Ebola Syndrome

Title: Ebola Syndrome
Rating: 4/5
Genre: Crime, Thriller, Exploitation
Starring: Anthony Wong Chau-Sang
Director: Herman Yau
Language: Chinese

Amidst a sea of gore emerging from their not-so-distant cousins, the Japanese, you could easily overlook this low budget title they can call their own, but doing so would be a grave mistake. This is a tale that plays out like a sick joke; a situational comedy involving rape, torture, mischief and mayhem; a story that by virtues of its plot description alone demands attention to itself. And of those that have seen it it'd appear that half didn't know what to expect, but for the rest it must surely rank amongst those precious few exploitation flicks capable of delivering on a plot that can captivate far more effectively than the most convincing scenes of horror could alone.

Subtly, the film starts out with our sexual deviant, Kai, getting it on with a woman, who as it would quickly transpire is his boss's wife. It's at this point that his husband should happen to walk in demanding retribution for his defiling, a situation that results in a triple homicide with only their young daughter left alive to bear witness, and Kai flees to South Africa. Now working as a chef for abusive employers exploiting his situation, he encounters a woman from a zulu tribe passed out in the outback, and once more with sex on the mind thinks he'd have a crack, unwittingly becoming infected with the ebola virus.

Only surviving himself due to a fluke immunity, he returns to work and snaps once more, adding three more to his total and accidentally starting an ebola pandemic, once more prompting him to decide it's best if he got the fuck out of there. With a fistful of stolen dollars from his former employers, he returns to Hong Kong and goes on a spending spree – mostly on whores – which once again kick-starts the ebola pandemic in his new city of residence. The daughter of his first victims by chance recognises him and – with the assistance of the police – figure its about time they hunted him down, and on ensues the dangerous hunt for the mass murderer without remorse imbued with the power to kill people by spitting, sneezing, or engaging in his favourite hobby: fucking.

The lead role plays his part very carefully never to overstep into outright parody but instead comes across as a “Chinese Ron Jeremy” trying to tackle a serious role, which in itself is a fairly amusing notion. It never feels repetitive either, as despite the synopsis the focus shifts between the two halves from a gore-filled romp into more of a standard thriller hunt for this dangerous man, made all the more interesting by his affliction, adding additional gravity to a tired situation. The gore is ever present and looks realistic but is not always excessive, particularly in the second half where it instead lets the story itself do most of the work. However, make no mistake that this is a flick made purely for the twisted. Filled with sex and violence but not at the expense of plot; it may be sadistic, and whilst no “Battle Royale,” shows that the Japanese aren't the only ones who like a bit of chaos in their cinematic diet.


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