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The Tenants Downstairs (2016) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region 3

Simon Yam (Actor) | Lee Kang Sheng (Actor) | Li Xing (Actor) | Ivy Shao (Actor)
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The Tenants Downstairs (2016) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)
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YesAsia Editorial Description

Six apartments, eight tenants, one landlord.

Simon Yam stars as a creepy voyeuristic landlord in the Taiwan suspense drama The Tenants Downstairs, based on the same-titled novel by Giddens Ko. The directorial debut of You Are the Apply of My Eye and Café. Waiting. Love. producer Adam Tsuei, The Tenants Downstairs melds black comedy, mystery, fantasy and psycho drama elements. Tsai Ming Liang regular Lee Kang Sheng, Kaiser Chuang (Who Killed Cock Robin) and TV actress Ivy Shao (Back to 1989) are among the tenants whose lives unfold unpredictably in the film.

Chang (Simon Yam) inherits an apartment building filled with hidden cameras and rents out the apartments at low prices to his desired tenants. He doesn't want hardworking students or boring white collars or happy families; he only wants "normal people" that he can observe. Through the cameras, Chang spies on his eight tenants: a horny gym teacher (Kaiser Chuang) with a record of domestic violence, a college student (Hou Yan Xi) who is always online, a divorced father (Yu An Shun) and his daughter (Angel Ho), a mysterious writer (Ivy Shao), a cheating office worker (Sophia Li) and a gay couple (Lee Kang Sheng and Bernard Shen). The delusional landlord sees their dark secrets and insatiable desires, and tries to further provoke and manipulate them.

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Technical Information

Product Title: The Tenants Downstairs (2016) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) 樓下的房客 (2016) (DVD) (香港版) 楼下的房客 (2016) (DVD) (香港版) The Tenants Downstairs (2016) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) The Tenants Downstairs (2016) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)
Artist Name(s): Simon Yam (Actor) | Lee Kang Sheng (Actor) | Li Xing (Actor) | Ivy Shao (Actor) | Wang To (Actor) | Chang Ching Tzu (Actor) | You An Shun (Actor) | Tu Shih Mei (Actor) | Feng Kai (Actor) | Chen Meng Sheng (Actor) | Alex Ko (Actor) | Kitamura Toyoharu (Actor) | Guo Xin (Actor) | Akio Chen (Actor) | Kaiser Chuang (Actor) | Hou Yan Xi (Actor) | Kurt Chou (Actor) | Qiu Rose (Actor) | He Jie Rou (Actor) | Bernard (Actor) 任達華 (Actor) | 李康生 (Actor) | 李杏 (Actor) | 邵 雨薇 (Actor) | 王道 (Actor) | 張瓊姿 (Actor) | 游安順 (Actor) | 杜詩梅 (Actor) | 馮凱 (Actor) | 沈孟生 (Actor) | 柯 叔元 (Actor) | 北村豐晴 (Actor) | 郭鑫 (Actor) | 陳 慕義 (Actor) | 莊 凱勛 (Actor) | 侯 彥西 (Actor) | 周孝安 (Actor) | 邱 苡媃 (Actor) | 何 潔柔 (Actor) | 林駿 (Actor) 任达华 (Actor) | 李康生 (Actor) | 李杏 (Actor) | 邵 雨薇 (Actor) | 王道 (Actor) | 张琼姿 (Actor) | 游安顺 (Actor) | 杜诗梅 (Actor) | 冯凯 (Actor) | 沈孟生 (Actor) | 柯 叔元 (Actor) | 北村丰晴 (Actor) | 郭鑫 (Actor) | 陈 慕义 (Actor) | 庄 凯勋 (Actor) | 侯 彦西 (Actor) | 周孝安 (Actor) | 邱 苡媃 (Actor) | 何 洁柔 (Actor) | 林骏 (Actor) 任達華 (サイモン・ヤム) (Actor) | 李康生(リー・カンシェン) (Actor) | Li Xing (Actor) | Ivy Shao (Actor) | 王道(ウォン・トー) (Actor) | 張瓊姿(チャン・チョンツー) (Actor) | 游安順(ユー・アンシュン) (Actor) | Tu Shih Mei (Actor) | 馮凱(フォン・カイ) (Actor) | Chen Meng Sheng (Actor) | Alex Ko (Actor) | 北村豊晴 (Actor) | Guo Xin (Actor) | Akio Chen (Actor) | 莊凱勛(キャッシュ・チュアン) (Actor) | Hou Yan Xi (Actor) | カート・チュー[周孝安] (Actor) | Qiu Rose (Actor) | He Jie Rou (Actor) | Bernard (Actor) 임 달화 (Actor) | Lee Kang Sheng (Actor) | Li Xing (Actor) | Ivy Shao (Actor) | Wang To (Actor) | Chang Ching Tzu (Actor) | You An Shun (Actor) | Tu Shih Mei (Actor) | Feng Kai (Actor) | Chen Meng Sheng (Actor) | Alex Ko (Actor) | Kitamura Toyoharu (Actor) | Guo Xin (Actor) | Akio Chen (Actor) | Kaiser Chuang (Actor) | Hou Yan Xi (Actor) | Kurt Chou (Actor) | Qiu Rose (Actor) | He Jie Rou (Actor) | Bernard (Actor)
Director: Adam Tsuei 崔震東 崔震东 Adam Tsuei Adam Tsuei
Producer: Angie Chai 柴智屏 柴智屏 Angie Chai Angie Chai
Writer: Giddens Ko 九把刀 九把刀 九把刀(ジウバーダオ) Giddens Ko
Release Date: 2017-12-22
Language: Mandarin
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese
Country of Origin: Taiwan
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
Sound Information: Dolby Digital 5.1
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: 3 - South East Asia (including Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan) What is it?
Rating: III
Publisher: Edko Films Ltd. (HK)
Package Weight: 100 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1063854337

