Ebola Syndrome (1996)
By: Markus Zussner on August 30, 2006  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Region 4, PAL. 1.85:1 (Non-anamorphic). Cantonese DD 2.0. English Subtitles. Hard Corps (Australia). 98 minutes
The Movie
Director: Herman Yau
Starring: Anthony Wong, Meng Lo, Yeung Ming Wan
Screenplay: Ting Chau
Country: Hong Kong
AKA: Yi bo la beng duk

Some movies are just plain offensive, made to offend people who like to be offended, like me. I always say if the flicko is sicko, then it must be a good one. Director Herman Yau and lead actor Anthony Wong collaborate again to give us Ebola Syndrome; a sleazy, queasy movie full of blatantly sick and disgusting moments of bloody humour, violence, and depraved sadism from start to finish. It's not any particular scene that launches Ebola Syndrome into the disgusto category; it's the entire damn film.

It's about a dude called Kai, who seems to have almost a zero tolerance for bullying and loses the plot when he is verbally or physically abused. In the opening scene we see Kai going hard with the bosses wife when his boss comes home with an employee and busts them. This would naturally evoke a violent reaction in anyone who comes home to see his or her partner playing nudie twister with someone that you employ. Kai's boss does what anyone would naturally do, and that is kick the shit out of him. Now Kai just can't accept the punishment being dished and it is not long before Kai "Stop bullying me!" just plain loses it and kills almost everyone in the room. After the dispatching of all parties involved Kai pauses for a moment and flicks his long blood-drenched hair out of his face with his bloody knife and then proceeds to go after the last surviving person, the boss's young daughter who is cowering in the corner. Before Kai can kill the last surviving witness to his little outburst he is interrupted and has to flee. With a murder warrant out on him in Hong Kong, Kai flees the country and before you can say "Interpol" we jump to several years later to find Kai working as a kitchen hand for a Chinese restaurant in sunny Johannesburg in South Africa. Even here he cannot escape the so-called "bullying" that blows his top. The restaurant owner's wife hates his guts and she never shies away from telling Kai as well as everyone else. The restaurant owner is aware of Kai's past and the outstanding warrant for his arrest back in Hong Kong, but he would never find a replacement kitchen hand who would work for peanuts like Kai.

One day the boss and Kai go out to buy some pigs from an African Tribe. On the way home the truck breaks down so while his boss repairs the truck Kai goes off for a little stroll. He finds an African female lying on the ground near a riverside quite unwell and incapacitated and decides that this is his perfect opportunity to get laid. Despite the girl looking like she's about to bite the bullet any second Kai rapes her and then heads back to the truck. Later on when Kai and his Boss get back to town, Kai develops a fever. The Bosses wife tells Kai off for being sick and wishes he would just die (she's really a lovely girl). The boss arranges for a Doctor visit; after all cheap but good labour is hard to get. The Doc tells them that Kai has the Ebola virus, but he is not going to die. Doc informs Kai that one in ten million people are unaffected by the Ebola virus and become carriers and that Kai is one of those, er lucky people?

Later on Kai gets a bit fucked off for being bullied by the bosses wife whilst being sick so he has another one of his "Stop bullying me!" temper tantrums and kills her and his boss. Kai then gets motivated in the kitchen and whips up some creative and innovative new dishes to add to the menu like Spaghetti Ebolanais or Pea and Ebola soup, tossed salad with spit dressing, and is that frosted icing I see? Now we're cooking with gas! Kai kills off his customers with his innovative and fatal menu, making sure the guests don't come back for seconds.

Anthony Wong is superb as Kai making this one of the sleaziest characters that has ever graced celluloid. I can't help but love to hate this dude. Other than our leading man Kai, there are really no other interesting characters in the film with the exception of the surviving female child from the opening scene all grown up. She's spotted Kai and endeavours to find justice for the murder of her parents. The character comes off as annoying and distracts from the rest of the story, but no matter, Anthony Wong playing the part of Kai is all you are going to need. Anthony Wong takes the weight of the whole film on his shoulders efficiently and to strong effect. There is a little nudity throughout but none of it is titillating in any way so there is nothing here to get your jollies from. The nudie scenes are designed to keep your hand off your pecker and eject eyeballs out of sockets. Ebola Syndrome has more bodily fluids flying from all corners of the screen than all the Toxic Avenger movies combined and then some. I'm talking about every bodily fluid that you can think of or imagine and why not; the Ebola virus spreads very effectively this way so why not travel down the Ebola highway. Vile, sleazy, sadistic, cruel and bloody depraved about sums up Ebola Syndrome quite nicely I should think.
The usual standard picture quality. Picture is clear and sharp, a bit grainy in parts with the odd spot here and there but mostly the picture quality is fine. Subtitles are nicely out of the way below frame. Again, nothing to write home to mama about
Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0 only. The usual standard audio quality. Clear and clean. You can watch the film with or without English subtitles.
Extra Features
Zippo, not even a trailer.
The Verdict
It's no so much gory as it is messy, so if you like blood and ooze flying all across the screen then get infected and dirty with this uncut version of Ebola Syndrome. Like so many sick flicks it doesn't come with a Mental Health Warning on the cover but the packaging is made of cardboard which is of some consolation, so if the DVD contains the virus, you can burn it. If after viewing you start feeling a little queasy, then you know what to do with that petrol can. Guys, if you are looking for the perfect horror film to freak out your date and have her jumping into your lap then avoid Ebola Syndrome at all costs unless you want to wear your girlfriends stomach contents (which can be appealing to some). This is not a scary horror film but rather an extremely disgusting "killer on the loose sicko flicko" designed to gross out depraved and twisted minds that are offended by nothing. You cannot compare Ebola Syndrome to other movies that deal with the transmission of infectious disease like Warning Sign, 28 Days Later or The Crazies because Ebola Syndrome is unlike any of these films. It does not attempt to deal with how to stop the virus from spreading and infecting others but instead hovers voyeuristically around Kai who is getting his kicks out of spreading the Ebola virus. What is very disturbing about the films theme is that it emulates the real life concern of the transmission of the HIV virus by people who knowingly carry the disease, yet take no measures to prevent the spread of the virus, and continue to have unprotected sex with unsuspecting victims. What really scares me is that there really are people out there today that are aware that they have the HIV virus and willingly infect as many people as they possibly can, destroying many lives along the way. The overall rating I have provided below is a disgusto-meter rating exclusively for the sickos because as far as the scare factor is concerned, it doesn't rate. For best effect, watch Ebola Syndrome while wearing a Bio-suit. I did.
Movie Score
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