Thursday, March 31, 2022

Census Bloodbath: Big Bad (Capsule Review)

Year: 1981
Director: Sisworo Gautama Putra
Cast: Barry Prima, Lydia Kandou, Rudy Salam
Run Time: 1 hour 27 minutes

Plot: A killer stalks a small Indonesian island and, one by one, kills off a group of men who are hunting for sunken treasure and a trio of camping teens.

Analysis: A note: Srigala AKA Wolf was only available to me in unsubtitled Indonesian, so some of the nuances of the plot were lost on me. However, considering that the film is quite obviously a rip-off of Friday the 13th, it wasn't too hard to guess at what was going on. 

Actually, let me backtrack. This movie was billed to me as a Friday the 13th rip-off, but other than some POV shots and a Crazy Ralph analogue, there wasn't much in the first 2/3 of the film to sell me on the idea of it ripping off anything other than Bay of Blood, which Friday was already doing. However, the second the kills start kicking in (right at the beginning of the third act, making the film preposterously draggy), it lurches into the Friday template so devotedly that I could have quoted the English script word for word. It copies everything, down to the random reveal of a middle-aged woman as the killer, the boring three-act chase scene that ensues, and even the closing scare gag. Thankfully they at least cut the seven minute scene of Alice making coffee, so they had one good instinct here.

However, copying the kills of Friday the 13th not only without Tom Savini but apparently without an effects team at all, is a no-go. The murders are all relegated offscreen, into silhouette, or achieved with the mildest smear of stage blood. It's an embarrassing dearth of interesting murder sequences, which were the one thing other than the score that propelled Friday into the stratosphere. The score of Srigala sucks too, come to think of it. At every turn, Srigala fails to capture the eminently copiable charms of the film it's trying to recreate.

Occasionally, some regionalisms sneak in to liven up the proceedings, like a completely unmotivated boat chase that is the most exciting moment in the entire film. Or the sequence where the girls are fighting over a hot dude and begin to go full kung fu movie, striking poses before leaping toward each other. But these moments are few and far between, and there's only so much that the studly Indonesian star Barry Prima in low-cut collars can assuage my pain during the rest of the leaden proceedings. 

Killer: Indonesian Mrs. Voorhees
Final Girl: Pink Girl
Best Kill: The guy who gets his head slammed in a car hood, because that's the easiest to accomplish with minimal special effects, and an incredibly relatable, flinch-inducing feeling.
Sign of the Times: While they failed to rip off most of Friday the 13th, they nailed those teeny tiny shorts that all the men wear.
Scariest Moment: Pink Girl has a dream that zombies emerge from the lake.
Weirdest Moment: Boss Man has a car bearing down directly on him, so he throws a rope at it.
Champion Dialogue: N/A
Body Count: 8
    1. Scuba Man is killed offscreen.
    2. Yellow Girl is axed in the head in silhouette.
    3. Cuck Guy has his head slammed in a car hood.
    4. Shirtless Scuba Guy is harpooned.
    5. Boss Man is hit by a car.
    6. Hot Guy is killed offscreen, presumably stuck with arrows.
    7. Flashback Guy is killed offscreen.
    8. Indonesian Mrs. Voorhees is stabbed in the chest with her own knife.
TL;DR: Srigala is a rip-off of Friday the 13th that is doing everything so demonstrably worse that there's no reason to watch it.
Rating: 3/10
Word Count: 618

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Census Bloodbath: Frankie Goes To Bollywood (Capsule Review)

Year: 1981
Director: Shyam & Tulsi Ramsay
Cast: Vijay Arora, Bindiya Goswami, Birbal
Run Time: 2 hours 5 minutes

Plot: After businessman Girdharila is murdered by his cousin Dhanpat Rai, he himself is murdered. Girdharila's daughter Sapna and her lover investigate, as people at Dhanpat Rai's mansion begin to die one by one.

Analysis: A note: This film was only accessible to me in unsubtitled Hindi, so there are huge swaths of plot I had no way of understanding. As such, this review will focus on visuals and atmosphere, of which the film doesn't offer much to chew on. This film was directed by the Ramsay brothers, who previously collaborated on the Bollywood slasher Saboot, which focused on the murder, revenge, and general drama between people fighting for control of a family-run mill. This film continues to be a meditation along those lines, adding a heavy dose of Bollywood family drama to the first half of what ends up being a pretty standard slasher setup.

