[review by JA Kerswell]
|The ‘reasoning and survival’ group have to put their skills to the test in KILLING 7.|
KILLING 7 isn’t a terribly good slasher movie from Taiwan, but it sure is obscure. Seven friends from a society that takes part in elaborate survival games end up marooned on a seemingly deserted island. However, one-by-one they vanish and the remaining friends get a video detailing deaths sent to their phones at the same time every night. Borrowing a twist from a certain tricksy mid-80s North American slasher, it comes alive in the closing third with its increasingly ludicrous reveals.
Seven young people get together for the annual holiday of the ‘reasoning and survival’ group. They are made up of the usual stereotypes, that, in this case, are even broader than usual. The shy Kwan (Eunice Liao), who somehow makes a living taking photos of buildings with her iPhone; the Kung Fu expert Mong (Kellie Chian), whose nickname is Angry Bird; Shao (Afalean Lu) the food lover everyone calls Fatty; You Nan (Nigel Kuo), the Austic boffin - and so on.
After a bout of paintballing and water sports, the group are due to go snorkelling in the morning. The night before, they are told the watermelon legend by a sinister hotel worker (Rachel Fu) - and we know she is sinister because she’s shown chopping up fruit in a sinister way to sinister music. The legend says that, if a watermelon is dropped into the sea, it will cause a dead body to drift to the surface.
|A cool looking killer finally turns up in this Taiwanese slasher movie.|
Sure enough, on the trip one of them drops the watermelon into the water and one of the women thinks someone is trying to drag her under. A sudden storm hits and their boat vanishes. All of the group wash up on a forested island with no recollection of the night before - but are still fully supplied with an endless stream of fat jokes!
They discover a house on the island, with a boatman’s log to suggest that someone visits every seven days. So the group decides to stay put and wait for help. Only, at just gone midnight all but one of them gets a video message sent to their phone showing the elaborate death of one of their number who has just gone missing. Can the remaining six survive each subsequent night on the island before help arrives?
When watching KILLING 7 it is best to disengage your brain, because despite the group being from a ‘reasoning’ society the plot twists make not one lick of sense. That’s not to say that there isn’t fun to be had here - especially for fans of slasher movies where logic goes out the window and every twist becomes more enjoyably ludicrous than the last. Taking a note from the SAW franchise, most of the deaths are elaborate traps - the most outlandish of which is when one of the group is force-fed so much food his stomach explodes. Despite knowing there is a killer on the island, the remaining friends find any excuse to split up and wander alone to their certain doom. Perhaps the ‘terminally stupid society’ might have been a better name for them …
|Someone is playing a deadly game in Alice Wang's super obscure KILLING 7.|
KILLING 7 does feature a cool-looking killer, who wears a striking silver skull mask and carries a machete. The only trouble is that they don’t appear until the 75-minute mark! The killer’s motive is amazingly daft when it is revealed exactly why they are doing this. But it has another cheerfully daft sting in its tail. However, it would all work better if the first half - once they reach the island - wasn’t so full of empty melodrama and the film got the slasher action going a little earlier.
Directed by female director Alice Wang, at the time of writing, KILLING 7 has no reviews on IMDB - from either critics or viewers. However, it was released to cinemas in Taiwan on January 18, 2013. It doesn’t really deserve its obscurity. Whilst no lost gem, like many other Southeast Asian slashers its sheer ludicrousness may entertain those with a taste for cinematic cheese.
female: 4 / male: 8
1) Male force-fed until his stomach explodes
2) Female drowned
3) Female stabbed in the stomach with a machete and has arm chopped up
4) Male hung from a rope
5) Male killed in a gas explosion
6) Male whacked with a machete
7) Female burnt to death
8) Female burnt to death
9) Male burnt to death
10) Male burnt to death
11) Male burnt to death
12) Male burnt to death
Thank you for reading! And, if you've enjoyed this review, please consider a donation to help keep Hysteria Lives! alive! Donate now with Paypal.