I’m not sure what I can add to this, except maybe that it aroused in me no feeling of shock or surprise. From Duncan Shepherd’s review of the recently released film Three Extremes:


Chan’s offering, titled “Dumplings,” is apparently a condensation of a feature-length film of the same name, an extremely twisted twist on the fountain-of-youth theme. The fountain in this instance would be the pricey homemade dumplings of the tenement-dwelling Bai Ling, whose flawless face and hinted-at advanced age are their best advertisement: “My dumplings are worth it. You get what you pay for.” An over-the-hill TV actress, Miriam Yeung, with a wandering husband to reel in, is willing to pay the price, even when the secret ingredient is revealed to be aborted human fetuses, chopped up very fine.

I am not giving away much there. This is nowhere near the story’s punchline, although the witnessed abortion achieves an early and unchallenged pinnacle in gore. Because this revelation isn’t the punchline, the viewer is obliged to sit for a while with the idea of self-indulgence, the idea of narcissism, at its most — shall we say again? — extreme. Shall we even say its logical extreme? The actual punchline, after what has preceded it, feels like the merest tap.


As I said – horrifying, yes; shocking, no.

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