Unfortunately the first half is aesthetically unpleasing, so if it succeeds anywhere, it must be the script that I couldn't understand. Every scene is presented with flat, even lighting and a tendency to keep the scene in a master shot wherever possible. The initial musical number is also desperately bland, as the romantic leads flail their arms around in the rain. The only thing that livens up this part of the film are the brief moments where the Sapna seems to hallucinate a much better movie, with musical dream sequences including dancing skeletons, a ghostly disco, and a surf rock breakdown.

Thankfully the second half is a lively bit of slasher mayhem. There are some solid kills, including a Saw-esque trap where a man is hooked up to fuse box that electrocutes him when somebody comes into the room and turns on the light switch. There's also a faux-Argento touch that involves a stabbed woman falling into a bathtub and sloshing sudsy water all over the floor. The kills come thick and fast for a brief period that did win me over to the film's side, though it was still a hell of a slog to get to them in the first place.

Killer: I honestly have no idea
Final Girl: Sapna
Best Kill: A woman has a noose slung around her neck and she is instantly dragged into the air and hanged from a tall tree.
Sign of the Times: The fact that after Saboot was a failure as a slasher, they went right ahead and made another one the next year.
Scariest Moment: The hostel seems to be run by a Torgo-esque figure in a blazer and no shirt.
Weirdest Moment: Did I mention the dancing skeleton surf rock number?
Champion Dialogue: N/A
Body Count: 8; this number is probably off by at least one, because I have a sneaking suspicion that one late kill is just a flashback retelling of a kill that occurred earlier.
    1. Girdharila is thrown off a balcony.
    2. Dhanpat Rai is killed offscreen.
    3. Woman is stabbed in the back.
    4. Man is electrocuted.
    5. Woman #2 is hanged from a tree.
    6. Man #2 killed by trees or something.
    7. Woman #3 is shot.
    8. Sombrero Man Who Might be Dhanpat Rai in Flashback is strangled.
TL;DR: Sannata is a passable slasher by the standards of the Ramsay brothers, but those are pretty low standards.
Rating: 4/10
Word Count: 566

Monday, March 28, 2022

Census Bloodbath: O Brothel, Where Art Thou? (Capsule Review)

Year: 1981
Director: Chih-Hung Kuei
Cast: Ni Tien, Jung Wang, Tsui-Ling Yu
Run Time: 1 hour 21 minutes

Plot: The girls at Madam Lan's (Ni Tien) brothel are being murdered by a necrophiliac who is stalking the streets of Hong Kong.

Analysis: A quick note: Like many of the most obscure foreign films I've covered, this Hong Kong slasher was unsubtitled and thus I missed any and all context of the script, so my rating should be taken with a grain of salt. Usually foreign slashers are straightforward enough that this is barely a problem, but there are definitely some obvious twists and turns in the plot that completely escaped me here.

The first half of the movie is more concerned with forcing you to consider how gross it might be to be erotically attracted to a corpse covered in writhing maggots rather than actually being a slasher movie. It's certainly less icky and misogynistic than the same film would be in the hands of, say, Maniac director William Lustig. But it's still not not those things. Once the slasher formula fully kicks in, it's a mostly agreeable one. The killer's face is covered by a scarf, which isn't particularly exciting, nor are the tempera paint kills he doles out. However, what is exciting is the giant-ass knife he wields, which is so huge that it's exactly scraping the line where it might reasonably be called a sword.

All in all, it's a pretty wan affair with too much time devoted to police activity (there are three separate stings in quick succession in the third act, murdering the pace even better than the killer could have), though I admire how much it foregrounds a cadre of gossipy old ladies as what - for lack of a better term - might reasonably be deemed protagonists. There is also a rather lovely aesthetic sensibility in many scenes, as its mist-drenched sets are stabbed with huge blades of light. The set design is also exquisite, and any scene that is content to explore the brothel's ornate interior is better for it.

