Double Bill: Blind Shaft + Ebola Syndrome

Welcome to today’s edition of Double Bill,if you are new to this series,check out what this series is all about here.

Today I’m gonna recommend two Chinese films that have one thing in common:black humor,an element that is so rarely seen in Chinese cinema.

Blind Shaft (2003)

Adapted from the award winning novel Shen Mu by Liu Qingbang,Blind Shaft is an uncompromising satire that can easily pierce your heart.Director Li Yang was banned by the Chinese government for this film and his career was almost ruined because of this.

It is well known that the censorship of cinema in China is extremely strict,or you can say there is no such thing called censorship here.Unfortunately,Blind Shaft broke all the rules set by the government without any compromise.It focuses on the lower group that undertakes the most dangerous work everyday in Chinese modern society,they are the coal miners,who must face the possibility of mine collapse in every second.The film directly expressed its hatred of the Chinese government leaders who don’t care shit about random casualties under mines.It also displays how the miners have fun with hookers in a very bold way.Now you know why it got banned.


The evil vs the innocent

I always say that banned films in China are the best ones,the directors have the guts to tell the truths that have been blocked deliberately by the Chinese government,what’s more important than the truths of ordinary people’s everyday life?

Blind Shaft is not just about people vs the government,it’s also about the evil vs the innocent,about the very basics of humanity.The elder miner and the boy represent the most evil and most innocent in humanity,and the younger miner is somewhere in between,at last the boy wins the battle but the more cheerful thing is the less evil miner finds the good in himself and turns over the whole situation.

The film is heavily featured with black humor,the plot of dog-bite-dog itself is a big laugh on the humanity.The director carefully sets every detail in the film so you can find black humors nearly anywhere.Be it the wall poster of a hot girl that the boy peeps every night before going to sleep,or the fact that the younger miner can’t enjoy the sex with a hooker,those moments gave me good laughs but also made me think.I absolutely love the style.


Ebola Syndrome (1996)

Ebola Syndrome is the most horrible badass film I’ve ever seen,a super bad movie like this can only be shown in Hong Kong as a Category III film.In this film,there is a villain that kills and fucks like you’ve never seen before,the epic scale of sex and violence made notorious films such as Salo and A Serbian Film like child’s play.

The plot is something you can always find in a cheap horror movie,a vulnerable lamb that has been bullied constantly at the beginning suddenly turns to a horrendous monster in the middle way,and takes his revenge with double efforts.What’s unique about this film is the writer and director’s imaginations,how they think of these funny ideas and execute them with no taboo in their hearts.


The villain played by Anthony Wong

Ebola Syndrome is full of scenes with black humors.Like the villain masturbates with a piece of pig flesh,and every woman he meets,he wants to have sex with them,he would also kill anyone who stands in his way with no sympathy,his strong impulses of violence and sex are both terrifying and hilarious to watch.

If you are looking for films that can give you a good time,I would recommend this one,if you can bear the gross parts,you are gonna enjoy the ideas in it,really,and Anthony Wong’s brilliant performance.


Have you seen any of these two films? What’s your thoughts on them?