Taboo-breaking sex and blood-gushing violence fail to congeal into a intelligible narrative in low-budget South Korean DV feature "Never Belongs to Me." Indie fests that embrace schlock value will want to look, but all others should avoid this one.

Taboo-breaking sex and blood-gushing violence fail to congeal into a intelligible narrative in low-budget South Korean DV feature “Never Belongs to Me.” Pic reps helmer Nam Ki-woong’s follow-up to the memorably-titled short feature “Teenage Hooker Becomes Killing Machine in Dakeroh.” Latest effort exhibits the same lack of decorum, but even less coherence. Indie fests that embrace schlock value will want to look, but all others should avoid this one.

A sexually troubled young Korean man, Gi-tae (Kim Byung-chun), discovers his mother was raped by a tiger when she was 13 and that the unholy union produced a half-brother who is half man, half-beast. Said progeny, Gun-tae (Kang Hyun-Joong), has troubles of his own, not the least of which is a Darth Vader voice. Script is a confused spree of mutilation which, in addition to dabbling extensively in castration, recycles the cyborg prostie concept of Nam’s earlier feature. Occasional black humor comes through, but this often seems more like it’s by accident rather than design. Helming is makeshift and perfs are overly theatrical. Lensing is standard DV adequate, but makes good use of ambitious production design. Other tech credits are solid.

Never Belongs to Me

South Korea

Production

A Digikaon, Media Film Intl., Gorilla Machine, The 1st Feature production. (International sales: Digikaon, Seoul.) Produced by Ki Noh-young. Executive producers, Sung Jin-kyung, Hong Myung-uk. Directed, written by Nam Ki-woong.

Crew

Camera (color, DV), Kim Sung-tai; editor, Park Sang-ho; music, Kim Bong-soo; production designer, Kim Seung-chul. Reviewed at Yubari Fantastic Film Festival (Young Fantastic, competing), Feb. 25, 2006. Running time: 105 MIN.

With

Kang Hyun-joong, Ye Soo-an, Kim Byung-chun, Ki Joo-bong.

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