You are currently displaying English
弱殺 (1994)
Red to Kill

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 09/17/2005

This movie's plot is pretty simple. In one of HK's worst housing projects, a psycho is raping and murdering some of the tenants, which include a group of retarded adults. After a series of attacks and a failure by the police to do anything, the residents decide to take the law into their own hands.

In the world of Category III movies, it takes a lot to shock regular viewers of the genre. Apparently, this movie has pressed a few buttons. Even Asian Cult Cinema author Tom Weisser (who normally seems to have an obsession with these "roughies") said in his review of the film "Red to Kill is excessively grim, salacious, vile, offensive and sleazy." I will agree that there is a lot to take issue with in the movie, including several graphic rape scenes (some involving a semi-retarded girl played by Chung), necrophilia, a woman cutting her genitals with a straight razor, and just unrelenting and very gory violence.

However, at its' core, Red to Kill is a very effective horror/exploitation movie for a few reasons. First, the movie has a very ominous look to it -- full of dark blues and cast shadows -- which gives the viewer a spooky feeling throughout the movie. Secondly, the brutality in the film works. It's graphic, it's will scare the hell out of or, at the very least, disgust you. This movie's scenes stuck in my mind, unlike many others in the genre (both in HK and elsewhere) which blend together after a while. And finally, one cannot understate the power of the acting in this movie. Acting in genre films tends to usually get overlooked in favor of blood and sex, but here director "Bloody" Billy Tang manages to get some good performances out of his actors.

Red to Kill definitely is not for everyone, even for horror or exploitation fans. It is "excessively grim, salacious, vile, offensive and sleazy," but it's also one of the most intense viewing experiences you will ever have.

[review from]

Reviewed by: Libretio
Date: 07/07/2004
Summary: Graphic rape-horror tests audience's endurance to the absolute limit

RED TO KILL (1994)

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Sound format: Mono

Though Chinese filmmakers have long been fascinated with images of violence and bloodshed - from the vintage horror films of Ma-xu Weibang through to Chang Cheh's splattery kung fu pictures of the 1970's - it wasn't until the early 1990's that Hong Kong horror movies found a new and unexpected foothold within the cultural mainstream, thanks to the wave of 'true crime' dramas spearheaded by DR. LAMB (1992) and THE UNTOLD STORY (1993), both helmed by Danny Lee Sau-yin (Chow Yun-fat's cop nemesis in John Woo's THE KILLER). For a brief period, the former colony played host to a wave of confrontational 'Category III' (Adults Only) movies, dominated by the work of controversial director Billy Tang Hin-shing. Already notorious for a scene in RUN AND KILL (1993) in which a little boy is burned alive in merciless detail, Tang proceeded to scale the heights of calculated outrage with RED TO KILL, arguably one of the most harrowing films ever made.

Orphaned by the death of her parents, a mentally handicapped young woman (Lily Chung Suk-wai) is remanded to the care of a hostel for the disabled, where she falls prey to 'benevolent' caretaker Ben Ng Ngai-cheung, a musclebound hulk whose charming demeanor belies his true nature: Traumatized by a childhood incident in which his mother slaughtered his father and brother with a meatcleaver, drenching him in blood, Ng is prompted to murderous psychosis whenever he sees the color red, resulting in horrific explosions of rape and murder. Unable to control himself when confronted by Chung wearing a long scarlet dress, Ng assaults her and is promptly arrested, but his indictment is later dismissed on a technicality, and the three main characters (including Money Lo Man-yee as a sympathetic social worker) converge on the workshop beneath the hostel for a climactic showdown which closes proceedings on a note of absolute screaming hysteria.

Judged alongside similar Asian atrocities, such as MEN BEHIND THE SUN (1987) or the infamous "Guinea Pig" series from Japan, RED TO KILL is either a fearless challenge to established cinematic limits or a reckless descent into the abyss, depending on your point of view. Photographed with stunning visual flair by Tony Mau Gin-fai and expertly edited by industry veteran Choi Hung, the movie alternates scenes of naive sentimentality with eruptions of graphic horror, taking time to establish Chung's beauty and innocence before unleashing the forces of hell against her. But while Chung and Lo are dignified in adversity, Ng plays the villain as an unstoppable force of nature, literally throbbing with uncontrollable rage - his descent into complete psychosis during the hair-raising finale provokes a devastating rampage which is truly frightening to behold (when he leans forward at a crucial moment and tells Lo: "I'll fuck you to death!", you believe him completely). Unsurprisingly, Ng has been typecast in villainous roles ever since.

