Wicked City (1987)

2013 Monster Movie Marathon- Movie #3

Words: Desmond “Neo” Childs

“They say they give great pleasure, but cannot give birth to children…”

The human world and demon world have this truce, see? The pact of peace keeps the humans and demons from warring against each other. So naturally there are those who oppose the re-signing of this “Pact of Peace”. Said persons feel that this certain pact would lead to unholy unions (i.e Human and Demon giving birth to offspring of mixed blood)

I would like to start by saying there is a solid, workable story buried away inside Wicked City. It concerns two unlikely partners and their dangerous mission of protecting a public figure. This person is key in getting the peace pact re-signed and if he’s lost, the two worlds would suffer for it. There’s some fast, film romance thrown in, and violence sprays all the way along the movie’s 82 minute run-time. The animation is far from shabby, and the UK dub work is passable. Those are all the “positive” things about this film for me.

Let me tell you where this movie fails. It’s a mature film, with many scenes of sex, rape, and gore scattered throughout. Even with the script trying to write off character deaths as people “being put to sleep”, the animation told a more gruesome tale. It’s not the adult content that bothered me, per SE; it’s the way Yoshiaki Kawajiri and co decide to shift focus away from the story, and refocus it on the adult content. The way I can describe my gripe is that I hated the way this movie neglected the hamburger and only paid attention to the fries and soda. I dunno guys, this was one of those movies (anime or live-action) that are so irk-worthy, that it brings me out of my usually contemplative style of reviewing. It’s pretty much a hentai. There I said it. One of the first scenes is of someone going down on someone else. Yep. Like I said, this movie sets the tone early in terms of what it’s all about. Perhaps the jokes on me, after all the name of the movie is Wicked City.

Now Wicked City is on amazon.com for prices varying from $20-$40 dollars. It’s not a movie I’d actively recommend to anyone, but I wouldn’t necessarily dissuade an older audience from partaking. At any rate, Wicked City knows what it is, and doesn’t really shy away from the grit and grim. No matter how hard the UK dub tries.

MONSTER MOVIE MARATHON PREVIEW: “Perfect Blue”

The second movie in my Monster Movie Marathon is more of a thriller than a horror film. Regardless, it does a good job of freaking me out, all the same. Directed by the late, great Satoshi KonPerfect Blue is equal parts suspense, intrigue, and paranoia. Have you ever had that feeling? The one that makes you suspect that someone is watching you?

Perfect Blue

Yes or No 2 (2012)

“How does she feel about you?”

words: Desmond Childs

“…and how do you feel about her?”

Is there anybody out there that can distinguish between “being in love” or “being infatuated”? I’m sure we’ve all had our various experiences with both, and generally speaking it’s all a little too mushy and sensitive for me to go into, personally. However, I will admit (gun to head ^_^), Continue reading

Paradise (2005)

“You’re useless!”

Words: Desmond Childs

paradise1

Have you ever wondered how well you would cope with a series of unfortunate events. Would you crumble under pressure? Would death be a welcome release? What about your character? Your integrity? If you were stranded on a desert island with someone, would they trust you enough to co-exist? And there is always the matter of their character. You could never really know whether you’re hold up with a killer. Could you?

Continue reading

The Butcher, the Chef, and the Swordsman (2010)

Oh, so it’s a “Hand-Me-Down”?

Words: Desmond Childs

 

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The Butcher, the Chef, and the Swordsman seems to want to accomplish one thing, and one thing only: to entertain. I’ll admit that on some levels it can be entertaining, in a off-beat sort of way. This movie‘s central plot seems to revolve around a specially made “cleaver“; which in turn is seen as a swordsman’s blade, a chef’s knife, and a butcher‘s cleaver. As flimsy and uncouth as this story is, Wuershan tries to meld some humor and artistic flair; in order to spice things up. Does this improve the quality of this film? Well, I’ll give my opinion in a moment. First, here’s some information on the director of The Butcher, The Chef, and The Swordsman: Wuershan.

Mystery Man?

Oddly enough, I was unable to find any biographical information about Wuershan. Even IMDB.com only seems to have his body of work, which will have to suffice. Anyway, the man has not put out (At least according to IMDB) many theatrical projects, aside from Soap Opera (2004) and The Butcher, the Chef, and the Swordsman (2010). Wuershan did win an award for Soap Opera, snagging the FIPRESCI Prize for New Currents. Personally, the one thing about Mr. Wuershan’s style that sticks out, is the amount of flair he brings to The Butcher, the Chef, and The Swordsman. There was so much flash and comedic grit in stuffed into this picture to make me question whether or not I had really seen some of the onscreen silliness that occurs through this picture.

So whose is it? The Butcher, the Chef, or the Swordsman’s?

The look of this film seemed to imply it was a film about three men brought together by fate, in some climatic standoff/showdown/battle. Whether that battle was with swords, dance moves, insults, or sight gags; is still (even now) unclear to me. The three title characters are actually from different points in time; with all three having something to do with the creation, use, and abuse of the legendary “cleaver”. Without spoiling too much, I will say that the “chef” story in this picture was the most interesting. The fact that it’s narrative wasn’t muddled by wacky, music-video like rap songs or a loud obnoxious butcher didn’t hurt either. All three stories were of mediocre quality, and I felt like some scenes that would’ve helped string this picture together may have been cut in favor of more ‘comedic’ scenes. As a consequence, the only real coherent part of this story that I understood clearly, was this: The swordsman killed many men (and birds) in search of the ‘perfect weapon’, with his story ending ironically. Fine. The story about the mute ‘chef’ who must cook lavish dishes or be killed is interesting, but at times I wasn’t sure the motive of important characters in that story. Why is the mute chef also seeking revenge on a man who wasn’t even responsible for his family’s death? To take his cleaver? Really now? The butcher’s story is so grating, I hardly understood anything outside of the Butcher wanting to marry some beautiful, uninterested concumbine of a badass patron. By the end of that story, and the movie, I was so underwhelmed and happy to see the credits roll, I actually considered not writting a review for it. But that would defeat the purpose of my blog here. I write my opinion, whether my reaction to something was positive or negative I still want to discuss. Besides, with all the trash I watched blow around freely in this movie, there was admittingly some scenes that made me chuckle. That’s right, I remember chuckling when a scene is taken to diagram a replay of someone splitting a horse in half; sending the rider flying. Weird, right? That’s were this movie goes, as if it was a cartoon filmed through a live action camera. It’s a bouncy, goofy, gross slopped together movie looking to make you laugh, and retweet it’s one-lines. As of now, I have yet to recall a line funny enough for me to retweet, without wanting to immediately delete it afterward. Go figure.

 

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Check out the trailer below:

11 more movies added to the Golden Shelf of Glory

 

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Wow, I scored a big one here, guys!

  • Romeo Must Die
  • Cradle 2 The Grave
  • FULLTIME KILLER
  • Universal Soldier: The Return
  • Knock Off
  • The Hard Corps
  • Second in Command
  • Kiss of the Dragon (already reviewed)
  • ONG-BAK: The Thai Warrior
  • Red Cliff
  • The Man with the Iron Fists

 

I’m also going to add a few of these to the Watch-List page! Can you guess which ones?

Here's a hint...

Here’s a hint…