Anthony Wong stars in this movie that is what Dustin Hoffman’s movie Outbreak should have been: a story about a raping and murdering dude who infects a bunch of people with Ebola by tricking them into eating hamburgers made out of human meat. It really isn’t as funny as it probably sounds which is a bit surprising what with all the rapes, murders, cannibalism, and the on-camera slaughter of frogs and chickens.
Ebola Syndrome is not really what I’d call well made. The very workmanlike visuals and camera work will remind you more of one of those Italian jungle-cannibal movies and there’s maybe one slow motion scene, as if they knew that every Hong Kong film needed a little bit of that, but it isn’t particularly well done or effective.
That said, the movie is full of gore, sex, and Anthony Wong is pretty much way out of control from start to finish as the psycho Kai, so it lives up to its reputation as the movie to show your mainstream friends (if you have any) at parties to gross them out.
Kai is your average run of the mill creep who has a hankering for other people’s wives when they’re out working. Kai kicks his adventure off by humping some chick in Hong Kong while her hubby is away. Naturally hubby comes home and is less than amused that Kai is dipping his chopstick into his wife. This results in a good old fashioned beat down, complete with pissing scene!
Kai goes on the offensive, killing the husband, the husband’s buddy, and the woman. The woman’s young daughter is also around and so Kai dumps gasoline on her and before he can fire her up, someone interrupts him and he takes off never to be seen again in Hong Kong until years later.
Fast forward several years to South Africa. South Africa? Yup, I don’t know what Kai is doing down in South Africa, but you can be sure it involves screwing women and complaining about being bullied.
That’s one of Kai’s lovable quirks. Even though he’s an accomplished killer, he still whines about being picked on by everyone!
His next target is his friend’s wife. She and Kai’s friend run the Chinese restaurant where he has taken up residence and found employment as a waiter.
She’s always yelling at him about something or other and he fumes about it, complaining to whoever will listen and spitting in the food.
Even though his buddy’s wife rags on him mercilessly, he still enjoys listening in on his buddy and the wife having sex. Kai is so into that he grabs some raw meat from the restaurant and cuts an opening in it and proceeds to use it in such a manner that makes you realize what a wussy movie American Pie was!
When Kai is finished with his business he puts the meat back in the fridge. (Insert “secret sauce” joke here.)
As if being a crabby waiter prone to doing the most unsanitary things to the customers’ food imaginable wasn’t enough for Kai, his pal takes him out into the African countryside to get some fresh meat for the restaurant.
There’s two Zulu corpses next to the dead pigs that our restaurateurs are going to buy. The Zulu guy selling them the pigs tells them that the Zulus died from Ebola. Kai also manages to pick up some Ebola for himself after raping a non responsive native girl.
Things pick up speed once Kai has himself a dose of Ebola and he just happens to be the one in ten million people that it infects, causing a bad fever, but doesn’t ultimately kill.
Kai goes on a raping and killing spree and once everyone starts croaking and flopping around all over Johannesburg, Kai decides it’s time to cash out of the restaurant biz and go back to Hong Kong.
Along the way, the girl that he tried to burn to death sees him in South Africa and tries to tell the authorities, but they tell her what I and any half decent scriptwriter would have told her: you seeing him here after all those years is just too much of a coincidence to be believable.
Ebola Syndrome is a movie that has so little of value to recommend that you can’t help but admire it. There is no hero per se. The girl who survived her encounter with Kai is rarely seen and the movie focuses almost exclusively on Kai and his free-wheeling lifestyle.
Anthony Wong is great at looking like a total scuzz – a bit portly and sometimes with a little greasy pony tail Steven Seagal would be proud of. He even uses a disguise with this awful-looking mustache!
You watch this train wreck in spite of yourself because you wonder what Kai has up his sleeve next. How much damage can he do? How many terrible things is he capable of?
Gory, nasty entertainment that is so far over the top, you’ll be laughing to keep from gagging. A very good “party movie” that will keep your friends grimacing throughout.
© 2013 MonsterHunter