Bat sin fan dim ji yan yuk cha siu bau (The Eight Immortals Restaurant: The Untold Story) Reviews
September 1, 2014
Never seen a film that had me this close to becoming a full blown Vegan until now!
July 6, 2014
Hong Kong's Category III is the US equivalent of NC-17 and for several reasons always peaked my interests. In particular the way it categorizes the campy, over the top "Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky" in the same vein as "Mad Detective" which doesn't remotely come close to containing the same amount of graphic content. In the end though it doesn't matter if the film content lives up the rating, but rather if it a good piece of filmmaking. For the case of "The Eight Immortals Restaurant: The Untold Story" it is even if noticeably sloppy in execution.
The Eight Immortals Restaurant: The Untold is about cops investigation on a criminal running an unsuspecting restaurant, while trying to trace the steps back to how he ended up running it suddenly. The film jumps between the cops investigation and the criminal mastermind, Wong Chi Hang, to tell its story. Early on in the film it opens immediately with a murder only to then introduce the cops who are portrayed as bumbling idiots for comedic effect. Often the humor plays off the cops inability to gather evidence because of the bad smell or the womanizing inspector who always brings a new lady with him to the station. These early comedic scenes don't mesh well when the film makes a turn for the grisly for a majority of its run. Tonally all it's all over the place as one moment you're possibly laughing at the cops investigation lack of professionalism to then suddenly cut to the next scene of murder. Whether or not it wants the audience the sympathize for the killer is left to the viewer to decide. Once Wong is capture it's not the end of the film, but rather it continues to show at length the cops are willing to lock up Wong Chi Hang behind bars. Utilizing other methods that doesn't require breaking bones. Asking yourself if the means to send Wong Chi Hang behind bars is justified by the officers given the extreme torture applied to Wong Chi Hang while taking into account what he did. Despite how often it jumps tones it position by the end of the film ends amorally. Neither condemning Wong Chi Hang for his killings or rewarding the cops methods to crack the case by any means. While the who in the mystery is always clear the background and motivation are elements that the film works for. Building up gradually the mystery of what exactly happened at this restaurant to a grisly reveal in its most infamous scene. There's no cat and mouse game and the unraveling mystery that is Wong Chi Hang keeps it interesting. Wong Chi Hang is an interesting criminal mind and one with a troubled mindset in twisted way will keep you watching.
Anthony Wong is outstanding as the enigmatic Wong Chi Hang capturing so well the traits of this unbalanced psychotic character that he comes across as truly a demented person. He's best in full on psychotic in the moments of killing a victim displaying joy with his grievous voice. However, Wong movement also tells us he's not an expert struggling to some degree, but his eyes cold stare makes him comes across as demented even in daylight without a weapon. When Wong is captured he comes across as a broken human unable to stand up straight in his mannerism changing to his beaten state. The performance of Anthony Wong is noteworthy alone for a viewing. Supporting cast largely go unnoticed because their interpretation is direct what of the material demand. This is not good for the supporting cast since a majority of them have trouble transitioning to the darker side of the material. Often allowing them a moment to react silly in a serious moment. Danny Lee is the exception in the supporting cast being able to make a successful transition into the material darker side. Lee does come across as a womanizer on the silly side, but also comes across as a devoted inspector. As for the violence it's deserving of the Category III (NC-17 in the US) rating. While generally not showing the impact of a kill there is plenty of gore, foreboding atmosphere, blood, and Anthony Wong successful portrayal that these murders scenes are wholly effective. On the down side despite how well done the special effects are and the way the murder are shot they are unevenly spread across the film. There's three in the first act and one more in the final twenty minute involving children. There might be a light supply of murder on screen, but the execution of them more than makes up for it.
The Eight Immortals Restaurant: The Untold Story tone is unbalanced as the film's criminal mind, yet it's that same unbalanced nature that makes it appealing. While the comedy fails to fit in with the rest of the film never does any of it issues overshadow it bright spot. The way it tells it story works well enough due to it twisted criminal and held together by Anthony Wong spectacular performance.
