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   Now in our eleventh calendar year
    PCR #552  (Vol. 11, No. 43)  This edition is for the week of October 18--24, 2010.

"Hereafter"  by Mike Smith
It's Halloween In Florida, Part Two  by William Moriaty
Friday the 13th: The Legacy - Part 1  by ED Tucker
BOOK REVIEW: Rapture by Thomas Tessier  by Lisa Scherer
Oldboy  by Jason Fetters
Mr And Mrs C. .... Don And Cosmo Back On The Big Screen .... Apologize To This .... This Just In .... Just In Time For Halloween .... .... .... .... Mike's Record Shelf by Mike Smith


This is a wicked Asian Horror movie that goes for the throat and doesn't let up until the end credits. After Oldboy ends, some of the hairy situations and concepts will linger in your mind and possibly haunt your dreams.

Oldboy tells the story of Oh Dae-Su (pronounced Die Sue,) who is totally drunk and yelling at passengers on a train ride somewhere in South Korea. The police captured Dae-Su, but he is saved by his friend Joo-Hwan. Next, Dae-Su is seen on a public telephone talking to his daughter and telling her to wait for him for her present. Then Joo-Hwan takes the phone and Dae-Su wanders off. Joo-Hwan realizing that his friend is missing, frantically looks for him.

Sobering up, Dae-Su is inside a hotel room that he discovers is locked. His only source to the outside world is a TV. His only source of food is fried dumplings Trapped in his prison, Dae-Su endures intense psychological trauma as he struggles in vain to find the answer to why is he being imprisoned? Who is doing this to him? Then, he takes up shadowing boxing and vows revenge on his captor.

As the years go back, Dae-Su takes up journal writing, where he writes about every bad thing that he has ever done. His entries fill up numerous notebooks.

Finally, after 15-years of being locked up, he finds himself outside in a grassy field on top of a building. Now he sets out to take down all those responsible for the loss of his life.

One of the first things that Dae-Su does, and something that anyone would likely do after being fed fried Chinese dumpling three times a day for the past 15-years, is get something to eat.

For some reason, he wants to eat something alive, so he walks into a nearby restaurant and orders a live octopus. With a look of rage, he swallows as the twitching octopus tentacles winkle out of his mouth.(The octopus scene is real and four octopus were used.)

At the restaurant he meets Mi-Do, who he is instantly attracted to. Mi-Do helps Dae-Su out, as he begins his personal mission against his captors. First, he must find out who they are.

Soon, Dae-Su discovers that he was imprisoned by Woo-jin. Quite naturally, Woo-jin tells Dae-Su that he will kill his beloved, Mi-Do, if he cannot find out for himself why he was locked up. He has no clues to go by and must survive through his wits and physical strength against many adversaries along the way.

Unfortunately, I cannot give away any more of the plot without spoiling the movie, so I will just leave it with Dae-Su searching for why he was captured.

The final ending, as most of the loose ends get tied, is a real shocker that makes Oldboy an intense psychological horror movie.

Oldboy does not rely on torture as does Miike's Audition. Although there is one brief intense torture scene. Nor does Oldboy have excessive gore despite the many violent scenes. One scene involves Dae-Su taking on a small army of men with a hammer. What Oldboy offers is a deep struggle to find out a past wrong that was committed and how to right that wrong. If you have ever wondered how you could have negatively affected someone else and then just forget about it, then Oldboy shows how the past can haunt the present and how far someone may go to right a wrong, no matter how many years have past.

This is a lot to like in Oldboy to appeal to jaded Horror Fans who haven't seen anything really new or good in recent years. Part of the attraction to Asian Horror is that the West is just cranking out remakes or minor boring ideas like Case 39, which I recently saw and wished I hadn't. Until someone comes up with a good screenplay, an original idea, less use of CGI, and a director who understands and cares for the horror genre, I will keep looking to the East. There is always something shocking and bizarre coming up out of Asia, that is sure to please Horror Fans on an international level.

To get started with Asian Horror, I highly recommend three films that represent three different cultures and thus three separate takes on how to scare you. First, is Oldboy (South Korea,) Audition (Japan,) and finally for a twisted look at fried dumpling consumption, check out Untold Story (Hong Kong.)

It is the creatures and psychotics from Asia that are really scary and that will provide many intense nightmares this Halloween.

To comment on this or any other PCR article, please visit The Message Board. "The Asian Aperture" is ©2010 by Jason Fetters. Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2010 by Nolan B. Canova.