‘The Untold Story’, a notorious Cat-3 from Hong Kong, is one of about four films released around the same time which showcases some of the most shocking scenes ever to be put to print.
Whist the majority of Asian Cinema seemed preoccupied with ghosts, there were some who dared to dabble in the not so lucrative market of extreme gore! Banned in many countries ‘The Un-told Story’ exposes a not so superstitious side of the east.
Supposedly based on true events, the plot follows a police investigation as they try to locate a missing restaurant owner and his family. Upon their investigation they begin to get suspicious of the new acting owner of the restaurant who’s shady and illegal attempts to fully acquire the assets and ownership of the place lead them to believe that there is a good chance the old owner never truly left; in one piece anyhow. I’m not really sure whether its truth or urban legend, but there does seem a recurring theme in cat-3 of turning people into burger meat and serving them to the public, I guess the same sort of premise as the pie seller in ‘Sweeny Todd’, anyhow, it’s not before long before the heat gets turned up and he must do away with another wave of restaurant personal.
I don’t know how they manage to do it with so much impact, but this movie cuts the core. The plot itself is sick enough, but what is shown on screen doubles the intensity. The killer looks fucking mental, and I don’t know whether it’s a criticism to the way he looks or a complement to his acting, but actor Anthony Wong really looks like he might do it for real. A non-PC and very controversial script only adds to the gratuitous nature of the film with the no-nonsense murder scenes deepening the impact. The movie is played out with a very ‘real-life’ edge to it in that the attack scenes often begin very fast, without the use of tension building suspense scores.
In terms of on screen violence, well; for once it’s hard to believe some of what you see is fake. Sure the mutilation, mincing, severing and disembowelling shots are prosthetic but the slapping and general manhandling scenes, of which there are plenty, look too real to be faked; either way these scenes are intense. The gore too, looks pretty convincing and just from the list above you can be assured that murders in this movie are extremely varied. Not only are we treated to the usual knife and cleaver scenes there is also an example of child murder and a rather vile alternative use for chopsticks! In all these scenes the blood looks wicked (presumably animal blood was used) and the gore effects, although a little plastic still do the job nicely.
Overall this movie sets up to do one thing, disgust. Rest assured it delivers. Fuck those movies which claim to be true brutal for cinemas, or the endless VIPCO specials with 30 second banned scenes, this is the real deal. I doubt there is anybody so de-sensitised who does not find at least a couple of scenes of this movie in bad taste. We have good acting, a decent plot, and a killer who quite frankly seems devoid of any sense of morality. Recommended, but be forewarned. That’s something I don’t say very often.