Based on a true story claim:
I was unable to find any evidence or articles that prove the events in the film did occur. However, after doing a bit of lazy research (yay, reading about murders) and the closest source I could find as a possible inspiration is Fritz Haarmann. A German serial killer who is believed to have been responsible for the murder of 27 boys and young men between 1918 and 1924. Always with a view to his commercial instincts, the body of his victims would then be dismembered and the clothes and meat sold through the usual channels for smuggled goods. The useless portions were thrown into the River Leine. Due to Haarmann victims being runaways and his successful distribution the British police had a hard time finding any concrete evidence to crack the case. As the number of missing boys mounted, police suspicion began to fall on Haarmann. A woman who had purchased one of his black-market "steaks" became convinced it was human flesh and turned it over to the police. In the summer of 1924, several skulls and a sackful of bones were found on the banks of the canal. While searching Haarmann's rooms, detectives found bundles of boys' clothing. The landlady's son was wearing a coat--given to him by Haarmann--that belonged to one of the missing boys. In the end, Haarmann confessed his crimes in minute detail, proclaiming insanity but declaring he was forced to commit the crimes whilst in a trance. He was convicted, found guilty of 24 murders and subsequently sentenced to execution in April, 1925. While awaiting execution, the "Vampire of Hanover" (as he'd been dubbed by the press) produced a written confession in which he described, with undisguised relish, the pleasure he had derived from his atrocities. At his own request, he was beheaded with a sword in the city marketplace, ironically one of the most common and effective ways to dispose of a vampire. Afterward, his brain was removed from his skull and shipped to Goettingen University for study. Unfortunately, nothing came of this effort. Over seventy years later, science is still no closer to comprehending the reasoning behind the crimes committed by people like Fritz Haarmann. Or maybe it could the fact that Fritz Haarmann was just plain insane without a particular motivator.
January 28, 2014
This film features gross old Anthony Wong being gross and making little pork buns out of humans, so just strap in and get ready for that.
Well worth tracking down, as it's as crazy as the various reviews had led me to believe and deserves a look.
March 31, 2013
i've heard from various people that watching ebola syndrome before the untold story was a mistake because ebola basically took untold's premise and took the debauchery to an entirely new level. while it's true that ebola upped the ante on the sex and violence (except that i don't remember any child killing on ebola as there is in this movie) the untold story is certainly not for the squeamish and it's a highly regarded cat-iii classic for a reason. the first half is surprisingly very funny and entertaining and then makes a pretty dark turn towards the end, where it gets seriously fucking nasty and yau challenges his penchant for bad taste to amusing results. essential holyfuckingshit canon movie
June 1, 2012
Mean and definitely deserving the cat III tag ..... the ending being very hard to watch for even hardened horror fans.
September 8, 2011
Famed for being one of the most shocking Asian horror movies, "The Untold Story" is surprisingly not as gory as one would expect with that reputation; however, this is not saying that the movie doesn't live to the hype, as it is definitely a shocking experience although for a very different reason.
The movie features a couple of pretty graphic and sick moments, that makes this movie stand out in its genre. It's one of those movies that got banned in numerous countries at the time of its release and is heavily cut in others. Not that it's the most nastiest movie around but it does have its moments that will make some people's stomach turn.
The first half would make you think that there's nothing grisly about this movie - in fact it's pretty light hearted and pictures a comical view of the Macau cops but all that changes in the second half when the horrific stuff appears which includes the shocking murders of several children. "The Untold Story" is often hard to watch, but it's definitely never boring, and while crude, the portrait of sadistic violence it makes of the crime is captivating in a way that few horror movies are. While this is definitely one of the best CAT III movies of its time, it's not without flaws, as the budgetary constrains really took its toll in the movie.
This movie is now a classic of Hong Kong cinema, and essential viewing for those interested in the infamous exploitation movies rated as CAT III. It's not a movie for everyone, but if you have an interest for gritty tales of serial killers, "The Untold Story" is a must-see.
July 6, 2011
Brilliant.Anthony Wong=The Pacino of Hong Kong.
August 27, 2010
A nasty looking film that should make you very uncomfortable. The ending will have you reaching for the 'stop' button.
July 1, 2010
I was told the villan in this film is better than Javiar Bardem's role in "No Country for Old Men". Looks kind of dated though by the trailer.
July 18, 2009
Very dark humor and extremely violent. The main character really looked manic and did a very good acting performance.
October 14, 2009
The acting and the direction in this film is great: but the content, Wow!
This is a movie that has an Asian rating of category III, which basically means that it is an extremely offensive, violent, and disturbing movie. The movie in question is called ?The Untold Story? or ?Bun Man ? The Untold Story? and is completely and utterly based upon a true story and definitely lives up to its rating. The fact that it is true makes it actually creepier than most shock movies due to the fact that unlike other disturbing movies this one actually happened.
The movie begins in the town of Macau with the discovery of some dismembered, decomposing body parts that have washed up on the beach and are found by a local woman and her children. We are then shown the ?Eight Immortals? Dim Sum Restaurant and we are introduced to Wong Chi Hang, he is a gruff nerdy looking man with glasses. At the ?Eight Immortals? their specialty dish is barbeque beef rolls or hum bao. We find out that Wong doesn?t legally own the restaurant legally but that ?it was given to him? by the previous owner. A man who has since disappeared off of the face of the planet. As you watch the film you begin to realize that there is something that isn?t right about this shop owner.
