We’re Going To Eat You: ”This world of ours is full of cannibals. It all depends on what you call food.”

Year: 1980
Directed by Tsui Hark
Produced by Ng See Yuen
Written by Roy Szeto and Tsui Hark
Cast: Norman Chu, Melvin Wong, Eddy Ko, Hon Gwok-Choi, Michelle Yim, Mo-lin Cheung, Fung Fung, San Kuai, Tai Bo, Lee Chun-Wa, To Siu-Ming, and Pan Yung-Sheng

A secret agent ordered to track down a mysterious bandit stumbles upon an island of bloodthirsty cannibals.

Horror-themed kung fu flicks are a rare specimen of entertainment. Tsui Hark early in his directing career takes it upon himself to mesh the idiosyncrasies of each genre for some great amusement. There were similar efforts before Tsui Hark but We’re Going to Eat You still stands out for being such an hybrid of genres and those earlier works tended to feature vampires, not cannibals. We’re Going To Eat You is definitely horror-themed with its unsettling amount of blood and gore. Yet, isn’t horror in the traditional sense though the dreaded feeling of being alone in a terrifying place is still there. We’re Going to Eat You just exploits its horror elements for a very Hong Kong dash of black comedy and slapstick. Bloodlust and an appetite for human flesh being played for laughs is, of course, disturbing. If it was played straight, it would likely result in an awkward ”B movie”. Instead, the sheer irreverence is what enables the overly sardonic tone to be so effective. The action is well choreographed enough that you don’t doubt fists and kicks can’t be an effective response to steel and meat cleavers.

There is kind of an effort to include a few anachronisms such as the name: Agent 999 being some kind of homage to James Bond or the bandit’s name being Rolex, a name that feels out of place in a totally rural setting. It’s not necessarily jarring but unseemly enough to exude a slight surrealism. Agent 999 is the usual kung fu hero, however, with a brasher side and a few odd quirks. The amoral wanderer has the most distinguishable personality. Not only his appearance is odd but his sly attitude towards danger is kind of captivating. At the risk of giving away too many details, let’s just say the rest of the supporting cast is a wide range of colorful personalities.

We’re Going To Eat You isn’t necessarily the martial art answer to Cannibal Holocaust. Its bloodlust isn’t about exploring the limits of human depravity rather it sets up a black comedy then embarks upon some morbid fun with some martial arts thrown in for good measure.

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