Killer: Scarf Killer
Final Girl: Madam Lan
Best Kill: There is a particularly kinetic moment when a man investigating an abandoned building is attacked by the killer, who has been hiding in his back seat.
Sign of the Times: The random kung fu scene that breaks out for all of 25 seconds in a movie that is otherwise entirely devoid of martial arts.
Scariest Moment: Madam Lan drops something, and when she goes to pick it up, a hand appears from under the bed and drags her beneath.
Weirdest Moment: The killer rubs an artfully arranged corpse up and down with what looks like a big fluffy white oven mit.
Champion Dialogue: N/A
Body Count: 9; not including the naked wormy corpse lady who presumably dies before the events of the film.
    1. Cop is stabbed in the gut.
    2. Girl is killed offscreen.
    3. Man is stabbed to death in his car.
    4. Red Herring has his throat slashed while underwater.
    5. Woman has her head beat in with a rock.
    6. Cop #2 and 
    7. Cop #3 die indistinctly during a chaotic police sting scene, but there sure are huge bursts of blood from whatever happens.
    8. Man #2 is strangled with a scarf, possibly in a flashback.
    9. Scarf Killer is shot by a firing squad.
TL;DR: Corpse Mania is prettier than it has any right to be, but its deviations from the slasher formula are too gross to be appealing.
Rating: 4/10
Word Count: 586

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Census Bloodbath: The (Other) Amityville Horror (Capsule Review)

Year: 1980
Director: Nathan Schiff
Cast: John Smihula, Fred Borges, Michael Siegal
Run Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

Plot: A series of killings occurs in the Long Island area as a pair of gangsters force their leader's son Jack (Fred Borges) to help acquire meat for a tribe of leper cannibals. On the case is Detective James Cameron - no, the other one (John Smihula).

Analysis: Contrary to appearances, this film was directed by a human man: Nathan Schiff, who we'll somehow be encountering again in his 1985 film They Don't Cut the Grass Anymore. You're immediately clued into exactly what kind of film you're in for with the opening production logo, which looks like it was scrawled with a blunt crayon by a not particularly artistically inclined squirrel. The filmmakers seem aware of light as a vague concept, and love to play around with it. Sometimes it's a patch in the center of the frame that nauseatingly lurches from top to bottom. Sometimes they remember they need some more in the scene and get some by tipping the handheld camera up into the sun. Sometimes they just light the characters with a flashlight and call it a night. They at least seem to have someone consciously making decisions, which the sound department cannot boast. The film's soundscape, which boasts absolutely no room tone between patches of fuzzy dialogue, is sometimes overwhelmed by the sound of the camera rolling.

The film's saving grace is its extreme commitment to being itself. Nothing in it qualifies as "good" (other than maybe some excellent library music they plaster over certain scenes), but the chaotic nonsense of anything any character ever does provides a sheen of silliness that is sometimes rather appealing. We are presented with a world where characters can just randomly sprout a fu manchu mustache between scenes and constantly spout gloriously overwritten dialogue like "If we don't get our money, unpleasant things can occur," or "let me touch thy flesh one final moment." The Long Island Cannibal Massacre is pure chaos, slipping through time and place with no indication as to what it's doing (at one point the film - without warning - takes a brief sojourn to South Carolina).

This same approach is taken with the gore, which is delivered in incompetent spades. It's all very Herschell Gordon Lewis, reveling in turning people into goo with lawnmowers and pulling out guts that look more like balloon animals than intestines. They have no budget or vision, but there is a muchness to everything that is exuberant and endearing.

Killer: Zed (Paul Smihula) & Bruce AKA James Cameron (John Smihula), but also kinda Jack (Fred Borges) and his dad, who is credited as King Leper (Winston B. Anderson III)
Final Girl: N/A
Best Kill: James Cameron's extended murder is the best, mostly because of his Rasputin-esque aversion to actually dying.
Sign of the Times: Jack is constantly wearing sunglasses, has an enormous mustache drooping over his lip, and a feathered attempt at a fro. The late 70's are strong in this one.
Scariest Moment: Jack hangs his head out of the car window, and someone leaps up and grabs him.
Weirdest Moment: Jack's dad demands that he eat a dead girl, and he takes a bite out of her leg... through her jeans.
Champion Dialogue: "You're mad because I'm alive and you're all chopped up into little pieces."
Body Count: 11
  1. Student has a lawnmower lowered onto her face.
  2. Makeout Boy is hit with a tire iron.
  3. Makeout Girl is garroted with a chain.
  4. Cannibal dies of starvation.
  5. Makeout Guy #2 has his head crushed with a cinderblock in a nightmare sequence.
  6. Lori is killed with a knife, and that's as specific as I'm able to get.
  7. Zed has his face impaled on what appears to be the metal pole from a street sign, which somehow causes the skin to be removed.
  8. Dave is hit in the back of the head with the claw end of a hammer.
  9. Penny is meat cleavered in the neck in flashback.
  10. James Cameron has battery acid sprayed in his face, is stabbed in the face with a harpoon, is sliced in the leg with a shovel, is shot in the head, is stabbed a bunch, crawls around a lot, eats part of Jack's foot, and only dies because it seems like he's decided to.
  11. Jack has his tongue pulled out, is impaled on a stick, is dismembered and slashed with a chainsaw, and is eventually decapitated with the aforementioned chainsaw.
TL;DR: The Long Island Cannibal Massacre is a piece of shit, but it's got a nice little bow on it.
Rating: 3/10
Word Count: 776