The Police (who in this film are a bunch of bumbling idiots) begin to investigate and find out who the limbs found on the beach belong to. They are contacted by people and discover that they belong to someone who was related to the ?Eight Immortals? previous owner. The police then begin to investigate Wong and his restaurant and by this point we realize that Wong is not all he first appeared to be.
In a flashback scene we see what happens to the previous owner and his entire family. The sequence is one of the most violent, relentless, raw, and disturbing sequences I have ever seen. Wong and the previous owner are gambling with one another and the owner catches him cheating and confronts him. Wong hits him over the head with a bottle and grabs the owners son hold the broken bottle to his neck. He then orders the owners wife to tie up the rest of the family up and she does so hoping to save her child. Now that the rest of the family is tied up, Wong ties up the owner?s wife and then begins insulting the helpless tied up man. Then to prove how much power he has over the family he bites a piece of the woman?s face off and spits it at her tied up husband. The children begin to cry loudly and this is what sends Wong into a rage, I won?t go into specifics but Wong slaughters every member of the family in graphic detail all right in front of the camera. Then he cuts up the bodies (again in front of the camera) and uses the meat to make the Barbeque buns that the restaurant is famous for.
Back to the present, Wong is becoming increasingly paranoid with the police on his trail and decides that the employees of the restaurant are too big of a risk to have around so he murders them as well. In another hard to forget scene he rapes a female employee shoveing a handful of chopsticks into her vagina, and then kills her and makes her into food too. After this point in the film it just goes downhill into a cycle of violence and mayhem.
Finally the police arrest him and beat a confession out of him in a very original way. They put him into a jail cell with the brother of the restaurants previous owner who rapes, tortures, and generally mistreats him in every way imaginable and the film ends with a suicide.
This film had to be edited to get a category III movie rating (NC-17 is the American equivalent). Although, it has recently been released in America on DVD in all of its uncut glory. The violence in this movie (particularly against children) will hit you like a swift kick in the balls or boobs (depending upon gender).
February 6, 2009
WARNING: This movie bites with sharp, nasty teeth.
What can I say about The Untold Story? Well it tricks you, for one thing. The first half is more of a horror comedy. There are a few brutal moments, but nothing when compared to what comes in the second half. This movie shifts gears before you can blink, and throws you into an insane world of prison beatings, botched suicide attempts, police brutality, and one horrifically graphic confession. There are bits of humor, but I don't know whether they lighten the tone or just make what's going on seem more fucked up. This movie is supposedly based on a true story, although it seems to be very hard to find any info on it outside of the old, "I have this friend of a friend who told me...". But true or not, this movie is a must see for fans of rough horror. And I don't know about you, but those pork buns look mighty tasty.
October 6, 2009
the psychological movie, it shows how society and human's mind are related
August 30, 2009
I remember watching this a long time back. The very first sick movie I watched. One of the most disturbing.
February 12, 2009
The Untold Story is one of those nasty flicks that most horror fans whisper about, or have heard of, but because of its ridiculous premise, foreign nature, and Category III rating (the Hong Kong version of X or NC-17 in U.S.A), most of us have rarely gone out of our way to see it. Or if you?re like me, you made the mistake of getting a hold of the second one before the first film and, consequently, never wanted to see the first film because of the shit nature of the sequel. The Untold Story, despite all of the odds that are stacked up against it, deserves to be mentioned right up there with the heavies of the serial killer genre. Sure, it?s cheaper, more brutal, and quirkier than something like Silence of the Lambs or Se7en, but its originality, coupled with the fact that the film is based on a true story, packs those deficiencies in a delicious barbecue pork bun and washes it down with liberal doses of urine and feces laced gore.
The film follows the story of Wong Chi Hang, a notorious serial killer in 1970?s Macau. Wong Chi Hang has three loves in life, gambling, killing, and grinding up corpses to serve as tasty meat filling in his delicious barbecue pork buns. Chi Hang, a criminal wanted for murder after killing someone in another part of China, flees to Macau, where he unceremoniously becomes the owner of a restaurant entitled The Eight Immortals. The restaurant?s original owner has disappeared along with his family? it doesn?t take a rocket scientist to figure out what happened to them. The cops are soon on his tail, led by the prostitute courting Officer Lee, a tomboy female cop trying to get the attention of her co-pigs, and a couple of other generic silly cops.
