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iԯfr (1996)
Ebola Syndrome

Reviewed by: sharkeysbar
Date: 05/29/2010
Summary: I'll pass on the buns thanks

This variation on a theme of The Untold Story is just OK as a horror film, it was just alright but there were too many similarities between the two films for my liking.
Wong Chau Sang plays the villain quite well but the film was a little too gratuitous.
If you approach it as a shock B (or C) horror film, you will get a few laughs at times, totally over the top in story line and by some of the actors but it wont scare you as such.
Maybe back in 1996 it may have been more horrifying? Hmmm I doubt that actually, I think it was and remains a silly, over the top film, well how many films have some one being killed by a mahjong table for instance?
All in all it is pretty ordinary and there are many better films out there, whatever the genre! I guess I knew this, even before I watched it but I had to, dare I call it a guilty pleasure of sorts? That sounds awful now I read it but if you liked The Untold Story, you may just like this one.

Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: cal42
Date: 04/14/2008
Summary: Nasty - and not in a good way...

There’s a good chance that the Ebola virus will wipe out humanity at some point. It’s highly contagious, incurable and has a ridiculously high mortality rate. Which makes for potentially shocking and inevitably sensationalistic movie material. If the virus does break out on a large scale, though, it’s unlikely we will see the events of Herman Yau’s cult exploitation movie EBOLA SYNDROME played out for real. At least, I hope not...

Anthony Wong plays Kai, a psychotic rapist and murderer from Hong Kong, who flees the police to make a new life for himself in South Africa working in a Chinese restaurant. His boss (former Venom Lo Meng) has trouble finding merchants to sell him meat, so he does a deal with a local tribe suffering from an outbreak of the Ebola virus to seel him cheap pork. Kai comes into contact with the virus when he casually rapes an infected tribeswoman and becomes a carrier for the disease, which he starts to spread – at first unwittingly, and then deliberately.

EBOLA SYNDROME is sleazy as hell and pretty much unforgivable on any level. There’s always something nasty being done to someone or something either living or dead (there’s a shot of a dead mouse getting run over which is particularly gratuitous and pointless, and do we really need to see Wong slice up three frogs in one prolonged shot?). All of the characters are inherently unlikeable – even Kai’s boss (the most “normal” of the bunch) only hires him because he’ll work for low wages as he’s a wanted criminal. Oh, and let’s not forget Lily (Angel Wong), who very nearly became one of Kai’s victims in Hong Kong and who accidentally stumbles on him again in South Africa. She can’t be near him without vomiting as she claims she can “really recognise his scent of smell”. Yeah, all right...

With such a crew of amoral and unsympathetic characters, there is little drama. There is, however, what appears like an attempt at gross-out humour throughout the film (Wong Jing is the producer, after all) which, if you like that sort of thing, might raise a few laughs. And fans of Yau and Wong’s previous collaboration THE UNTOLD STORY are treated to another “human flesh served to restaurant patrons” subplot.

It has to be said that the depiction of the symptoms of the virus are fanciful at best and don’t seem to bear much resemblance to the real thing. The sufferers have a tendency to be right as rain one minute then suddenly fall to the ground in spasms, making for some unintentional hilarity. Later on in the movie things are taken in a more serious direction with the introduction of Sergeant Yeung (Vincent Wan) and his team as they try to track down Kim and evade the virus, and the focus shifts away from Kim for a while.

I can see why EBOLA SYNDROME has such a cult following, with its gross comedy, gore and so forth, but there is just too much nastiness in there that just put me off – and animal violence in movies is a complete taboo for me (live chickens are killed on screen). I understand that the current Hong Kong version is as uncut as it’s likely to be, but it is clear that some scenes have been trimmed for violent content and the part where Kim slices off a woman’s tongue is quite obviously cut. If a fully uncut version becomes available, I think I’ll pass...

Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: Anticlimacus
Date: 11/12/2007
Summary: What Are You People Thinking?

I'm perplexed as to why so many like this movie.

It's just another exploitation flick that relies on disgusting the viewer instead of enduring the inconveniences of skillfully crafting effective scares or interesting concepts. Anthony Wong infects people with the Ebola virus by raping, killing, and serving dubious assortments of meat at his restaurant. That’s it. The death scenes are decent and bloody (e.g., the autopsy scene, etc.), but everything else is badly done. The dialogue is especially awful.

And no, this film (if you really want to call it that) is not disturbing in the least. Disgusting? Yes. Disturbing? No. It takes a bit more than gory tripe to affect this viewer - perhaps some interesting character/storyline development would have been nice.

This is very similar to The Untold Story (another trashy film), and one wonders why the filmmakers even bothered to make another one. If you want to see a really good CAT III film, check out Dog Bite Dog (2006) - which blows Ebola Syndrome out of the water.

Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 11/08/2007
Summary: eyes open!

