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Claypot Curry Killers

Although inspired by the Grand Guignol recipe of "Sweeney Todd," James Lee ultimately cooks up a splattery muddle in "Claypot Curry Killers."

Although inspired by the Grand Guignol recipe of “Sweeney Todd,” James Lee ultimately cooks up a splattery muddle in “Claypot Curry Killers.” Having moved on from flavorless mellers (“Before We Fall in Love Again”), the Malaysian writer-helmer continues a dalliance with horror begun with “Histeria,” with the same studied lack of skill demonstrated in his previous fest fillers. Pic has yet to be released domestically due to censorship issues, but even in more lax territories, its amateurism will limit its prospects.

After discovering her drunken husband sexually abusing one of her three daughters, street hawker Mrs. Chew (Pearlly Chua) kills her spouse and serves up his remains to unsuspecting food-stall customers. Yarn leaps forward 10 years to establish that man meat has made her wealthy, but one of Chew’s daughters now has a bloodlust that just won’t quit. While Lee ladles on the gore and cribs jokes from Tarantino, his direction is as stiff as his lurching script, and neither does the marooned thesps any favors. Pic shows the same disregard for sound quality that made Lee’s previous films so grating.

Claypot Curry Killers

Malaysia

  • Production: An Astro Shaw presentation of a Tayangan Unggul, Hadir Dinamuk production. (International sales: Astro Shaw, Selangor, Malaysia.) Produced by Gayatri Su Lin Pillai, Hazil Izham Ismail. Directed, written by James Lee.
  • Crew: Camera (color, DigiBeta), Mohammed Helmi Yusof; editor, Chris Khoo; music, Peter Toe; art director, Nazrul Asraff Mahzan. Reviewed at PiFan Film Festival (World Fantastic Cinema), July 15, 2011. Running time: 97 MIN.
  • With: With: Steve Yap, Debbie Goh, Mandy Chen, Olivia Kang, Pearlly Chua, Jeff Chin, Wong Wai-hoong, Ernest Chong, Elvis, Sunny Pang, Alan Cheong, Kok Jia-xian. (Mandarin, Cantonese dialogue)
  • Music By: