Review: INTRUDER 恐怖雞 (1997) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Friday, 13 January 2012

Review: INTRUDER 恐怖雞 (1997)

Review: INTRUDER 恐怖雞 (1997)

Wu Chien-Lien plays Yan, a wanted criminal who killed a Mainland sex worker in Shenzhen to assume her identity to enter Hong Kong. Once there, she acts as a prostitute and picks up taxi driver Chen Chi Min (Wayne Lai) for the night. Yan finds out he lives on the outskirts of Hong Kong. He is divorced and has a family problem, where he leaves his little daughter Yin Yin (Yuki Lai) under the care of his mother (Bonnie Wong). After realising Chen Chi Min is the perfect victim for her, she begins her despicable plan by running him down with a car in order to cripple both of his legs and locks him down in his own home. She subsequently immobilises him by strapping him with lots of masking tape and prepares for the arrival of her husband (Moses Chan).

REVIEW: One of the most bleakest and disturbing Category III movies ever made in the late '90s, INTRUDER is the kind of nihilistic genre picture which is clearly targeted for certain demographics. For that strategy alone, die-hard fans of such genre will no doubt have a field day enjoying watching this movie.

Tsang Kan-Cheung's direction (his one and only directing career here) is stark and brutal. There is no justice or redeeming factors here (unless of course, if you count the brief scene where Yan shows a slight hint of human conscience at Yin Yin), while almost all the characters (except for Wayne Lai's Chen Chi Min and Yuki Lai's Yin Yin) are as unsympathetic as they get. The movie is also uncompromisingly violent, particularly in such shocking scenes where Yan stabs Chen's mother repeatedly with a screwdriver and another one where both of Chen's arms get hacked off.

Despite the unsympathetic nature of the characters, the cast is uniformly strong. Wu Chien-Lien shines again in another cast-against-type role for the second time after playing cold-blooded assassin convincingly in last year's Milkyway's movie titled BEYOND HYPOTHERMIA. Here she is truly disturbing as a heartless criminal who is not afraid to commit violence if necessary. Wayne Lai, in his rare cinematic performance (he is mostly well-known in TV works), is pitch-perfect as the hapless victim who gets tortured mercilessly by Yan. You just have to admire Lai's physically-demanding role he has to suffer throughout the movie. Moses Chan, like Wu Chien-Lien, is similarly intense as Yan's equally violent husband.

For all the love shown in this genre here, INTRUDER remains a heavily flawed and uneven effort. While Tsang Kan-Cheung's script offers some nasty surprises along the way, the same cannot be said with its pacing issues which at times drag longer than it should. It may not be perfect, but INTRUDER is a curious genre piece deserved to be checked out for.

Tsang Kan-Cheung's one-and-only directorial feature in INTRUDER may succeed as an exercise of nihilistic cinema but falters more than often with the pacing issue.

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