Director Herman Yau Lai-To teams up with uber-producer Wong Jing to make a film in which every frame oozes unimaginable depravity, at times so disturbing that you want to avert your eyes. The film features Anthony Wong Chau-Sang and industry veteran Lo Meng playing a couple of Hong Kong guys on the run in Johannesburg, South Africa. Lo and his Taiwanese wife run a restaurant there and Wong is one of the waiters. Wong gives one of the oddest performances of his career playing the role of a lifetime.

Ebola Syndrome is loaded with sexual depravity, violence and murder. Misogynist and racist imagery tumbles from the screen. The scenario is tinged with sarcasm, a wink and a nod from the filmmakers. It is quite compelling, right to the final sequence with the HK police firing clip after clip into an inferno-engulfed corpse. Yau and cinematographer Puccini Yu Kwok-Ping do a fine job making all this grossness look quite lovely. The movie is bizarre, beyond belief. Don't miss it.

Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: dandan
Date: 03/08/2006
Summary: well, a good example of a notorious catIII if ever i saw one...

i'll start by saying that this isn't a good film, but that it's a very good watch indeed. anthony wong is great as a bastard, and a bastard he is. i'm sure that everyone knows the ins and outs of this one, so i won't go into it.

some great scenes and pretty good gore, some inappropiate and unintentional humour and a quite bizarre string of events make this a must have. the mei-ah remaster is good quality, apart from their usual smattering of almost inchoherent subs...

seems as if thee may be a couple of cuts (not sure, but it looked that way), can anyone confirm this?

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 10/09/2005
Summary: 9/10 - so wrong it's wonderful

Anthony Wong and Herman Yau reunite for a spiritual sequel to their notorious film THE UNTOLD STORY. EBOLA SYNDROME manages to be even more offensive, more perverted and more disgusting than its predecessor - and much funnier! How can you make a character more vile than somebody that murders a family and serves them as food in a restaurant? Have him do basically the same thing, but whilst carrying and spreading the Ebola Virus! EBOLA SYNDROME is the film that proves that whilst 2 wrongs don't make a right, 2000 wrongs just might :D

Wong gives another fantastic performance as Kai - a character that rapes, murders and spits his way across 2 continents and yet still manages to be a little bit likeable! Wong gives him a sort of pathetic innocence that makes the viewer feel quite sorry for him, despite the carnage he causes. Despite doing practically everything "evil" mankind has conceived, he remains so convinced that he's done nothing wrong that he never seems like an "evil" man himself. He can't escape the labels "vile", "disgusting" and even "loathsome" though :p

EBOLA SYNDROME is much like Kai in this respect - everything offensive that can be commited to film is here, but because it's all done with gleeful humour then you can't really take offense at it. Well, I'm sure lots of people could and would - but if you've got a suitably open mind and dark sense of humour then you should be able to appreciate it in the spirit in which it was intended!

Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 09/26/2003

A small-time thug (Wong) is caught having an affair with his Big Brother and (under threat of castration) decides to slaughter them. He flees to South Africa, where he gets a job in a Chinese restaurant. It seems the gweilos (white guys) aren't too keen on selling the Chinese decent meat, so Wong and his boss head out to the plains to deal with a tribe -- who happen to be infected with the Ebola virus. Being the sleazy, horny guy that he is, Wong rapes a tribeswoman and becomes a carrier for the Ebola virus. It turns out that Wong is one of the "lucky" people who can become infected and not die, but still transmit the virus, which he does by chopping up his boss and wife into "African buns" (hamburgers). After discovering his boss' stash of American dollars, Wong beats a hasty retreat back to Hong Kong -- but not before the daughter of his former Big Brother sees him and alerts the police. Can the HK police stop Wong before he infects all of Asia?

Ebola Syndrome features graphic sex, castration, a man's head getting splattered in a folding table, a woman's tongue getting cut off and attempted murder of a child -- and that's just in the first fifteen minutes! It only gets worse (or better, depending on demented you are). If you think what the kid does with pastry in American Pie is sick, wait until you see what Wong does with a piece of raw meat. If that doesn't get you going, how about a full-on autopsy? Or perhaps you want even more gratuitous sex. Don't worry, all that -- and more -- is here.

Despite the over-the-top nature of the movie, Ebola Syndrome manages to be quiet and reserved in parts, mostly through Anthony Wong's great performance. He has a really dry wit that should please fans of ultra-black comedies such as Man Bites Dog, such as one sequence during the opening slaughter when someone walks in on Wong about to kill a child and screams "What are you doing?" to which Wong calmly replies "What does it look like? I'm killing them." and then walks out the door.

