If you ever see Judge David Johnson on the streets, ask him to tell you about the time used martial arts to fight his way out of a village of cannibals. Actually, on second thought, if you see him on the streets, stay away. He's an anti-social bastard.
Early in his career, Tsui Hark, director of the popular Once Upon a Time in China films, vomited up this insane blending of horror and martial arts. On paper, a cannibal/comedy/action film sounds like money in the bank, but who cares about @#$%&% paper?
Facts of the Case
Playing by the typical incoherent kung-fu import playbook, the story for We're Going to Eat You is bizarre and dispensable. Agent 999 (Norman Chu) works for a secret government agency and has been dispatched to a remote mountain location to track down and arrest renowned criminal Rolex (Melvin Wong).
What awaits both men is a village of crazed cannibals that follows the orders of the malicious "chief," the rule of the people. These villagers thrive off of the scrumptious remains of any unlucky tourist that might pass through their territory. Victims are snatched and hauled to a public square where they are sawed (alive) into bits and distributed to the clamoring crowds.
Trapped in the madness, the former antagonists will have to work together to free themselves from the clutches of these human-chomping maniacs.
I was geared up for some righteous weirdness, but ultimately, We're Going to Eat You fell short of my expectation. Granted, expectations for a 20-plus year-old martial arts comedy about cannibals aren't in the ionosphere to begin with, but you have to admit, the premise sounds pretty cool, no?
And it all started so swimmingly, which makes the rest of the relatively mediocre movie that much more frustrating. We're first introduced the cannibal menace through the eyes of some hapless victims, who are scooped up the tribe and brought to the communal butcher shop. One of these guys is thrown onto a stone table and, while the ravenous crowd cheers, meets the business end of a giant hacksaw. Though Hark never shows the actual damage, there's a lot of screaming and a lot of blood (that looks more like cherry Dayquil, but whatever) and the aftermath finds the cannibals clawing over pieces of torso. It's actually unsettling, but the unfortunate aspect is that's the peak of the mayhem for the film. Man, that's a sick thing to say.
But hey, this is a sick movie, marketed as a sick movie so you sickos want as much bang for your yen as possible, right? So what starts out as cringe-worthy quasi-horror quickly devolves into incoherency and endless kung fu. There's an awful lot of screaming, supplemented by an ear-splitting score, there's a huge guy pretending to be a woman who wants to hump other guys, there's the wacky chief who—well, I don't really know what he does.
As for other characters, Agent 999 is disappointing mainly because he's such an idiot and tends to get trapped in boring fight sequences (choreographed by Corey Yuen, director of The Transporter), highlighted only by the sporadic violent death met by the opponent. And "Rolex" has an awesome name, but that's about it.
I didn't hate We're Going to Eat You, rather just felt let down. It has its moments sure, and some of the over-the-top violence is both gruesome and funny (my favorite: the chief goes out like a total punk, tripping on a roller skate and landing face-first on his sword!), but I've seen much more entertaining films from the "Insane Kung Fu" genre.
The highpoint of the DVD is the surprisingly effective video transfer. The anamorphic widescreen transfer looks very good, especially noteworthy considering the film's age and obscurity. No extras.
Squandered potential is somewhat salvaged by some ridiculous gore and general martial arts wackiness. Still, don't break your neck hunting this one down.
The accused sounds a lot cooler than it is, unfortunately. So, eight lashes with a chopstick.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Media Blasters
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