Red to Kill

Red to Kill

Jeezus, we're really getting into scary territory here with the fascinatingly tasteless curiosity 'Red to Kill'.

'Red to Kill' is a real rollercoaster of unhinged viewing that will truly have you continually re-assessing your opinions of the genre scene. The film opens with a double whammy of rape and suicide in intercut scenes where we see a troubled mother take herself and her young son plummetting to their deaths out of their flat window whilst elsewhere in the building a muscle bound psycho is strangling and raping a young woman he has just abducted.

We soon discover that the block of apartments is home to a special unit for handicapped folk, where we are introduced to our lead female - the young Ming Ming, who has lost her dad and is taken into care at the hospice. More assaults soon happen and the locals with their prejudices believe that it is one of the handicapped folk that's doing it. But they soon find that the rapist is someone they would never have expected and to us as viewers we also quickly have our stomachs turned at some of the most brutal cinema violence ever to hit the screen.

Shocking, brutal and at times quite upsetting 'Red to Kill' is one of the most powerful films to tackle the subject of sexual violence that I have seen in quite some time, and one that had me deliberating its justification for a good while afterwards also.

Whilst some viewers may indeed be horrified at the graphic assaults contained within the film, when you take on board the film as a whole you should find as I did that 'Red to Kill' is in fact a stunningly bizarre but excellent slice of genre viewing. A very emotionally charged experience that purely is down to the excellent performances by the two leads of the psycho-sexual killer and Ming Ming, who if there was an horror equivalent of the Oscar, she would surely deserve one for her compelling performance. In one particular scene where she is in the shower following a distressing moment, I truly broke my heart in sympathy for her character (a definite commendation to her acting skills getting this lunkhead to be gripped so strongly!)

Yes, 'Red to Kill' is strong stuff indeed and is definetely one of those titles that the moral majority will be quick to pounce upon for all the wrong reasons (murder, rape and the handicapped are not an easy mix for the lynch mob mentality) but if you keep reminding yourself that it is indeed 'only a movie' you will appreciate the exemplary work that has went into this production.

The all region disc from Ocean Shores is a big disapoint though. The print shows some real sign of deteriation at the start of the film and the transfer isn't much better, pretty much like a so-so VHS tape in ways. The subtitles are those burned on dual Chinese/English ones that just about do the job ok and that's your lot. No extras whatsover, not even a menu screen, chapters or anything - so again, pretty much like a so-so VHS tape.

But it's the strength and power of the film itself that has me recommending this one to anyone that feels strong enough to cope with the films strong emotive and graphic content. A powerful and stunning movie - just keep telling yourself, 'it's only a movie!'

Directed by Tang Hin Shing
Released by Ocean Shores
Region '0' NTSC - Rated Cat III
Ratio - Letterbox
Audio - Mono (Cantonese, Mandarin)
Subtitles - English, Chinese