If you're looking for lots of gratuitous sex and violence (and are not easily offended), you can't go wrong with this movie. Even though it treads familiar ground (it's really more of a remake of the Cat III classic The Untold Story with bits of the US movie Outbreak thrown in for good measure), Ebola Syndrome will most likely shock, disgust and/or excite even the most jaded viewer. It's exploitation cinema at its finest. I just wonder what all the right-wingers raising a stink about the relatively tame South Park and American Pie would do if they ever saw this movie...

Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 11/16/2002
Summary: Pretty good

Very strange film, but well worth seeing.


Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 03/09/2002
Summary: YUCKY!!

WEll what can i say about a movie which talks about the Ebola Virus!!

Basic plot is Anthony Wong is a crazy bastard who is one of the few people in the world who is not effected by the Ebola virus, but he is a carrier of it after he 'bonks' a dying african woman. Very bloody and sick, but at times funny too. You can see the "untold story" inspiration here, not sure which movie came out first though.

The final scene is just so funny!! So how Anthony Wong fends off the police!!


Reviewed by: Zilch321
Date: 06/01/2001
Summary: Sick-o's are US...

Ebola Syndrome doesn’t deliver sidesplitting fun, but will shock you into amazement, if that’s what you are after. This movie is far from a “Date Movie”, unless you can both appreciate the ridiculousness of the sex, blood, and gore of this movie.

When our main character- Ah Kai – travels to Africa, he finds himself horny and ready for action. Along the side of the road he finds a sick African lady, already with one foot in the grave. Our main character takes it upon himself to come into physical contact (of sorts) with the lady, and becomes infected with the deadly Ebola virus. Returning to Hong Kong (or where ever this movie takes place), he begins spreading the virus.

Along the way we spend most of our time learning what a total psychopath the main character is, and what an outstanding job he does at chasing your friends our of the room. This movie may make you laugh, it may make you lose your lunch, it may even make you stop eating at Chinese restaurants, but if you are a horror fan looking for something over the top, it won’t disappoint.

Reviewed by: MilesC
Date: 09/28/2000
Summary: Wonderfully tasteless fun.

Loaded with racism, gore, bad language, and hilariously unerotic sex, this pseudo-sequel to The Untold Story tops the previous film in every area but gore, yet is somehow not half as repugnant It's played so broadly that the not-too-squeamish among us will actually LAUGH when Anthony rapes a tribeswoman who begins her death throes before he's finished. In fact, the hilarious "Ebola death" scenes, consisting of actors falling down and vibrating as fast as they can, are one of the movie's main attractions. Anthony Wong's character is such a clueless, moronic slob it's funny; he asks room service at a classy hotel to send him a "chicken." As a bonus, the Chinese subs are (rather pointlessly) mirror the spoken Cantonese exactly, helping to decipher some of those untranslatable-to-Mandarin curses. A good time if you're not looking for something remotely PC or artistic.

Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

Anthony Wong is again homicidal and libidinous AND infected by the Ebola virus after getting saliva spewed on him by an African carrier. Of course one in ten million who gets infected by the virus will be immune to it, and of course Anthony is the ONE. But he becomes the carrier and while he continues his homicidal reign against those who bully him, he infects nearly everyone in his path. Believe it or not, this came across as a dark comedy but still is category III at its fullest. The gore is heavy, the violence is intense, the sexual situations at a nosebleeding height. However, Anthony Wong is taking a funny stab at his own award winning performance from Untold Story, i.e. making "African pork buns" and over acting the role of a murderous goof. I get the feeling he has a lot of fun with his roles and sickeningly enough, I have fun watching him as he runs through the streets with a machete screaming, 'Ebola! Ebola! Ebola!' or purposely spitting at people to infect them. This one will disgust and amuse. Also, check out the mouth-cam shots which pretty much seals this one as a dark comedy, in spite of the flood of gore. Other scenes cannot be described but must be seen.

[Reviewed by Jennie Tam]

Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

After having killed his lover and her husband, a sleazeball namedAh Kai (Anthony Wong) leave Hong Kong to go in South Africa as a fugitive. After a while, he find a hiding place and a job in a restaurant managed by a young couple. But after having a sexual relation with a young african girl contaminated with the deadly Ebola virus, Ah Kai get sick and raped the restaurant owner's wife before killing both of them. He get rid of the (infected) corpses by turning them into meat that he will use for hamburgers. From then on, the Ebola virus is on the loose... What a "sick" film. A cross between OUTBREAK and the classic THE UNTOLD STORY (also directed by Yau), EBOLA SYNDROME was a breath of fresh air after having seen to many YOUNG AND DANGEROUS clones. It's not as shocking as THE UNTOLD STORY was but it's definitely more disgusting. Both the directing and acting are OK. Anthony Wong does a good job but I don't think he will get any awards for this one . My only complaint is that there is to many similarity with THE UNTOLD STORY (even the music and the sets are similar), but beside that this film is a lot of "fun". Highly recommended to any fans of the genre!

[Reviewed by Martin Sauvageau]