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Asian Reviews

Film Review: Miss Zombie (2013)

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SYNOPSIS: A wealthy married couple decide to ignore strict laws banning zombies in private homes and takes in a female zombie to groom as their housekeeper. When the zombie arrives, they also receive a note warning against feeding her any type of meat and also a loaded handgun. Meanwhile, the scarred zombie named Sara (Ayaka Komatsu) endures horrors, while longing …

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Film Review: Men Behind the Sun 4 (Black Sun: The Nanking Massacre) (1995) – CAT III

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SYNOPSIS: In 1937, Japanese troops raid the Chinese city of Nanking to execute a planned massacre by subjecting over 300,000 helpless civilians to various tortures and atrocities before slaughtering them all. REVIEW: In 1980, while working for Shaw Brothers Studio, Chinese film director Tun Fei Mou decided he was done with kung-fu movies and considered doing a children’s movie. Around …

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Film Review: Tales of Terror from Tokyo (2003)

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SYNOPSIS: Movie anthology inspired by Kaidan, contemporary spins on time-honored Japanese ghost tales, based on the television series Tales of Terror from Tokyo and All Over Japan. REVIEW: Directors: Takashi Shimizu, Norio Tsurata, Shiro Sano, Akio Yoshido, Eiji Arakawa, Keisuke Toyoshima, Ichiro Nakayama, Ryuta Miyake, Ryo Nanba, The Examination: Tame but occasionally effective guerilla filmmaking from the creators of Ju-On, Premonition, Ringu …

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Film Review: Onibaba (1964)

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SYNOPSIS: “As a feudal war rages in 14th-century Japan, those left behind are struggling to survive. The wife and the mother of a soldier make their meagre living by preying upon hapless samurai who come their way, killing them and selling their armour for food. When a friend of the soldier returns to the women’s hut, they learn the fate …

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Film Review: The Host (2006)

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SYNOPSIS: A monster emerges from Seoul’s Han River and focuses its attention on attacking people. One victim’s loving family does what it can to rescue her from its clutches. REVIEW: Here we have a special effects-heavy monster movie from South Korea, in which a huge creature comes out of the sea and goes on a destructive rampage through the city. …

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Film Review: Mother (2009)

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Synopsis: A mother lives quietly with her twenty-eight-year-old son, Do-joon, providing herbs and acupuncture to neighbors. One day, a girl is brutally murdered, and Do-joon is charged with the killing. Now, it’s his mother’s call whether to prove him innocent or to leave him imprisoned Review: “Mother” written and directed by Korean master Joon-ho Bong, who also brought us “The …

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Fim Review: Visitor Q (2001)

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SYNOPSIS: A troubled and perverted family find their lives intruded by a mysterious stranger who seems to help find a balance in their disturbing natures. REVIEW: “The sea’s so endless. You can’t see anything.” Prolific filmmaker, Takashi Miike, often delights in putting off the audience with controversial subject matter and this film is no different.  Modeled loosely after Pasolini’s Theorum, …

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Film Review: Tormented (2011)

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SYNOPSIS: Daigo doesn’t speak anymore. Not since he killed that rabbit on the playground at school. His sister, Kiriko, is worried. He’s bullied. He sleepwalks. And their father is no help, trapped in his own grief and illustrating fantasy worlds where families are happily reunited and no one dies. They never should have gone to that 3D movie. The one …

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Film Review: Oldboy (2003)

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SYNOPSIS: With no clue how he came to be imprisoned, drugged and tortured for 15 years — and no one to hold accountable for his suffering — a desperate businessman seeks revenge on his captors, relying on assistance from a friendly waitress. Korean director Chan Wook Park — a former philosophy student and Hitchcock devotee — uses his influences to …

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Film Review: All Night Long 3: The Final Chapter (1996)

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SYNOPSIS: Kikuo, a socially inept teenager, has a fascination for carnivorous plants and the minutiae of human waste. He works in a love hotel, cleaning up the filth left behind after every quickie. His isolation is reinforced by the perverse behavior of his workmates, and he soon begins to fixate on an attractive stranger. As he habitually collects her trash, …

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Film Review: Visits (2009)

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SYNOPSIS: Set in cosmopolitan Kuala Lumpur, VISITS presents a disturbing omnibus of four interwoven ghost stories directed by cutting-edge Malaysian filmmakers, Low Ngai Yuen, James Lee, Tian Hann, and Ho Yugang. When the dead have unfinished business with the living…. REVIEW: 4 Stories from beyond. New Asian thriller “Visits” is a 4 story anthology dealing with issues of the afterlife. …

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Film Review: Cruel History of Women’s Torture (1976) – CAT III

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SYNOPSIS: An anthology film consisting of five different episodes of violation, torture and genital mutilation throughout Japanese history. REVIEW: Cruel History of Women’s Torture, under any of its similar monikers and literal translations of the original Japanese title, treads a similar path to Teruo Ishii’s notorious The Joy of Torture (1968). Both films adopt the portmanteau structure of Japanese horror …

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Film Review: The Heirloom (Zhaibian) (2005

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SYNOPSIS: Twenty years ago, an inexplicable mass suicide occurred in the millionaire Yang household, where the entire family hanged themselves at the exact same time. Only one member survived. To this day, the case remains unsolved. Now, a distant relative inherits the house and moves in with his fiancee. Mysterious events begin to disturb their lives and force them to …

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