Three Days of a Blind Girl

Dir: Wing-Chiu Chan
Star: Anthony Wong, Veronica Yip, Alfred Cheung, Fruit Chan

Because the world really needed a sleazier version of Audrey Hepburn's Wait Until Dark, Hong Kong stepped up, delivering this deliciously sordid tale of a doctor's wife (Yip), whose husband (Cheung) goes off to a medical conference, while she's recuperating from surgery which has left her temporarily unable to see. Enter, literally, Sam Chu (Wong), initially pretending to be a friend of the good doctor, who had saved Sam's wife from a potentially fatal heart condition. However, it gradually becomes clear that Sam actually bears a grudge against the physician, for previous acts not strictly in accordance with the Hippocratic Oath, and has been biding his time for an opportunity to extract revenge. With the husband out of the way, and the maid safely stowed in the boot of his car, now would be that moment. Beginning with the greatest "dropped the soap" reveal moment in cinema history, he's going to make the wife's life a living hell.

Given this is more or less a two-hander, set in one location, it's surprisingly effective: then again, you can't really go wrong with Wong playing a psycho, which is like sliding into an old pair of comfortable slippers. There's endless amusement to be had watching Wong go from zero ro loony in the blink of an eye, even if the plot is every bit as well-worn as those slippers too. For despite being made in 1993, this is remarkably lacking in self-awareness, to the point that it's insistence on trotting out every trope of the stalk 'n' slash genre become almost endearing. You just KNOW that when she walks past Sam's "dead" body, he's gonna grab her ankle. There's bonus weirdness in the appearance of noted director Chan as a burglar - man, it never rains but it pours - who simply triggers a possessive streak in Sam. Don't you just hate it when your home invasion is disturbed by another criminal swanning in? Yes, it's all as stupidly loopy as it sounds, but I'd rather watch Wong chewing scenery to thoroughly entertaining effect, as here, than another blandly forgettable American horror flick.

[February 2015]

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