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The Sleep Curse (2017) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Blu-ray Region A

Anthony Wong (Actor) | Gordon Lam (Actor) | Michelle Wai (Actor) | Erica Li
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YesAsia Editorial Description

Hong Kong genre master Herman Yau takes audiences into a waking nightmare in the grotesque paranormal horror thriller The Sleep Curse. The director reunites with Anthony Wong, the star of his notorious 90s cult classics The Untold Story and Ebola Syndrome, for this wild and extreme return to blood, gore and exploitation precipitated by an insomnia curse of shocking origin.

Renowned neurology professor Lam Sik Ka (Anthony Wong) specializes in research on eliminating sleep to increase human productivity. One day, his ex-girlfriend Monique (Jojo Goh, The Loan Shark) suddenly appears to seek his help. Her family members are suffering from a fatal insomnia condition and displaying extremely erratic and aggressive behavior. To investigate the cause of the problem, Lam conducts gruesome experiments but strange things happen in the process. Lam himself also becomes infected and starts to feel the desire to consume human flesh. It turns out the present-day horrors are connected to a pair of sisters (Michelle Wai, Triad) and a tragedy that occurred 45 years ago.

This edition comes with making-of, trailer and still gallery.

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Technical Information

Product Title: The Sleep Curse (2017) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) 失眠 (2017) (Blu-ray) (香港版) 失眠 (2017) (Blu-ray) (香港版) The Sleep Curse (2017) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) The Sleep Curse (2017) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version)
Artist Name(s): Anthony Wong (Actor) | Gordon Lam (Actor) | Michelle Wai (Actor) | Erica Li | Jojo Goh (Actor) | Bryant Mak (Actor) 黃 秋生 (Actor) | 林家棟 (Actor) | 詩雅 (Actor) | 李敏 | 吳 俐璇 (Actor) | 麥子樂 (Actor) 黄 秋生 (Actor) | 林家栋 (Actor) | 诗雅 (Actor) | 李敏 | 吴 俐璇 (Actor) | 麦子乐 (Actor) 黄秋生 (アンソニー・ウォン) (Actor) | 林家棟(ラム・カートン) (Actor) | 詩雅 (ミシェル・ワイ) (Actor) | 李敏 | Jojo Goh (Actor) | Bryant Mak (Actor) Anthony Wong (Actor) | 임가동 (Actor) | Michelle Wai (Actor) | Erica Li | Jojo Goh (Actor) | Bryant Mak (Actor)
Director: Herman Yau 邱禮濤 邱礼涛 邱禮濤(ハーマン・ヤウ) Yau Lai To
Blu-ray Region Code: A - Americas (North, Central and South except French Guiana), Korea, Japan, South East Asia (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) What is it?
Release Date: 2017-08-24
Language: Cantonese, Mandarin
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese
Place of Origin: Hong Kong
Picture Format: [HD] High Definition What is it?
Sound Information: 7.1, DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby Digital
Disc Format(s): Blu-ray, 25 GB - Single Layer
Screen Resolution: 1080p (1920 x 1080 progressive scan)
Video Codecs: AVC (MPEG-4 Part 10)
Rating: III
Publisher: CN Entertainment Ltd.
Package Weight: 100 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1061274420

Product Information

* Special Features (Approx: 17mins):
- Trailers
- The Making Of The Sleep Curse
- Bonus Content
- Slideshow

During Japan’s wartime occupation of Hong Kong in 1941-1945, a young translator’s collaboration with the enemy results in his life being cursed by a murdered “comfort woman” forced to become a sex slave. Forty-five years later, the man’s sins come back to haunt his son, a professor specializing in sleeping disorders, when the lady’s ghost returns for vengeance.
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 Sleep Curse (2017) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version)"

August 28, 2017

Herman Yau is not only one of Hong Kong's most prolific directors, but one of its most versatile, 2017 having already seen him helm romantic drama 77 Heartbreaks and the Andy Lau blockbuster thriller Shock Wave. His third film of the year arrives in the lurid form of The Sleep Curse, an exploitation shocker harking back to his early Category III-rated classics The Untold Story and Ebola Syndrome, reteaming the director with actor Anthony Wong, something which is sure to excite fans. The film also sees Yau working again with his regular screenwriter Erica Li, who collaborated with him on Nessun Dorma, The Mobfathers and others, co-scripting here along with Eric Lee.

