Sunday, December 21, 2014

Ebola Syndrome (Herman Yau, 1996)

Bloodied and battered, a haggard-looking, pee-stained Anthony Wong stands over his victims in triumph. Shortly after removing the tongue of his lover with a pair of scissors, Anthony Wong turns his attention to his lover's young daughter (who's hiding in a nearby closet). Interrupted just as he was about to set her on fire, Anthony Wong decides to take off, leaving the little girl covered in gasoline. If you're wondering who this Ebola stricken psychopath is going to kill next, do yourself a favour and stop... wondering about that. Are you sitting down? He doesn't have the Ebola virus. Well, not yet at least. But that's just the thing, if this is how Anthony Wong behaves when he doesn't have the Ebola virus, imagine what he's going to do when he does. Trust me, it's not going to be pretty. Oh, and I know for a fact that he's going to contract the Ebola virus. You wanna know why? It's simple, really, he's the star of Herman Yau's wonderfully vile Ebola Syndrome, yet another Category III sex and gore extravaganza that manages to make all other attempts at "cinema" seem totally lame by comparison.

If Anthony Wong didn't contract the Ebola virus in this movie, I would have (Yeah, yeah, you would have thrown a major hissy-fit.) You're goddamn right I would have thrown a major hissy-fit.

That being said, Ebola or no Ebola, Anthony Wong's Kai is someone you don't want to have on your bad side. On the surface, he might seem like a harmless goofball with a soft spot for shapely whores. But the second you hand him, oh, let's say, a pair of scissors, he's going to use them in a manner they weren't intended.

Seriously, though, don't ever hand Anthony Wong a pair of scissors. Now, I would love to tell Shing Fui-On (The Blue Jean Monster) this, but I'm afraid I can't, as Anthony Wong just killed him using the legs of a mahjong table. As the legs of the mahjong table began to crush his larynx, he probably thought to himself: Why, oh, why did I hand Anthony Wong those motherflippin' scissors?

You see, Anthony Wong is having an affair with Shing Fui-On's wife (Tsang Yin). And when Shing Fui-On (who is Anthony Wong's boss) and a friend catch them in the act, Shing threatens to cut off his penis. A blubbering Wong pleads with Fui-On on the behalf of his still attached penis. When that fails, Anthony asks if he can cut off his penis. This request clearly confused Fui-On, because he proceeds to hand over the scissors. I don't think I need to tell you what happens next.

Leaving Shing Fui-On's young daughter crying and covered in gasoline in her parent's Hong Kong apartment (in the mid-1980s), we jump forward ten years to find Kai working at a Chinese restaurant in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Hired by the owners, Kei (Lo Meng) and his wife (Cheung Lau), as a waiter (a low paid one at that), they obviously never saw Herman Yau and Anthony Wong's previous collaboration, The Untold Story. If they had, there's no way they would have hired him. But then again, it's implied that Kei and his wife know about Kai's murderous past in Hong Kong. Meaning, they shouldn't act surprised if they suddenly find their genitals on the menu.

I am surprised, however, that the Association of Chinese Restaurants didn't try to have The Untold Story and Ebola Syndrome banned, as they both manage to tarnish the Chinese dining experience.

Anyway, remember that little girl that Kai left covered in gasoline back in the '80s? Well, she's a flight attendant now. And guess where her next flight is headed? That's right, Johannesburg, South Africa.

The second the flight attendant enters the restaurant Kai works, she starts to feel sick. She can't quite put her finger on it, but something about this place causes her relive the day a crazed man killed her father with a mahjong table and cut off her mother's tongue with a pair of scissors. Though, it's obvious that she doesn't remember what Kai looked like, as she just asked him to direct her to the restaurant's washroom.

Even though she goes back to her hotel room, the flight attendant knows something sinister is afoot (she has nightmares about the place). Meanwhile, Kai is horny. After his attempt to pick up a prostitute ends in failure (Kai: "Fifty for a fondling?" Prostitute: "I only fuck white dudes... no yellow trash."), Kai masturbates into a hunk of pork (he uses a knife to create a makeshift vagina) while listening Kei have sex with his wife.

As expected, Kai puts the jizz-laden pork back in the fridge and serves it to customers the very next day. Oh, Kai, you're the most unpleasant character in film history.

Since the the local butcher shop refuses to give Kei a fair deal on pork, he and Kai drive into the bush to buy a pig from a nearby tribe of cannibals. Despite the fact the tribe's camp is littered with lesion-covered corpses, Kei and Kai buy a pig. On the way back, they experience some car trouble. While Kei works on the engine, Kai wanders off.

Noticing a woman collapse by a river, Kai approaches her. You won't believe what happens next. Oh, you do know what happens next. Well, aren't we demented today. Yep, Kai licks his hand and penetrates the unconscious woman with his penis.

Holy crap, how many orgasm faces is Anthony Wong going to make in this movie? I mean, he's already made three. Whatever, the unconscious woman starts to convulse and spits a milky substance in Kai's face.

To the surprise of no-one, Kai develops a fever. While out of commission, Kei and his wife argue about what to do with him. As they're doing this, Kai wakes up and kills them both; a third employee is killed after he starts snooping around.

If Kai didn't have Ebola, do you think he would have murdered them? It's hard to say. What's not hard to say is, Kai is a scumbag.

Chopping up Kei, his wife and the nameless employee, Kai turns them into "African pork buns" and serves them at the restaurant the very next day. Yum. And in doing so, gives everyone Ebola. Pretty soon people are collapsing and twitching all over Johannesburg.

Finding Kei's hidden stash of cash, Kai decides to go back to Hong Kong to cause more havoc. An Ebola carrier (he has the disease, but doesn't display the symptoms), Kai has no qualms whatsoever about spreading the virus. Did I mention he's a scumbag?

While living it up in the penthouse suite of a fancy hotel, Kai gets a hankering for some whores.

When room service fails to deliver him the whores he desires, Kai goes elsewhere for his whore-related needs.

Oh. My. God. Check out the whore in the tight red dress. Her shape is sublime. I'm guessing the "actress" who plays the thick whore in the tight red dress is Lori Shannon, as she's the only cast member who looks like a "Lori Shannon," if you get my drift.

When the prostitutes develop Ebola symptoms, the local authorities begin to search the city for the person responsible for knocking one of Hong Kong's shapeliest whores out of commission. But they shouldn't bother looking for Kai at that fancy hotel, as he has since moved in with old flame.

I don't know what's more disgusting, the South African autopsy scene or the sequence where Kai spreads the virus willy-nilly (the scene at the ice cream store is beyond gross). I'm gonna go with the latter. I know, it doesn't sound all that nasty on paper, but I nearly lost it when the band-aid on the finger of the ice cream store waitress comes loose while touching a spoon that had been in Kai's mouth.

One of the last Cat III movies to be made before the handover (all Hong Kong films made after 1997, if they want to play on Mainland, need to be approved by Chinese censors), Ebola Syndrome is distasteful, loathsome, hateful, nauseating, and sickening. In other words, it's one of the best Cat III movies ever made.


  1. this movie is so disgusting and yet hilarious! It made me fall in love with Anthony Wong's career.

    1. Anthony Wong rules!

      The fact that I just found this out is kind of lame... buy hey, better late than never.