Song At Midnight (1937) * WORST 5 *
Genre: Horror Romance Musical (China)
Starring: Menghe Gu, Ping Hu
Directed By: Weibang Ma-Xu
Overview: A young stage actor helps the mutilated hermit who mentored him after hearing the hermit's love-lost tale.
Acting: There's nothing more fun than having a high-pitched whiney little voice constantly chirping in your ear... in Chinese. What astounds me is how the men managed to be even more squeaky than the women. Whine, whine, whine. I don't care that you're a mutant freak, be a man and let your balls drop you sound like a four year old girl, you melodramatic queen, God.
Cinematography: Do you know what happens when you manage to find a really old obscure film? It LOOKS like a really old obscure film. A true fan will forgive this and think of the warmth of that old rustic feel, all the while lying to themselves. At least there was a mutant freak in it, but as you can see from above, the whipping scene was pretty lame.
Script: "You have taken the brightness!" - Horribly stupid translation of I have no idea what.
There's worse than having a Chinese script run through Babelfish, and coming out horrible bad and freakishly literal, it's when two people who are clearly lovers are calling each other brother and sister. Icky translation, icky icky, gross.
Plot: Once upon a time (1925) Lon Chaney starred in what was to be a Silent Classic that everyone had heard of. Twelve years later, some dude smuggled that movie into China and they thought it was the hottest thing since sliced bread. They tweaked it just enough so that instead of a monster in love with a new face, this is a story about a man already in love who gets mutilated then looks like a monster. Hey it's a musical too? Woohoo! Lame.
Mood: There's no greater fault in a film than having the time to finish it and dreading the moment. It was probably the fifth time that I considered watching the rest of it that I actually plunged into the mire of the last 20 minutes. This took about a week to watch because for some reason or another I found better things to entertain myself with. Oh right... shitty translation, horrible picture and sound quality and the lame-ass cliché story... riiiight. The fire and riotous mob at the end makes this just good enough to be a turd.
Er... not quite...
Aftertaste: I'm sorry but for me to go out of my way to find (buy actually) this entry of the 1001 Films You Must See Before You Die, only to discover that it's obscure beat-up garbage... that really makes me doubt the effort put into this tome. I know there's better stuff out there and for someone to print a book telling us to see these when it's full of movies the editors themselves haven't even heard of, well that seems a little hypocritical doesn't it? Don't worry, I'll compile my own list one day...