Sunday, August 07, 2005

[Screen Singapore] Zombie Dogs (Eat Shit Fuck and Die)

Will we ever see a snuff film (one in which sex/rape/murder filmed actually takes place) made in Singapore? This is the provocative theme in which director Toh Hai Leong wants to explore, and make a controversial film out of. Zombie Dogs is his title of this snuff movie, with as sick a storyline as you can think of - incest, sex, rape, murder, necrophelia.

However, Zombie Dogs is a actually a mockumentary. The film never gets made, and you'll get to see why. It makes some obvious swipes at the (boring) Singaporean Lifestyle (the subtitle of the film - Eat Shit Fuck and Die) and the Singapore Film Commission, as we follow the footsteps of director Toh Hai Leong. He brings us from the beginning, right from the conceptual stage of the movie, to its final (and unfinished) product.

Some truly funny moments include casting scenes for the Pornographer, where aspiring actors are shocked to hear Toh's pitch of the film, and calls them "wimps" and "arseholes" for having no guts to push the envelope with him. He finally gets his actor though, and also recruited Lim Poh Huat (see other short film) as one of the leads. The female "star" was intended to be a random Geylang hooker, one whom when murdered, will not be missed. It's chilling too to listen to Toh explain to Lim how to murder the hooker in the manner he wants to capture on film.

Peppered (no pun intended) throughout the film is Toh's monologue, as he explains to us the premise of the plot, and through this, we learn the difficulties faced with aspiring filmmakers - the pitching, the recruiting, the inspiring, and of course, the cash flow problems. And what makes it more difficult is when the film is intended to shock and provoke.

The movie almost loses its steam towards the end, as the style used does get repetitive, but the finale manages to get through satisfactory as we get to see Toh's intended vision of the film within the film, even if it's mostly made of film stills and stick figure diagrams (crude ones in fact), with orgasmic moans as its primary soundtrack.

Why "Zombie Dogs"? I won't do justice by explaining it here, you've got to watch how Toh explains it himself!

Those interested in catching this film, there will be one screening at Alliance Francaise on 14 Aug 05 Sun 2130hrs, and two more screenings at The Arts House on 20 Aug 05 Sat 1630hrs and 26 Aug 05 Fri 2130hrs

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