A Touch of Sin, Boy You Can Say That Again!

One of the mass murderers of "A Touch of Sin," a gruesome movie in Mandarin.
One of the mass murderers of “A Touch of Sin,” a gruesome movie in Mandarin.

I often watch the previews at the Amherst Cinema with rapt attention. After each one, I nod to my partner, yes we’ll check that out, or boy we MUST miss that one. But in truth, I rarely ever see the films whose trailers enthralled me—I just don’t go to the movies that often.

But on Sunday afternoon, with Mary out at a wedding show, I jumped in the car and made it to the screening of one of the movies I saw in previews–“A Touch of Sin,” written and directed by Jia Zhang-ke.

Boy was this a lot different from its trailer. While I did enjoy getting a chance to see what life is like in Northern China, this director gives Quentin Tarantino a run for his money.  At first we see a character who is accusing local officials of corruption.  He’s a sad kind of guy, and before long he grabs a shotgun.

No, I think no, you’re not going to show him shooting the politicians at point blank range. Are you? BAM!  Yes you are. Ohmigod.   This character is just one of four vignettes, and each one packs  a similar gruesome punch.

We get blast holes in the face. We get close to the head blasts that leave craters and bloody a perfectly beautiful Maserati to a crimson disaster. We get a woman marching along with a bloody knife, and people walking past her as if this is commonplace.

No one seems to get jailed after mass murdering people in this movie.  A guy beating a horse also gets a shotgun blast, but for this we are relieved, not sad. It’s a bleak story and now I know that movie violence in other countries is just as bad as what is made here or in Canada.  Be forewarned. This movie is pretty sick.