posted 00/00/2008

Directed by:
Chuen-Yee Cha

Kwok-Pong Chan
Wai-Man Cheuk
Farini Cheung
Kee-To Lam

Country: Hong Kong
Runtime: 87 min
Original title: Tun Men se mo

With a name like The Rapist you kind of know what you're in store for. Just like Smuckers, it's a name that means quality entertainment for the exploitation movie fan. Normally, a movie with this name would come from some sweaty grindhouse down South, but no, this rapist is all about wontons and fried rice. Set in British-controlled Hong Kong, this film that looks like a police procedural thriller tries to become a disturbing horror movie.

This movie is about a rapist, basically, who is targeting a certain apartment complex and the single girls living there that come home late at night. Leave it to Asian films to give us unflinching depictions of nasty things, and we get loads of it, as we accompany the rapist on his nightly rapings. He grabs one girl, drags her up the stairway, then bashes her head in while he brutal rapes her on the staircase. Another one gets raped violently in an elevator. There's not as much nudity as you'd imagine there would be, especially for an Asian film, (it gets a 3 on the breast scale, even though we only see two bare breasts, because of the rape scenes) and as the story progresses you see that they are actually trying to tell a cop story instead of a psycho story.

Our focus shifts to the cops trying to crack the serial rapes. The most disturbing part of the film is when the cops interrogate the apartment complex tenants, and everyone says they know nothing and want to be left alone. Talk about helpful! Then the cops stand by the balconies and yell out shit like "Help me!" and "There's a fire!", and no one comes out! Nobody! But when they throw some loose change around, an old lady opens her door to collect it. They try to question her, but she refuses on account of the fact that she says she is deaf and blind! Is there a lesson to be learned here? Yes, try not to be get raped or mugged in Hong Kong because no one will help you, unless you have spare change.

In the end, they finally catch the guy and they spend a good twenty to twenty-five minutes probing his mind and trying to figure out why he did what he did. He tells the story about how he met this girl that he fell head over heels in love with and followed her around until he decided to rape her and then she ended up liking him or some shit. I stopped paying attention to the film toward the end because the subtitles that came with my version stopped making any sense. It was unfortunately subbed by people who were not familiar with the American language.

But regardless, this film was okay, but not as great as something called The Rapist should. Sure there was lots of long, disturbing rape scenes, but I don't think their intention was to make a rape movie anyway (maybe they were just using it as icing on the cake). They wanted to make a film about cops stopping bad guys, and all the work they put in while doing the stopping. Fair enough, but I was expecting some crazy shit, and I did not get that crazy shit. So, Asian film fans, if you are looking for a good time, and come across the title The Rapist, don't be fooled. Heed my warning, this one's not as tame as apple pie, but it's certainly not as hot either.

  - Jose Prendes


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