Brutal – Dark Movie ( Her Vengeance)
A dark and brutal rape/revenge movie, Hong Kong style. Directed by Ngai Kai Lam (of Story of Ricky fame) this is a tense and disturbing thriller with a truly savage final reel.
An unassuming hostess runs afoul of a group of drunken robbers and thugs at her club, and the incident ends in them being ejected. They wait for her to leave work and then viciously beat and gang rape her in cemetary. Laughing, they leave her battered and bleeding.
This scene isn’t pleasant to watch. You’d probably expect that, but it’s filmed in a merciless style, intensely lit, and it isn’t glossed over in a few seconds. It’s not so much exploitative as it is unpleasantly honest.
Kit-Ying soon decides she’ll have her revenge no matter what the cost. She moves to Hong Kong and asks her wheelchair bound uncle Hsiung for help. He counsels her to give up and move on but gives her a job. As much as he wants to stay out of her troubles, her quest for revenge and the resulting downward spiral eventually drag him and the other innocent people around her in.
Pauline Wong is quite good as Kit-Ying; breaking down occasionally, but generally empty as she hunts down the men who raped her. The late Ching-Ying Lam is great as Hsiung. It’s unlikely you’ve ever seen a wheelchair used quite the way he uses it towards the end.
The rapists are brutish thugs but not completely stupid; after Kit-Ying eliminates one or two of them they start to figure things out. They’re tough guys and they’re not about to go down easily. The film is fairly taut revenge thriller up until the final showdown and then things go completely over the edge. That’s not to say that it plays out unrealistically; it’s a bizarre but completely primal display of savagery and the will to survive.
See Her Vengeance if you’ve got a strong stomach for extreme content and violence. It’s a raw and effective piece of work with some fine cinematography, and it’s smarter than most other films in its genre. It’s a shame Ngai Kai Lam didn’t direct more films.