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郎心如鐵 (1993)
Remains of a Woman

Reviewed by: MilesC
Date: 07/20/2000
Summary: Not bad.

Not a great movie by any means; like many of the "true crime" Cat. IIIs, it suffers from the lack of a real story that often occurs when a script it simply written around the goriest murder the production company could dig up. The frequent (pre)-sex scenes are sort of silly and pointless, and set to cheesy soft-porn music. Still, Billy Chan is a thoroughly detestable and sleazy character, and his two-timing antics get you through. But the real praise should go to Carrie Ng; she is effective throughout, but does a GREAT job of selling the "true" version of the incident in question, shown, as is the custom, at the end. It's a classic fifteen minutes of drugs, screaming, dismemberment and depravity that could easily have come off as embarrassing without Ng. It strikes a good balance; it's a happy medium between "horrific" and "vomit-inducing" that I can handle. This isn't my thing at all, and even I thought it worked well; if you're a big fan of the early '90s true crime wave, the final act of this film makes it a must.

Reviewed by: STSH
Date: 12/28/1999
Summary: Stylish, moody and very unsettling

I found the flashback/flashforward jigsaw not at all confusing. In fact, it was very effective and produced just the right balance between revelation and suspense. The photography was lush and sensual, grading towards gory and horrifying towards the very bloody final scenes (which also eased this film into Cat 3 - there's no nudity, and only one indistinct sex scene). And the ending is brilliant - as simple as it is stunningly elegant.
A few warnings. This film contains frequent drug use, which I found excessive, even though it was fairly important to the story. When the means of chopping up the body is eventually shown, not a lot is left to the imagination. Lastly, a "don't try this at home" warning : To all you nice guys out there, don't try to imitate Billy's character, even though it's a technique which clearly gets the girls !
Overall : Not a pleasant or feelgood film by any means, but an effective eroto-gory chiller nonetheless.

Reviewer Score: 7