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Census Bloodbath: Off The Shelf (Capsule Review)

Year: 1989
Director: Jeffrey Mandel
Cast: Dan Haggerty, Julie Austin, Deanna Lund
Run Time: 1 hour 29 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG-13

Plot: Kirsten (Julie Austin) accidentally unleashes a mythical Nazi elf that wants to impregnate her with the Master Race, and only a drifter who just got a job as a department store Santa (Dan Haggerty) can save her.

Analysis: The primary defining element of Elves is that it's absolutely unhinged in every possible way, down to the fact that the title is a lie and there's only one elf. The film honestly wouldn't even qualify as a slasher except for the fact that it's a different movie every 20 minutes, and one of those is a supernatural slasher set at a department store. The other options on this sampler platter include high-octane action (or as high-octane as "guy notices dynamite in car, leaps out of car instead of just throwing away dynamite" can be), bonkers family drama (Julia's mom - who is made up like a Bratz doll - wants to punish her daughter for breaking the rules and going into the forest by closing her bank account and drowning her cat in the toilet holy shit - the mom is literally so evil that there's a hilarious scene where Kirsten's friends just assume she's her stepmom), and gangster movie (the Nazis are apparently just the mafia, who knew?). 

The elf itself is at least rather scary-looking, but only when it's not in motion. They clearly could only afford to make a a shoulders-up bust of the elf, so it is never seen in full. When it is lurking in the shadows staring at its potential victims, it cuts a menacing figure with its mottled grey skin and sharp fangs. However, when it's asked to perform any action, it's clear that the mouth isn't articulated very well and it undercuts the tension something fierce. However, it's not like Elves had any tension to spare in the first place. Its ultimate charm lies in the absolute fever dream nonsense delivered by every character, setting, and object onscreen (including two genuinely funny intentional jokes, a department store display that reads "GUNS - Gift Ideas for Mom," and a professor who is teaching Dan Haggerty about Nazi mythology correcting his young son's grammar when he says "elfs.").

Killer: The Elf (not Elves, notably)
Final Girl: Kirsten (Julie Austin)
Best Kill: Poor, poor Agamemnon the cat is drowned in a toilet because Kirsten's mom is a psychopath with the makeup of a Bratz doll.
Sign of the Times: Any outfit worn in the department store scene, but particularly the purple cardigan paired with the yellow dress. Or maybe the unitard with a purple tutu.
Scariest Moment: Kirsten's little brother wakes up with the Elf trying to throttle him.
Weirdest Moment: Kirsten's little brother pervs on her while she's in the shower and insists that she's got "big fucking tits."
Champion Dialogue: "Life's a bitch, Eddie. First you're Santa and then you die."
Body Count: 9
    1. Agamemnon the Cat is drowned in a toilet.
    2. Coke Santa is stabbed in the crotch.
    3. Blonde Guy has his head split by a Nazi.
    4. Amy is shot in the head.
    5. Brooke is stabbed to death.
    6. Kirsten's mom has a radio dropped into her bathtub.
    7. Ponytail Nazi is shot in the gut.
    8. Grandpa is shot.
    9. Trenchcoat Nazi is shot by the Elf.
TL;DR: Elves is reprehensible and weird and fascinating, though none of those things really add up to "good."
Rating: 6/10
Word Count: 581

Friday, March 18, 2022

Census Bloodbath: Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting (Capsule Review)

I've been doing the math on how many goddamn slasher movies I have left to cover and how much time I have in my life for writing things I'm not being paid for. Unfortunately, those numbers just aren't adding up, so for the time being Census Bloodbath is converting to this sleeker capsule review style (which will inevitably be almost as long as my regular reviews anyway). This will likely culminate in a bigger, more involved project down the road, but for now I hope you enjoy at least having something to read rather than the barren wasteland of nothing that my blog has been since I started writing for Screen Rant!

