Written by: Carroll Jenkins on October 16th, 2009
Theatrical Release Date: Hong Kong, 1986
Director: Tung-Shing Yee
Writer: Tung-Shing Yee
Cast: Shui-Fan Fung, Deannie Yip, Paul Chun, Chow Yun-Fat, John Sham, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Season Ma, Dennis Chan
DVD released: May 29th, 2008
Approximate running time: 88 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: II (Hong Kong)
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Mandarin, Dolby Digital Stereo Cantonese
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese
DVD Release: Joy Sales
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC (Hong Kong)
Retail Price: $9.99
Synopsis: A career social worker with the homeless mentally ill must accept the company of a bothersome lady newspaper reporter as he makes his daily rounds.
The Lunatics is very purposely crafted to bring attention to the plight of the mentally ill, both homeless and residential. It spotlights the career social workers who fight against rejection, apathy, lack of funds, and violent resentment. The Lunatics present twists and shocks and thrills alongside the melodrama and pathos in a well-paced narrative structure.
We meet various eccentric characters while making the rounds, and focus on three: Doggie (Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Bullet In The Head), Chun (Chow Yun Fat, The Killer), and Tsuen (Paul Chung). This is a project where stars take chances going against type, and of being type-cast, for the sake of the ‘important part’ and the ‘meaningful script’ – for the story, for the cause.
The script, however, is just as psychotic as the titular characters. With little warning the film snaps and brings us with it into the depths of madness. It becomes graphic, bloody, and shocking.
A very nice Joy Sales presentation of an unrestored print – anamorphic widescreen with Cantonese and Mandarin soundtracks; English subtitles.
Best enjoyed without reading any spoilers beforehand, this award winning melodrama is quite well done and presents food for thought and reflection. Then comes the stuff of nightmares.