Product Information

* Special Features:
- Trailer
- Photo Gallery

A strange man inherits a building where cameras have been installed everywhere. His new tenants are of all kinds: a single dad with his daughter, a sexy office lady, a lazy porn-addicted student, a divorced sports teacher, a gay couple, and a mysterious young woman always dressed in white, Yingru. The landlord spends his days spying on his tenants until, one day, he sees Yingru torturing a man in her room. Fascinated, he starts reconsidering his role in the building. And when Yingru asks him to be a partner rather than solely a witness in his tenants' lives, and to help them "free" themselves, the strange man decides to act.
Additional Information may be provided by the manufacturer, supplier, or a third party, and may be in its original language

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "The Tenants Downstairs (2016) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)"

January 26, 2018

This professional review refers to The Tenants Downstairs (2016) (Blu-ray) (Taiwan Version)
The Tenants Downstairs probably isn't what many would expect from the pen of Giddens Ko, the incredibly popular Taiwanese writer responsible for the likes of You Are the Apple of My Eye (which he also adapted for the big screen in 2010), Café. Waiting. Love. and other gentle romantic dramas and comedies. Optimistically described as 'black humour, fantasy, mystery and thriller', the film is quite simply one of the maddest and most depraved from anywhere in the world from the last few years, helmed by Ko's regular producer Adam Tsuei, former president of Sony Music Entertainment in the Chinese region, and who also worked on the Tiny Times films – not exactly a solid background in exploitation cinema. Given the involvement of Ko, the film has been much been talked-about ahead of its August 2016 domestic cinema release, and has in the meantime been playing international festivals.

The film doesn't really have a plot so much as a premise – veteran Hong Kong actor Simon Yam, no stranger to sleazy cinema after having starred in the likes of Dr. Lamb, Naked Killer, Raped by an Angel and other delights during his career, plays the landlord of a building whose tenants he has specifically chosen to highlight different kinds of what he considers to be human deviancy. Including a bizarre, murderous young woman, a possible paedophile and his young daughter, a violent gym teacher, a shut-in college student, an office lady embroiled in countless affairs and a tormented gay couple, he spends his time watching them on his computer monitors, taking great pleasure from spying on their intimate moments. Simply observing them isn't enough, and he starts to manipulate them to bring out the very worst in their natures, playing them off against each other, resulting in escalating violence and depravity.

Giddens Ko and Adam Tsuei's The Tenants Downstairs is a high concept affair, a sadistic, grotesque freak show of a black comedy that revels in the darker recesses of the human soul, descending very quickly into psychosis and murder. Graphic and quite deliberately pushing the boundaries of cinematic decency throughout, it's certainly not a film for all tastes, and gives the very best, or perhaps the worst, of the old school Hong Kong Category III shockers a run for their money. Packing in a veritable catalogue of vile deeds, from torture and mutilation through to rape and more, punctuated by the constant scraping up of various types of bodily fluids, the film is the most extreme from Taiwan in recent memory, outdoing even Joe Chien's gruesome and morally dubious Zombie 108.

What's really striking here though isn't so much the gore and sexual cruelty, but the crazed way in which the film plays out, lacking any kind of real narrative or traditional sympathetic characters – the closest thing the viewer has to a protagonist is Yam's insane landlord, who spends most of his time either talking to or pleasuring himself, interspersed with bouts of air-conducting to Beethoven's Ninth. The anecdotal film has an incredibly odd tone, bouncing between fairly random set pieces which range from broad, bloody slapstick and farce through to the genuinely dark and uncomfortable. There's a palpable meanness in almost every frame, Ko and Tsuei seeming to take real pleasure in Yam's putting the rest of the cast through the ringer in often horrific ways. For some viewers at least the film will prove very amusing in its own, twisted way, with a number of imaginatively nasty jokes paying off, including a strange ongoing gag about teleportation. A daft final revelation only adds to the hysteria, and though it's one which has been used before, it's fittingly absurd, and doesn't undermine the impressive effort put into weaving such an abhorrent tapestry of mad nonsense.

Perhaps surprisingly, The Tenants Downstairs is a visually impressive film throughout, and one which seems to have enjoyed high production values. Recalling the works of Tarsem Singh and David Fincher's seminal Se7en, the production design is grandiose, colourfully lurid, and oddly beautiful in places, often at odds with its unpleasantness and making it all the more pronounced. At the same time there's a definite theatrical impression, the rooms in the house having the feel of performance art stages, giving the proceedings a surreal aspect, accentuated by an amusingly over the top soundtrack featuring plenty of loud pomp and the wholly inappropriate use of classical music.

The Tenants Downstairs really is a great deal of mad, bad fun – for the right viewer at least. Definitely one to be approached with caution, and which might well turn off the average exploitation fan through its sheer weirdness, it's a bold slice of Grand Guignol far removed from the kind of work Giddens Ko and Adam Tsuei are usually associated with.

by James Mudge - EasternKicks.com

This original content has been created by or licensed to YesAsia.com, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of YesAsia.com.

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