Story: It’s 1972 in South Korea and the Vietnam War is raging. A creepy, whispery transmission from a long thought lost group of soldiers, Donkey Unit, comes to headquarters, telling them they are being killed. A war-weary lieutenant, together with a rag-tag and reluctant band of soldiers who were only days from being sent home are instead sent to find Donkey Unit in the sinister sector known as R-Point.
The Film Itself: Take a big pot of Asian horror, add some “Apocalypse Now” and John Carpenter’s “The Thing”, throw in some dashes of “Session 9” and “Dead Birds”. Stir well and you have a pretty good idea of what “R-Point” is. I went in with few expectations but came away chilled by quite a few scenes and images. I’ve also already heard an American version is in the works so that should tell you something. The film was shot in Cambodia and there is, hands down, one of the creepiest decaying buildings in this movie where the soldiers hunker down. Right up there with Danvers Mental Institution in “Session 9”. There are the requisite Asian ghosts – even one with the long black hair we’ve all come to expect. And she actually fits into the story! Directed by first-time feature film director Su-Chang Kong, the atmosphere is heavy with menace and paranoia, much like in “The Thing”. The non-linear storyline is reminiscent of the little-seen (but should be) “Dead Birds” (also a horror/war film). And there are disturbing images seen by various members of Mole 3 unit, especially by Lt. Choi, that will stay with you. The score and sound design are perfect for the foreboding in this film – you know things are just getting worse and worse for these guys. And when the climax comes? well, there is a little twist at the end which again brought “Dead Birds” to mind and its cyclical sense of hopelessness.
Special Features: Korean with English and Spanish subtitles. Presented in anamorphic widescreen, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and DTS Surround Sound 5.1. Director’s commentary, a history of “R-Point”, behind-the-scenes, special effects, production design featurette, original trailer and trailers of Tartan Asia Extreme’s upcoming releases. – Elaine