14 July 2017

BAD GUY and CHAOS: TWO EROTIC ASIAN THRILLERS REVIEWED BY SANDRA HARRIS.



BAD GUY/CHAOS: A PAIR OF EXOTIC AND EROTIC ASIAN FILMS REVIEWED BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

BAD GUY. (2001) DIRECTED BY KIM KI-DUK. STARRING CHO JAE-HYUN AND SEO WON.

CHAOS. (2000) BASED ON SHŌGO UTANO'S NOVEL 'SARAWARETAI ONNA,' OR 'THE WOMAN WHO WANTS TO BE KIDNAPPED.' DIRECTED BY HIDEO NAKATA. STARRING MASATO HAGIWARA AND MIKI NAKATANI.

I recently watched these two superb Asian movies back-to-back on a nice quiet Thursday evening. They livened the night up no end, let me tell ya. I know how much you guys like hearing my opinions on everything and anything to do with films, haha, from the amount of sex or nudity a flick contains to whether the male actors are hot enough to float my boat, so here follows precisely the kind of intellectual and learned treatise you've come to expect from me. Strap yourselves in, lads and ladettes. It's gonna be a bumpy ride...

BAD GUY is a Korean film about a snooty little college girl who ends up working as a prostitute to pay off a debt. Nothing too strange about that, you might think. We've all heard stories about women having to resort to such drastic measures to make ends meet. We've even heard about posh married women who like to lead a double life and engage in a little prostitution on the side, just for sh*ts and giggles, as it were. It makes 'em all hot 'n' horny, heh-heh-heh.

What's interesting about this particular situation, though, is that it's all been rather cleverly engineered by a lowlife scumbag of a pimp who fell in love-at-first-sight with our prim and prissy little College Girl when he saw her sitting quietly on a park bench, waiting for her studious and bespectacled young boyfriend to show up.

College Girl is devastated to find herself on display in a shop window on one of Korea's many 'hooker streets' as if she's a bag of sugar or a tin of peas. She's made to wear the trashiest sex-outfits and have sex with any coarse businessman with enough dosh to pay the fee. She's a virgin when she is raped by her first client, who keeps telling her to 'move a little' and lighten up, instead of just lying there crying and inert like a sack of potatoes.

She's watched night and day by the brothel madam, who once paid a terrible price when she herself tried to escape the life. The pimp or titular BAD GUY watches her too, through a two-way mirror while she's doing the business with her clients, and the rest of the time he and his goons are hanging around the place keeping the closest of tabs on everyone's comings- ahem!- and goings.

Bad Guy himself, a good-looking devil, is an interesting character. He almost never speaks, due to a throat-cutting which he survived. There's an incredible amount of violence directed against him in the film but he always survives. Brick to the head? No bother at all. Stabbed repeatedly in the gut? That's nothing! Up he gets again, like some kind of bouncy ball. He's certainly a resilient little cuss, anyway.

The unthinkable happens when College Girl starts to return Bad Guy's feelings for her. But what kind of life could they possibly have together? A lowlife scumbag pimp with a criminal record as long as your arm and a woman who's been utterly ruined by his selfish actions...? Even if she got the chance to slot back into her old life again, it could never be the same, mainly because she could never be the same herself. Is the romance doomed? God knows...

CHAOS is a Japanese erotic thriller that earned the director Hideo Nakata the nickname of 'Japan's answer to Alfred Hitchcock' when he made it. I can't really tell you which Hitchcock film he's channelling here for fear of spoilers, but I can say that if you look up and look down again too quickly, several times in quick succession, you might get the, ahem, vertigo. Now, that ain't a spoiler, surely, is it? It's a well-documented medical condition that anyone could get, haha. I had it for a while myself back in 2013. It was a right royal pain in the ass. It still comes back from time to time, actually.

Anyway, a lowly, floppy-haired but rather handsome young Japanese handyman, known mostly as 'The Handyman' in the film ('cause that's what he does for a living, see?), is approached one day by a beautiful and glamorous young woman. She has a most unusual proposition for our Handyman, and here it is, in all its complicated and somewhat grisly glory.

The wife of a rich businessman, she's bored and lonely and she very much fears that her wealthy hubby is having an affair. If she pretends to be kidnapped, she feels, she'll achieve two things. One, she might finally discover the extent of her hubby's true feelings for her and two, the whole escapade might even rekindle his interest in her. After all, if he thinks her life's in actual danger, he might remember just how much he really loves her. Mightn't he...?

This is where the attractive young Handyman comes in. If he agrees to be her 'abductor,' she'll pay him the kind of money he wouldn't normally have access to. He has a crappy job and he's a part-time Dad to his adorable wee son, albeit something of a deadbeat one. It's not like he couldn't use a huge boost to his finances, plus it's hard for a man to say no to a beautiful and seductive-acting woman, have you ever noticed that?

It'll have to be realistic, though, he warns Little Wifey. He'll have to tie her up and even rough her up a wee bit to make it into an authentic kidnapping. After all, she can't go back to her hubby all pristine and nice and as fresh as if she's just stepped out of a salon, can she? It wouldn't look like she'd really been through a terrible ordeal. No, The Handyman swears. If he's gonna do this thing, he's gonna do it right...

Two complications rear their ugly heads. First off, nothing, and I do mean nothing, is as it seems in this sexy-as-hell erotic thriller. As Homer Simpson says in the episode of THE SIMPSONS about the Carnies and the Carnie Code, this is a bizarre and surreal world where 'people throw ducks at balloons and nothing is as it seems.' Exactly. What he said. Don't go to the trouble of trying to work it all out before the spectacular dénouement. Most likely, the film will rip your theories to shreds. It's a-twist-a-minute from the start all the way to the end...

The second complication, by the way, is that our Handyman, who's apparently 'always wanted to fuck a woman who's tied up,' develops a healthy interest in the possibilities for bondage and sado-masochism which his new circumstances present. Ooooh-er, Matron...! And can you guess what the really exciting thing is? It looks like being tied up and slapped around and kissed and fondled roughly is just what the doctor offered for Little Wifey too. What fun they'll have together! As long, that is, as nasty old stinky real life doesn't get in the way...

Well, there you go anyway, film peeps. Two sexy, thrill-filled Asian films that'll entertain you as well as keeping you guessing all the way to the end. Each about posh, snooty kind of uppity women who find what they're looking for in the arms of two men they'd normally have considered to be way beneath them socially. The Pimp And The Handyman. Sounds like a great name for a West End musical, doesn't it? If they ever make it, I'll see to it that you guys all get tickets. We'll stay out of Box Five of course, though. We wouldn't wanna piss off The Phantom...

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

 You can contact Sandra at:


http://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com










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