Apr 22, 2008

The Rape After

Ever since my initial viewing of Centipede Horror, I have had a change of mind concerning ancient horror films, ones of the supernatural element that is. Ghosts and Spirits just are not my cup of tea. While i appreciate the theory of their existence, I don't believe they fare well on the silver screen. Since Centipede Horror, I have reconsidered my preconceived notion, and now with the viewing of The Rape After, I am positive that there is a frightening ghost tale.

Ma Hsien-Sheng is a photographer of models. He also has a hobby of owning religious artifacts and during one of his photo shoots, manages to steal one of a particularly nasty looking demon. When he brings it home, the church is in an uproar and he invites an upcoming model, Shu Ya, over to his house in hopes of getting lucky. After many drinks, they both vomit and pass out. During their slumber, the statue morphs into a demon goblin and rapes Shu Ya while she is sleeping.

When she awakes, she has no recollection of the night before and assumes that they had sex. Upon the news of her pregnancy, she immediately claims it as Ma's child and fearing his religious girlfriend finding out, he takes her to an abortion clinic. After a failed attempt, the demon attacks the staff and Ma runs away. Already proving how much of a coward he is in the face of imminent death, Shu Ya drops contact with him until months later. She requests to be taken to the hospital.

On the way, the emotional woman begins to hit Ma causing the car to steer off the road and flip, throwing Ma from the car. After he attempts to free her from the confines of twisted metal, the car explodes, leaving Shu Ya burning alive in the car whilst uttering a curse upon Ma. Along the ride comes zombies (Haitian style), flaming crows, gooey cannibalism, and really bad haircuts. The Rape After has all the attributes of a cheesy horror film, but something about it manages to get under your skin.

I'm saying that this film managed to unnerve me. The atmosphere present throughout this film feels like poison. The zombies and the charred corpses recall from a time where FX was labored over, not created with a huge budget. Ears ripped off and devoured, which reminds you of the scene in Dead Alive, except this scene wins the prize. I have noticed that in near every old Hong Kong horror film, they introduce a scene that features vomiting of a disgusting paste and sometimes creatures. Is this some sort of 80's craze? or just one of Asia's hidden fetishes?

As normal, this cursed man brings his problems onto a group of other people and leaves many dead in the wake. Due to the bleak outlook of the story, It is wholly depressing and misanthropic. One scene is reminiscent of Ghoulies, In which a monk goes to the bathroom and while he is relieving himself, a demon grabs him and pulls him in his own brewery for some foul scares. While the theme of the film is nihilism, we can thank the dank lighting for creating efficient moods and the sinister score for holding the suspense.

Ma is a coward, this we know, but my real problem lies with Shu Ya. It was her own fault to assume that it was his child. The entire film is about her revenge when in fact, It wasn't even his fault. Sure, he stole a demonic statue, but she didn't have to be a trifling whore. The Rape After is a film that is overlooked due to it's provocative name and a VCD classic. If you can overlook the Lifetime Women's Channel morals, then you're set for an eerie supernatural classic.


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