An Asian horror anthology from three of the Far East’s most prolific shock exporters, Chan-wook Park, Takashi Miike, and Fruit Chan, the last of which whose work I hadn’t seen prior to his grisly piece “Dumplings”. And I suppose the best thing I can say about his segment is that I went to a Chinese buffet shortly after seeing it and steered well clear of the usually uncontroversial wonton soup. Well done, Fruity. Bastard. A tale and ending not for the squeamish, but then it doesn’t really get any less provocative when Park takes the wheel for the one-room thriller and part pitch-black comedy Cut, which combines the intensity Park is known for with an oddball self-reflexiveness that reminded me of the “humor” in Battle Royale for some reason, though the ending is a bit wonky, even by Park’s standards. The last segment Box, courtesy of Miike, is probably the weakest, and ironically the least gory of the three, chronicling a beautiful young author’s flashback nightmares to a childhood spent as a contortionist circus performer with a twin sister and a facepainted guardian whose disturbing dimensions are surprisingly dependent on subtlety, surprising if you’ve seen even one Miike movie in your life. In the end, I’d say watch it for Park’s highly entertaining entry, and for the curiosity factor of the other two. There is
a theatrical version of Dumplings in the DVD set, but I figured fuck that, one smaller portion in the anthology was good enough for now. I mean, I really was looking forward to that Chinese buffet.