Written by: John White on April 7th, 2006
Theatrical Release Dates: South Korea, 2002
Director: Je-gyun Yun
Cast:Ji-won Ha, Chang Jung Lim, Jae-yeong Jin, Seong-guk Choi, Chae-yeong Yu
DVD released:March 28th, 2006
Approximate running time: 96 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Letterbxed Widescreen
Rating: Not Rated
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Korean, Dolby Digital Stereo Korean
DVD Release: Panik House
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.99
Synopsis: Eunsik is a nerd in love with possibly the most beautiful girl in school, Eunyho. Unfortunately whenever he sees her, he is masturbating, mistaken for a groper or licking a poster of a scantily clad woman. Unsurprisingly she starts a relationship with the best looking boy in school and Eunsik’s hopes fade. Eunyho falls pregnant and her boyfriend bales leaving her to rely on Eunsik for moral support during the abortion. After nursing her back to health Eunsik expects her to return to the good looking bonder who made her pregnant. Will she recognize Eunsik’s love or keep looking for popularity.
South Korea’s film industry has boomed substantially in the last 10 years and this has brought forward great film makers like Chan Wook-Park and Kim Ki-Duk. It has also brought a lot of films derived from American originals and given a Korean flavour. Films like Brotherhood, a Korean Saving Private Ryan, and this, a Korean American Pie.
Sex Is Zero is undemanding rites of passage stuff with endless knob gags, gross outs and titillation. All of this is delivered in a very Americanised style with a very conservative message that sex without love is evil. The film is very similar to the American prototype with leering, innuendo and shallow gratification the whole point of the exercise. The film attempts to tell the world that looks can be deceiving and that true love is not merely lust after spending a good hour of staring down cleavages rather than assessing any character.
To enjoy this film you need to be drunk, hormonal or just plain teenage. The jokes are obvious and can be seen coming for about 15 minutes beforehand and the titillation is shabby uninteresting stuff. If you really want to see Korean actors doing all the gags from American Pie, Road trip and the far superior Farelly Brothers films then you’ll love it. I hated it.
Panik House have aimed this disc squarely at students and teenagers. The main feature is presented non-anamorphically with an excellent transfer and numerous sound options including a strong 5.1. the picture is fine and very sharp.
There are more extras than you will ever know what to do with. Deleted scenes, bloopers, making of, cast and director interviews and a commentary from Mr Skin. The commentary consists of several blokes talking about who gets naked, where else they get naked and what better movies you could be watching. This sounds boorish and sexist but actually it is far more fun than the film. There is also a press kit.
Panik have done a great job on this film but it’s very existence and popularity makes me want to hijack a nuclear weapon and hold the world to ransom. It is a dreadful piece of work that you can live without unless your acne is your prime consideration in life.