when you think the film is winding down, Yau slaps us around by showing us the ghastly dismemberment of an entire family. Untold Story left me with a hopeless nihilistic feeling and Wong won an award for his convincing portrayal, whereas if a U.S. actor starred in something like this it would have destroyed their career. This film is for hardcore jaded horror fanatics only, you've been warned.
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