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Posted under Chinese Movies by admin on Tuesday 24 February 2009 at 12:36

Shamo is a 2007 Cantonese-language action film from Hong Kong. The film was directed by Pou-Soi Cheang and produced by Same Way Productions Limited. It is an adaption of a Japanese manga also named Shamo.


  • Shawn Yue
  • Ryo Ishibashi
  • Dylan Kuo
  • Bruce Leung
  • Annie Liu
  • Masato
  • Francis Ng
  • Pei Pei
  • Zing Chau

This pop holocaust of unseemly proportions continues director Soi Cheang’s mad attack on humanity, screaming that the world we live in has gone insane. SHAMO leaks out of the same dark, inner place that the director reached for in his previous film, the nihilistic DOG BITE DOG, only here he creates a savage manga adaptation where everyone is out for their pound of flesh. It’s stylish to a fault, with eye-popping sets, lurid deep colors, fashion magazine layouts, scornful women camping it up like drag queens and luminous cinematography. Pain and violence have rarely looked so chic.

Based on a brutal manga from Izo Hashimoto, the film gnaws joyfully on its material. Ryo (a ripped Shawn Yue) is sent to juvie for stabbing his parents to death while they ate breakfast and he becomes a national pariah after a picture of him in his blood soaked school uniform hits the newspapers. He’s welcomed to his new home with a beat-down and a gang rape, and then he attempts suicide. Fail. His quiet younger sister, Natsumi (Pei Pei) visits him in a fluffy pink showgirl outfit to inform him that he’s ruined her life and she’s leaving town to become a prostitute. Eventually an older prisoner, Kurokawa (Francis Ng), takes him under his wing and teaches him karate and soon he’s destroying his tormentors with iron-fisted punches and gut-crushing kicks.

When he’s released from prison he becomes a gigolo and begins a lengthy trawl through every seamy red light district in Japan looking for his sister. Getting nastier and more feral with each succeeding frame, Ryo decides that the only road to money is to become an Ultimate Fighting champ, and he starts training for the lethal underground fight circuit. No need to fear that this will turn into your mainstream ROCKY story – Ryo’s a slap-happy monster who just wants more. But almost lost beneath his layers of anger, pain and psychosis is a forgotten speck of humanity and a will of iron that perversely makes you root for him through every bruise and gash that he gives and every one that he receives. Perhaps somewhere down the road there will be some twisted redemption waiting for him, but until then he only wants to survive one more day. Last year the New York Asian Film Festival showed the director’s DOG BITE DOG and we are thrilled to bring his encore film.



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