The Gory Murder (1978)

aka Can ku da fen shi
Article 4585 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 7-21-2014
Directed by Yi-Jung Hua
Featuring Chiang-neng Chen, Yi-hsing Chen, Yung-Li Chen
Country: Hong Kong
What it is: Crime thriller

The police discover the dismembered corpse of a women. They must try to discover her identity, and find out who was responsible for her death.

Some movies are hard to watch. In this case, it’s not so much the unpleasant subject matter (which involves a serial rapist), but rather the presentation of the movie that is the culprit. The movie was originally in Cantonese, but it’s been very badly post-dubbed, and I’m not sure whether it’s been dubbed into its own language or into another. Fortunately, it has English subtitles, but they don’t show up well on the print (they vanish against a white background, for example), and since I seem to be watching a panned-and-scanned version, some of the text is missing. Furthermore, the movie is full of bad sound and has a jarring musical score. Combined altogether, these make watching the movie a difficult, sometimes headache-inducing experience. Still, from what I can make out, it’s not really a horror movie; most of it plays out like a police procedural. Still, the murder details are horrific, and a scene where the murderer undergoes guilt hallucinations (body parts jumping out in front of him, hands coming through the walls) does offer some horror content. It’s often incoherent, and I suspect chunks of the story are missing. I don’t think the movie itself is worthless, but it certainly doesn’t transcend the painful process of watching it.


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