Year: 1981
Director: Stanley Sui-Fan Fung
Cast: Wei Pai, Nora Tsang Pui-Kei, Lee Yuen-Wa
Run Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Plot: Siu Fong (Wei Pai) is the hero of a small village, having protected them some years ago from a wicked gangster. Every woman in town lusts after him, though he only has eyes for Sin Sin (Lee Yuen-Wa). In spite of this, every woman that throws herself at him ends up dead, killed by a mysterious prowler with a skull for a face. Once Sin Sin's sister Fei Fei (JoJo Chan Kei-Kei) goes missing, he must clear his own name and track down the killer, his investigation leading him into combat with the sinister potter Seen Kay (Chung Fat) and the vengeful gangster Kam (Lee Hoi-Sang).

Analysis: This Hong Kong film is a unique beast, grafting the nascent slasher formula onto a more tried-and-true kung fu movie plot involving gangsters and lots of acrobatic punch-kicking accompanied by the sound effect of some poor foley artist slamming two by fours into a sack of beans or whatever. Although the slasher elements are much less well-rendered (there is hardly a drop of blood, though the excavation of a corpse that has been coated in clay and turned into a statue is suitably gruesome), at least the killer is designed to the rafters. The killer's face is shrouded by a black straw hat, but when he tips it up, he reveals - instead of a face - a terra-cotta skull. It's an incredibly imposing bit of costume design that does a lot to add oodles of atmosphere to whatever scene he finds himself in.

The kung fu sequences also embrace the cheesiness of late-era martial arts flicks in a kinetic and exciting manner (especially the scene where the gangsters try to impale Siu Fong on a rolling cart with horizontal spikes), though nobody would go out of their way to call them particularly inspired. The plot itself is really the problem. Even though there are some zany twists and turns, including an underground cavern with a hidden entrance in a coffin, a little person kung fu/pottery master, and a telenovela-esque series of third act reveals, the killer reveal is too obvious and the first two acts spin their wheels maddeningly between too few kills. All in all, this was a fun diversion from the world of American slashing in the early 80's, but this is a "fast forward to the best moments" kind of deal rather than "let's make a bowl of popcorn and sit down with The Phantom Killer."

Killer: Ah Kwai (Cheung Sin-Ming)
Final Girl: Siu Fong (Wei Pai)
Best Kill: It's more of a post-kill extravagance, but one of the victims gets turned into a statue, which is radical as fuck.
Sign of the Times: The fact that a kung fu film decided to spruce up its plot with the slasher formula in the first place.
Scariest Moment: The first time the killer lifts up his head and you see the skull underneath.
Weirdest Moment: The potter beats the shit out of Siu Fong the first time they meet, and then proceeds to be extremely helpful for the rest of the movie.
Champion Dialogue: "Even though my son is ugly, he's still got a girlfriend."
Body Count: 6; not including at least 3 thugs and 2 security guards who are attacked but whose fates are unclear.
    1. Yan-mei is punch-stabbed in the neck.
    2. Madam Suet is punch-stabbed in the gut.
    3. Amah drinks poisoned tea.
    4. Guard is hanged.
    5. Sin Sin is killed offscreen.
    6. Fei Fei is stabbed in the gut.
TL;DR: Phantom Killer isn't a particularly interesting movie as far as its plot goes, but when it comes to the film's signature blend of slasher and kung fu, it's a riot.
Rating: 7/10
Word Count: 745

Friday, March 11, 2022

Census Bloodbath: Big Trouble In Chinatown

Year: 1981
Director: Patrick Tam
Cast: Kuo-Chu Chang, Charlie Chin, Brigitte Lin
Run Time: 1 hour 31 minutes

As our sojourn through the movies I missed in previous Census Bloodbath years continues into 1981, we're swooping back into Hong Kong slashers in a major way. Ai Sha, AKA Love Massacre, was directed by Patrick Tam, an influential figure in the Hong Kong New Wave who was the mentor for international directing superstar Wong Kar-wai. Unfortunately, the copy that's currently available isn't quite up to snuff to allow us to fully appreciate this fact, so please take that into consideration in this review. The print is a bit blown-out, and while it's easy enough to appreciate the color and framing and whatnot, the white subtitles are completely swallowed whenever there is a bright white at the bottom of the screen, which is almost all the time.

Curse a director who knows how to use negative space!

