A high school girl working as a prostitute is brutally murdered by her teacher and three of his friends. Revived by a mysterious scientist with the purpose of being a lethal killing machine, her memory comes back after severe trauma from a chest injury in a fight. With her memory of her murder serving her she sets out on a vengeful path, going after the teacher and the three brothers who committed her murder...
An acrid and sarcastic criticism about hypocrisy, deception and the violent authority of an older generation supposedly leading the young.
I was sent this film from Third Window films to review and being exceptionally grateful at the generosity of receiving this DVD, I wanted so much to like this rather short film, but I just couldn't. In fact, even though the film clocks in at a mere 60 minutes in length, I still can't believe that I wasted that much time, and then a little more for watching the extras on the disc, on this film. There are few films that I would go as far to say that I hate, but this would actually be one of them.
The film's title should give all viewers a good idea of what they are getting themselves into when sitting down to watch the feature. This is not a big budget, high calibre film. It is cheap, cheesy and not in the slightest bit serious and it knows it. Unfortunately the film doesn't even manage to creep into the fantastic realms of "it's so bad it's good", that many other tacky, gore type films have managed over the years. With exception of some female nudity and some comical gore, there wasn't a single other thing that I liked or can praise about Teenage Hooker Became A Killing Machine. Except maybe the title, it's B-Movie brilliance and probably the main selling point for the film.
If I cast a critical eye at, say, the acting, I would have to laugh. There isn't really anything that resembles acting from many of the actors that appear on screen. The teacher is unbearably annoying and really quite freaky looking - I hope he had some prosthetics or something to make him look that weird. He over-uses the stereotyped 'bad-guy-cackle', in fact I think it made up about 50% of his dialogue. After the first, out-of-place and over-the-top use had bewilderingly passed by, it wasn't long till he used it again, and again, and again. How could anyone think this was good script-writing? Then there were the bizarrely touchy-feely 3 brothers who were recruited in by the cackling teacher to commit the murder of the school girl (the Teenage Hooker from the title). They could act to about the same quality level and were really freakishly weird characters. The only person who puts in anything resembling a credible performance, and I'm talking about on a no-budget B-movie standard here, not a main feature standard, is the aforementioned school girl. She has the dazed, confused and not interested looks sorted quite well and fit in decently with her character.
The plot is just bonkers, but I was at least thankful that there was going to be at least one brutal murder in it so that some decent comical gore could splash about on screen. Again I was quite disappointed. There are a few gory type scenes, but the slicing and dicing mainly happens off screen with the blood squirting up. The aftermath of the gunshot wound to the womb was quite funny at more the sort of comical gore I was after, however.
What made the film lose more points with me was the blatant rip-off of Nikita in the latter half. Once she's become the killing machine, her first assignment is a carbon copy of Nikita's, but on a lower budget. Yep, the toilet window is bricked up and she has to fend for herself. I wasn't impressed to be honest.
What also didn't impress me was the fact that despite being only 60 minutes in length, quite a few scenes still dragged so badly and seemed to be nothing more than padding in the film's running time. One such scene is where we are first introduced to the gruesome teacher. After indicating that he will be interested in soliciting the school girl's services, the two start to dance on their own for a good few minutes. I can't think of any other word to describe it other than bizarre.
The filming styles didn't work with me either. There was too much in altered and reduced colour palettes for my liking and other visual techniques and lighting quirks simply added to my distaste for the film. As it stands Teenage Hooker Became A Killing Machine is almost certainly my least favourite film that I've seen in 2007. I really wanted to like it, since Third Window Films were gracious enough to send me a review copy long before it goes for sale in the shops, but I just couldn't and in this review I had to be honest.
Audio & Subtitles
The Korean audio was clear enough for the most part. It wasn't fancy and it got the job done well enough. If anything I would complain that it didn't have sound drop outs every time the damn teacher started his mad cackling.
The subtitles are almost certainly the best element of this film. The English was decent, timing seemed good and I don't recall having any negative comments here! Yay!
I honestly don't know what to say here. On the whole the picture quality seemed very poor, but a lot of that could very well be attributed to the filming and visual styles adopted by the director. The grain that is clearly evident on a lot of scenes, isn't constant throughout and I think is therefore deliberate in most instances. The bleeding and filtered colours again is most likely largely deliberate when evidenced. So with that, I'll leave it as, it doesn't look pretty, but that may be the way it is intended.
DVD & Extras
The main extra on the disc is a 30 minute short film from the Director entitled Kangchul. This one seemed like it had more of a story to it, with a wounded soldier giving a monologue detailing us on the events that have taken place. It certainly was more entertaining that the main feature, not a difficult task, but it didn't send my heart racing. There are also several trailers for future Third Window Films' releases.
Hate is a very strong word, but for this film for me, it definitely applies. Over an hour of my life that could have been spent watching 3 episodes of Scrubs or something was wasted. That being said I probably would have ended up watching it some time anyway so best get it out the way just now. I'm mostly just flabbergasted as to why this film was picked up by Third Window Films in the first place, as other than its quite comical title; I don't see any positive aspects to the film that will get people buying it. Then again, I am just one person with one opinion, others most likely think differently.