Set in 1990, the film opens with a found footage sequence in which a Malaysian Chinese man goes gradually insane from lack of sleep, turning on his family in violent fashion, apparently due to some kind of evil curse. The focus then shifts to Lam Sik-ka (Anthony Wong), a neuroscientist obsessively studying insomnia and sleep disorders in Hong Kong, who is approached by Monique (Malaysian actress Jojo Goh, The Loan Shark), the sister of the unfortunate man from the opening sequence, who is now suffering from a similar curse herself. Monique just happens to be a former flame, and so Lam agrees to try and help her, partly so that he can use her as a lab rat for his own experiments, and concocts a plan to steal her brother's brain, travelling to Malaysia. Flashbacks reveal dark secrets from WWII, when Lam’s father (again played by Wong) was pressed into serving the deeply unpleasant Chinese collaborator Chow Fook (Gordon Lam, Trivisa) in gathering 'comfort women' for the Japanese invaders, bringing him into contact with a young woman and her twin sister (both played by Michelle Wai, Show Me Your Love), leading to tragedy and death in the past and present.

The Sleep Curse is certainly a bit more ambitious and serious for a film whose raison d'être is providing gory thrills, and Yau works in a lot, from Lam's frankly crazed theories about sleep disorders, through to science, superstition and old school Chinese black magic gong tau, dealing with themes of guilt and karma along the way. Yau has never been one to shy away from tough subjects, and to an extent the film wins points for tackling the issue of WWII Chinese collaborators who worked with the Japanese, as well as the subject of comfort women – though as with his 2014 child prostitution drama Sara, for some viewers these sequences will prove overly-distasteful, and the scenes of rape and abuse are uncomfortable viewing, especially when considered against the film's status as an exploitation schlocker.

While Yau and his screenwriters Li and Lee just about manage to keep things hanging together, the film does suffer from some variable pacing, the flashback to WWII taking up a large chunk of the running time, and never really being woven into the narrative in a coherent fashion. The links between the past and the present and the main twists emerge around the hour mark, though the film seems strangely unfussed about playing them for tension, and it has the odd feel of a horror uninterested in actually being frightening, its ghost scenes feeling perfunctory and its scattered jump scares half-hearted. To be fair, this fits in with Yau's approach to exploitation, and as with Untold Story and others, he's clearly more focused on the social commentary aspects of the plot – and of course, the gore.

The film starts off slowly when it comes to bloodshed, pulling a few potential punches early on in a manner which might leave fans worrying, some autopsy scenes aside Yau leaving things to the imagination. Not to worry though, as the final act of The Sleep Curse really delivers the gore groceries in an incredibly wild fashion, with body parts and viscera flying everywhere and Anthony Wong getting the chance to paint the screen red after playing things relatively calm for the film hour or so. Yau really pushes the envelope, working in some of the nastiest scenes in recent Hong Kong cinema, with one in particular best left undescribed here being hard to watch, and the film is all the more shocking for employing a mix of practical and CGI effects, rather than the anaemic computer carnage seen in other recent genre efforts.

These splatter set pieces are definitely enough to mark The Sleep Curse as not being for the faint of heart, more than earning the film its Category III rating, and it's a very welcome throwback to the earlier days of Herman Yau's career. While not really as memorable as his classics The Untold Story and Ebola Syndrome, the film will undoubtedly satisfy fans, and it has to be hoped that Yau will make a fully-fledged return to shock cinema.

by James Mudge -

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