Love Massacre has an oddly complicated continent-hopping plot, which is not aided by the subtitles sometimes falling into a chasm for minutes on end. But what I got out of it is that Joy (Tina Lau) is a melodramatic student living in San Francisco. Her boyfriend Louie (Charlie Chin) wants to move to New York, but the idea of him leaving her causes her to slit her wrists on a very pretty lake. While she's recovering, her brother Chiu Ching (Kuo-Chu Chang) visits from Hong Kong and kindles an extramarital affair with Joy's schoolmate Ivy (Brigitte Lin). After Joy perishes in a car accident, Ivy gets closer to Louie which enrages Chiu Ching, who kills his wife and comes to San Francisco to get up to some stalkin' and slashin'.

When a romance this sizzling is interrupted, you really feel it!

The place where Love Massacre succeeds the most is, for obvious reasons, its general aesthetic. It's a beautiful film, from the opening shots that see a woman walking across sandy dunes, an isolating and alienating shot that sets up the plot quite nicely. He really does pump a lot of energy into using visuals to tell the story, which should seem self-evident when you're discussing a work of cinema, but after 8 million shot-on-video slashers really feels like a breath of fresh air. He uses superimposition quite well as a means of juxtaposition, drawing links between characters while highlighting their major differences at the same time.

There are also scenes that aren't quite so artistically challenging, like the POV shot on a roller coaster, but display an excellent sense for what might be the most fun to point the camera at. Tam also favors white backdrops interrupted by bold blocks of color, best represented by a dazzling museum scene that exists solely for this purpose. 


So yes, it's undeniable that the film is pretty to look at. But here's the thing. In general, it's not pretty enough to look at that it obviates the film of its incredible sins both as a slasher film and a melodrama. Hell, there are individual shots in Zoom In: Sex Apartments that are just as, if not more beautiful to gaze upon, so like... it's clearly not that hard to bring these particular visual ideas to life.

The less said about how the script functions as a drama, the better. The characters are given so little semblance of humanity that it's hard to care when they're being murdered, so why should anyone give a shit what they're up to in the meantime? Sadly, the superior filmmaking technique doesn't extend to the murder sequences, so they're extra empty. A filmmaker who is truly committed to making a murder sequence feel brutal and jarring can certainly accomplish that. Look at Angst, or literally anything made by Dario Argento before 1989. These scenes are just an afterthought, clearly thrown in to spice up the proceedings and hop on the bandwagon of the subgenre that was popular enough that American enthusiasts might even venture into watching a subtitled film (indeed, said subgenre is so popular that loser nerds like me are still seeking Love Massacre out 40 years later simply because the film belongs to it).

Love Massacre would certainly benefit from a really nice Blu-Ray transfer, but the bottom line is that the story it's telling is dysfunctional. Plot beats slip by with no clear connection to one another, culminating in a third act that doesn't so much draw the threads together as murder a bunch of the threads so we don't have to think about them anymore. I don't know that I would warn anyone away from the film. There's certainly enough on offer here to place it above the basement-level standard of many slasher films from this period. However, especially in 1981, there are literally almost two dozen films I'd point someone to first before recommending it.

Killer: Fu Chiu Ching (Kuo-Chu Chang)
Final Girl: Ivy (Brigitte Lin)
Sign of the Times: The girls have to find out about overseas occurrences from a newspaper. Ew.
Best Kill: One of Ivy's housemates has her head slammed in a door, which is pretty damn gnarly.
Scariest Moment: Ivy sees Chiu Ching sleeping in a coffin, and he slowly turns his face toward her.
Weirdest Moment: Chiu Ching paints a little kid's entire face purple.
Champion Dialogue: "When did you learn to smoke?"
Body Count: 9; character names will mostly be missing - I'm sure I could parse out who is who with careful study of the egregious subtitles (ie. massive contrast-editing on screenshots), but frankly the names don't matter much because none of the body count characters who die are relevant to the story in any meaningful way.
  1. Joy is killed in a car accident.
  2. Chiu Ching's wife is killed and dismembered offscreen.
  3. Housemate #1 is stabbed to death.
  4. Housemate #2 is strangled and hit with a teapot.
  5. Housemate #3 has her throat slashed.
  6. Housemate #4 is stabbed.
  7. Housemate #5 is drowned in a tub.
  8. Housemate #6 has her head crushed in a door.
  9. Chiu Ching is stabbed.
TL;DR: Love Massacre is reasonably pretty, but not enough to overcome its wan melodrama and tepid slashing.
Rating: 5/10
Word Count: 1028