Le Bình Giang (1990, Vietnam) was educated in Film at the University of Ho Chi Minh, but he wasn’t allowed to graduate because the script for his film “Kfc” was considered too violent by the Council of Examiners. Lê didn’t give up on his project and tried to find sponsors. He won the Film of the Future Award at the Vietnamese Autumn Meeting 2013, which helped him get started. After making several short films he finally finished shooting “Kfc” (2016), his feature film debut, three years later.
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The story takes place in Hanoi, and revolves around a number of characters. A cannibalistic doctor who uses an ambulance to hit people in the street and then post-humously rape them. His son, who has become fat due to eating human flesh and his friend, the daughter of a prostitute who has fallen victim to the doctor. Another boy roaming the streets who becomes friends with the two children. A man whose wife has also fallen victim to the doctor. Overall, a circle of violence and revenge that seems to transcend generations.
Le Binh Giang directs, writes, co-edits and produces a genuine splatter film, where onerousness seems to derive from every frame. In this fashion, the movie includes cannibalism, amputation and torture, kid violence, necrophilia, and even flesh-eating worms. Giang, however, managed to include some comic scenes, mocking multinational companies like Coca Cola, Pepsi, and KFC. A somewhat romantic scene with a couple riding on a motorcycle and the main theme, a romantic and nostalgic song, also move towards the same direction.
The issue with the film lies with its narration, that includes many flashbacks and back and forths in time, which deem the story quite difficult to follow, despite the fact that, at the end, much of the events are explained.
In terms of cinematography, Nguyen Phuc Vinh uses some interesting techniques with slow-motion, fast forward, and Bullet Time shots. The special effects are impressive, with the torture scenes and the depiction of blood being utterly realistic. Tilkerie Pham has also done a great job on the sound, which occasionally sounds even more grotesque than the actual images it accompanies. In terms of editing, there is an amusing scene, where the torture is paralleled to a comic strip.
Evidently, the film addresses only fans of splatter, but “Kfc” is an impressive entry in the genre, especially considering that this is Le Binh Giang’s debut.