But the filmmakers' bravura technique, coupled with an obstinate lack of moral restraint, makes it difficult to defend the film's worst excesses. The protracted rape scenes are designed as a visual spectacle, literally showcasing the humiliation of vulnerable female characters. Worse still, following the sexual assault on Chung (the movie's pivotal set-piece), the actress is involved in a shocking episode of self-mutilation which not only degrades the entire production, but seems deliberately contrived to test viewers' patience to breaking point. However, despite its questionable motives, the film is executed with such breathtaking cinematic gusto, it compels attention in a way that few other horror movies have managed before or since. Director Tang continued his one-man assault on the boundaries of taste and decency with popular potboilers like BROTHER OF DARKNESS (1994) and SEXY AND DANGEROUS (1996) before going 'legit' with a number of socially conscious dramas, beginning with CHINESE MIDNIGHT EXPRESS (1997), featuring Ben Ng and HARD-BOILED's Tony Leung Chiu-wai.

Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 10/25/2003
Summary: Ummm.............

WEll it is a orignal movie, i must say, and i have worked with the mentally handicapped and i guess the movie does show stigma about these groups of people (that they are useless trouble makers) and does sort of bring to light they are just different people but they are no more violent or sex pervert than the next person

The movie itself, well Ben Ng plays a psycho too well. The movie is almost plotless and the very bloody ending was a little over the top. Yet this is a movie i don't hate.

I guess it depends on who is watching this. You might see it as a social commentary on the bias we have on people with a mental handicap, or we can see this as just a excuse for a lot of bloodt and some sex scenes!!


Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 05/22/2002
Summary: Pretty despicable

I decided to check out one of Billy Tang's Cat III 'classics' to see why they had such a reputation. I can only conclude it's because rape and sexual violence are considered entertaining by enough people to constitute an audience.

There's a serial rapist/killer on the loose in an appartment complex that is also home to a shelter for retarded kids. Social worker Money Lo gets involved in the place when she has to take Lily Chung to live there.

There's actually quite a semblance of a plot there in the movie, but as a thriller it's not particularly well crafted, and you can't help but feel that it is all just an elaborate scheme to show naked flesh. But there isn't even all that much nudity in the end, and what there is comes in the form of some unpleasantly violent rape scenes, so it's hard to look at it as 'erotic'.

To my mind, the movie has very little going for it - but if you think this sort of movie is your sort of thing, it's probably reasonably well made for the genre.

Reviewed by: metamovie
Date: 07/18/2001
Summary: A classic

An everyday night at Hong Kong. We start with a rape scene in a desolate building, but, not content with this, the film keeps cutting back and forth between the rape and the suicide of a mother with her child, taking place at the same time in the same building. The subtitles go: "Somebody wants to fall from the building!" - "Is it your first time seeing that?"


Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/21/1999

A serial rapist is on the loose. A young retarded woman becomes thevictim and only witness of this perverse criminal. Will justice be served, or will the supsect be set free?

[Reviewed by Tai Seng Catalog]

Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

What a fun film! Not good but quite effective. This film is what "cat III" films are all about: gratuitous nudity, extreme violence and bad taste. It's a quite shocking flick but like I said it's not very good. One reason for that is the plot, which was built with the only purpose to give us some x-rated stuffs without caring is it was plausible or not. One other reason is the acting, Both Lily Chung and Money Lo are doing their best, but Ben (the bad guy) Ng's acting is very uneven. When he is "normal" he manage to do an good job, but when he get berserk, then he deserve the top prize for overacting (it was the same case for Simon Yam in "DR.LAMB" which was co-directed by Tung, although Yam is a better actor). Even William Shatner look like a Ingmar Bergman actor if compared with this guy. Worth to be seen if you like exploitation films, even when they are very sleazy.

[Reviewed by Martin Sauvageau]

Reviewed by: spinali
Date: 12/08/1999
Summary: NULL

Fetid rape-and-revenge yarn about the head of a school for retarded adults who almost turns into a sweating, grimacing, Incredible Hulk whenever he sees a girl in red. It has something to do with his childhood, we reluctantly discover. Wins all the year's awards for overacting.


[Reviewed by Steve Spinali]

Reviewer Score: 2