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Hong Kong Horror Cinema$
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Gary Bettinson and Daniel Martin

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474424592

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474424592.001.0001

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Food for Thought: Cannibalism in The Untold Story and Dumplings

Food for Thought: Cannibalism in The Untold Story and Dumplings

(p.165) Chapter 10 Food for Thought: Cannibalism in The Untold Story and Dumplings
Hong Kong Horror Cinema

Lisa Odham Stokes

Edinburgh University Press

Food features prominently in Hong Kong cinema, from the infamous “Eat my rice” scene in Woo’s heroic bloodshed A Better Tomorrow 2 to the special recipes of dueling restaurants in the Hui Brothers’ comedy Chicken and Duck Talk. While in many action movies, dramas and comedies, food brings people together, in Hong Kong horror films, food carries more ominous overtones. Cannibalism serves as the main course in Herman Yau’s Untold Story (aka Human Pork Buns) and Fruit Chan’s Dumplings (the former drawn from a real case and the latter a short and feature). Both explore the political and social underpinnings of their time. Untold Story (1993) is an excellent example of crisis cinema- in your face, low budget, high anxiety over the return of Hong Kong to China. Dumplings (2004) reflects the post-postmodern fascination with a youth culture, at any costs. Both films mark class distinctions and reflect the cultural importance of food in Chinese society as well as provide comment on their times.

Keywords:   Cannibalism, crisis cinema, youth culture, cultural importance, food, Hong Kong-China return

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