One of the major problems with the film is that it is so uneven. For a movie about a dude who kills the fuck out of people and grinds them into dumpling filling, the movie feels ridiculously light as the group of cops engages in Police Academy style hijinks and banter. They eventually tone it down a little bit, but it?s kind of an odd decision to make to inject a little humor in what is clearly a dark story. I don?t know what to be more disturbed by, the lighthearted approach the co-directors took with the film or the disgusting and over the top brutality with which Wong Chi Hang dispatches his mostly undeserving victims.
The other huge problem with the film is how poorly it is put together. The film?s entire crux relies on the fact that there is an ?untold story? somewhere in the film. The untold story is of course what happened to the original owner of the restaurant and his family. The last half hour to thirty minutes of the film focuses on the cops? efforts to figure out exactly what happened to the family? even though they?ve got a sack full of body parts that screams ?missing family? sitting in their evidence locker. The ideas behind the structure and form of the film are off. Instead of taking the true crime direction, the directors turn the film into a Shakespearian like tragedy where the big payoff is one hellacious slaughter and the reveal to the police that they have in fact eaten the remains of humans. This all may seem like spoiler material, but any five year old that has ever seen a horror flick would be able to guess all of this stuff and it?s basically thrown in your face during the film. The Untold Story deserves credit for trying to take a non-traditional approach to the serial killer flick, but it?s light-hearted tactics leave a little to be desired.
The two directors, Danny Lee and Herman Yau, make some pretty solid decisions throughout the film, if you throw out some of the Police Academy type vibe that?s going on with the detectives? seriously I expected to see the Hong Kong version of Michael Winslow to pop up and start making annoying sound effects. The scenes that focus on the serial killer are solid, menacing, and intense as fuck. It?s a shame they shit in their bed and roll around in it by getting too experimental with the tone. There is a lull in the middle of the film, after the serial killer is arrested, and the film?s torture sequence where the cops try to pry information out of Wong feels a little drawn out, but the rest of the film flows rather nicely.
The gore and the brutality is what this film is famous for, and for good reason. You?ve got your over the top rape and murder scene, you?ve got your crazy human butchering montage, and quite possibly the world?s worst and most brutal family massacre scene. The gore and the special effects are all laid out with a reverent flair that is disturbing and pulls no punches. If I liked children, I might have been tempted to turn the film off near the end, instead of laugh insanely. Good stuff.
The Untold Story has some major flaws, but the sheer ballsiness of the flick is enough to counterbalance the good against the bad, creating a delicious Hong Kong classic that is unlike any movie out there. The film?s complete lack of sensitivity to people that may have actually been killed in this true crime tale is appalling, but who gives a damn? It looks cooler than a pile of used profos, gives your stomach a couple twists, and sticks in the memory like that time you played hide and seek with your naked Scoutmaster at the annual Boy Scouts overnight campout.
Final Synopsis: This movie is only for the diehard horror fans out there, as it may be a little over the top and odd for the more casual fans. It?s a great flick that pulls no punches and delivers on the gore without wimping out in typical bullshit cinema-style. Give it a rent, or buy a copy if you?re a sick fuck. Like I am.
Points Lost: -1 for trying to combine Police Academy with Se7en tonally, -1 for a lame approach at telling the story; there?s no real mystery here, so stop pretending like there is one
Lesson Learned: The best recipe for barbecue pork buns includes urine, poop in a bucket, and human bodies ground into filling. Enjoy.
Burning Question: Why is it so fucking hard to find information on foreign serial killers? excluding the lame British serial killers?
The Untold Story.
Enoy and keep a bag next to you.
June 4, 2009
First off, this movie was actually pretty funny, the police counter parts are a lot of laughs, the gore is good, the story is good too, I don't know what the real story looks like, but this was a good little movie, I did enjoy it :)
December 23, 2008
Must see cult classic starring the great actor Anthony Wong. Miss at your own peril. Highly recommended.
May 18, 2008
A nasty looking film that should make you very uncomfortable. The ending will have you reaching for the 'stop' button.
June 4, 2008
Yet another vastly overrated Asian horror film. The DVD I watched was an import from Hong Kong and had English subtitles that were surrealistically incoherent. The gore was cheey. Skip it and watch MANIAC or HENRY instead.
June 1, 2008
Heh another film with a psychotic Anthony Wong. Damn he was quite the sick fuck in this one especially when killing a whole family as well as "attempting" suicide. This is how you make a good gory horror/comedy without any of that hollywood bullshit. Well worth watching together with Ebola Syndrome. Amusing sick shit that's what this is.