April 29, 2007


I had the destinct pleasure, er I guess you could call it that, of watching Fruit Chan's strange Dumplings. It was a featured part of Three... Extremes a few years back that featured films by three notorious directors who specialise in Asian horror. There was Chan's Dumplings, Takeshi Miike's Box and Chan-Wook Park's Cut. I never saw that because I didn't think I would like it. I had been routinely disappointed by Asian horror apart from Ringu. And upon seeing Park's Oldboy, a film I hated, I really didn't want to see. Although now that I have seen and really liked Park's Sympathy for Lady Vengeance my interest has been reignited.

But, back to Dumplings. This movie is crazy. The ending to the feature-length version is apparently quite different to the shorter version featured in Extremes -


Apparently in the shorter version Mrs Li aborts her own baby and eats it, whereas in the feature-length version she makes Mr Li's mistress abort her baby so she can eat it.


I actually quite liked Dumplings. It was incredibly grotesque, but not viciously so such as one of the worst films I've ever seen, Takeshi Miike's Audition. And there's obviously much going on under the surface in relation to China's one-child policy and the lengths people will go to to be beautiful. All wrapped around a trashy and completely unorthadox film, one that has more in common with stuff like Babette's Feast and other "food films" than any of the Asian horror films I've seen. Plus, Dumplings also features a bonkers performance by reigning Queen of Odd Bai Ling. She of constant kooky fashion.

Does anyone know what year this film should be classed as? It was released straight-to-dvd here in 2007, but Three... Extremes was out in, what? 2005? And I believe the movie itself was released in various parts of the world in 2004. I give it a B anyway. I do, however, give the below image an A++++


JA said...

Dumplings is WONDERFUL. Oh I love it so. The other two films in Three Extremes are pretty forgettable, but Dumplings... oh love. I'm assuming you just watched 3E and not the full-length Dumplings from what you wrote, Glenn? The full-length one has some good stuff, but I think I preferred the shorter version's sick twist.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Umm, no, I watched the feature length one. I know what the twist is though, as I mentioned.

JA said...

Oh. Oops. Sorry. "Twist" wasn't the right word - I just meant the main character aborting her own fetus instead of her husband's mistress'. I thought that was, well, more successfully disturbing. Not that it isn't disturbing in both versions.

Anyway, Bai Ling is wonderful in the movie, and it's why I can't write her off as just a red-carpet haunting weirdo. I think she actually gives a really terrific performance in it.

And I have a huge crush on the other Tony Leung, who we get to see more of in the longer version so that's a plus for that one.

Paxton Hernandez said...

Audition kicks ass!!

But so does Dumplings!! YEAH!!

Oh, and thanks for that image, Glenn. They are so fcking hot and bangable.

Threesome, please...

Anonymous said...

I think you might be generalising with the term "Japanese horror". Should have used the term "Asian Horror", as Korea and to a lesser extent, China and Thailand, consistently produce horror movies of varying quality.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Oh, did I write Japanese? I totally meant Asian in general.

I'm gonna edit that now.