#104 – Night of One Thousand Bastards, The

(2011, HK, 100 min) Dir Jackie Woo. Cast Nicolas Cage, Regina Ho, Mo Yun-Fang.

I know he’s had a long and a varied career but still, it’s hard to reconcile the disreputable Jackie Woo of old with the disreputable Jackie Woo who is now deemed worthy of invitation to Cannes but I guess that says a lot about the post-Grindhouse world we live in. His inaugural fest film was Bloody Dolls, an uncharacteristic convent-set revenge flick that spent the guts of it’s runtime following the actresses gazing wistfully out over the mist-shrouded countryside and not, you know, disembowelling someone. He was back to his old form with this, his third film of 2011, and not only that but he snagged Nicolas Cage too! Okay, late-period low-budget in-hock-to-the-tax man Cage but still, it’s something. So Cage is a US government hitman in mainland China, there to kill a party functionary (Yun-Fang, looking tired) holidaying in some backwater town when the titular bastards arrive – a horde of freshly dead zombies hungry for blood. The tables now turned, Cage and Yun-Fang must team up to survive. The luminous Regina Ho plays Yun-Fang’s daughter and Cage’s inappropriately young love interest who spends the whole film under a table screaming. Don’t let the chorus of boos that trailed the film from Cannes fool you – this is a fun bit of trash that doesn’t attain Woo’s manic heights of the past but will keep you going the four months until he makes another.

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Twitter: @MadeUpFilms

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