Earlier this year I had a chance to see one of 2005’s best horror films at the NY Asian Film Festival – the movie is called Three… Extremes, and it features short films from Park Chanwook, Takashi Miike and Fruit Chan. It’s like a Pan-Asia League of Genius!
I’ll tell you right up front that Park’s piece, an extension on his meditation of vengeance from the Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance/Oldboy/Sympathy for Lady Vengeance trilogy (I am seeing that third one tonight!), is the best of the bunch. Funny and gross, it hits all the right notes.
Of the trio, Fruit Chan is probably the least well known director to American audiences, but his “Dumplings” segment – about the horrifying contents of special dumplings that make you look younger – is easily the second best of the bunch. He liked it so much he turned it into a full film. Or maybe the full film turned into this. I get confused.
Finally, Takashi Miike’s segment shows that no one has an eye quite like his. When he’s not puking right in your face with excess, Miike can create atmosphere and tension unlike anyone since Hitchcock. It’s too bad that his creepy imagery here is in service to a story that’s too boring and slow, even for a half hour piece.
Three… Extremes gets an American release this Halloween, and below this text is the teaser poster – it’s not the greatest in the world, but this is a tough sell in general to audiences who just aren’t tuned in to who these guys are.