THE UNTOLD STORY (1993)
aka THE EIGHT IMMORTALS RESTAURANT: THE UNTOLD STORY
Directed by Herman Yau
Written by Kam-Fai Law, Wing-Kin Lau
Starring Anthony Chau-Sang Wong, Danny Lee, Emily Kwan, Siu-Ming Lau, Fui-On Shing, Eric Kei, King-Kong Lam, Parkman Wong, James Jim-Si Ha, Julie Lee, Tin-Dok Wong, Chor-Fai Kwong, Siu-Hung Leung, Si Man Hui, Wai-Nam So, Dave Ching Lam, Pak Fei, Chun Hung Cheung
Find out more about this film here!
I’m always a little hesitant to step into the world of Unearthed Films. I always end up being surprised by what I discover, but the company has been known for its extreme horror content. That means far beyond gratuitous gore, sex, and violence is to be expected. Still, there is a huge audience for this type of over the top and perverse stuff, and I feel it necessary to cover it from time to time. The gore doesn’t really ever bother me, but I’m jaded and know it’s going to be too much for some. So I feel the need for a warning for graphic horror is necessary.
THE UNTOLD STORY is a bizarre little film that is part slasher, part exploitation, part police procedural, and part slapstick comedy. It tells the story of Wong Chi Hang (played by Anthony Chau-Sang Wong), the owner and top chef of a restaurant in Hong Kong who has a hair trigger, a gambling problem, and a tendency to murder people and make meat dumplings out of them. His restaurant, of course, is very popular, but beware the employee or customer who gets on Wong Chi Hang’s bad side. The film not only follows this maniac through his day to day, but it also trails the police squad hunting for the killer. When arms and legs wash up on the shore, these goofy cops attempt to figure out who the person is and who killed him. At least, that’s what they’re trying to do when they aren’t sexually harassing or violently hitting each other. Somehow, the cops end up tracking down Wong Chi Hang, but he’s a crafty lunatic and ends up escaping for one more murder spree to end all sprees.
The elements of THE UNTOLD STORY make it an extremely uneven watch. One minute, Wing Chi Hang is raping his employee and dismembering her. The next is a slapstick scene with the cops oogling the Commissioner’s latest date with a hooker. The heft of the murders and atrocities committed by Wong Chi Hang are hard to shake, and while I guess the humor scenes with the cartoonish cops are meant to lighten the heavy tone, they just don’t match up. The cops never really show any prowess or seriousness about catching the killer. It’s like splicing scenes of POLICE ACADEMY: CITY UNDER SIEGE with HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER. It just makes for a wonky watch.
Wong Chi Hang is a horrifying maniac. Anthony Chau-Sang Wong plays him with unblinking eyes, a downturned mouth, and a truly unpredictable demeanor. While he looks like a nebbish introvert, he actually shows a lot of strength and prowess when he gives into that berserker rage. It’s even more disturbing when he is caught as he shows no remorse and enjoys taunting the inept cops.
The gore and assault scenes are disturbing, but far from the worst I’ve seen from Unearthed Films. There are multiple scenes of dismemberment, one gratuitous rape scene, and a massacre of an entire family full of screaming children. All of them disturbing in their own way, with the final massacre serving as a gruesome climax for the movie and most likely it’s most memorable scene as Wong Chi Hang murders with reckless abandon and ends up bathed in blood and gore.
If you’re a gorehound and into extreme cinema, THE UNTOLD STORY, which was released in Hong Kong in 2003, but not in the US until now, is going to be a must see. It’s not the roughest stuff I’ve seen, but I’m warning you, it’s going to be too extreme for the casual horror fan.