May 18, 2016

Bloody Fight in Iron-Rock Valley: Ex-Con Goes on Killing Spree

It would be a bit of a stretch to say that the low-budget, high death-count pic Bloody Fight in Iron-Rock Valley has a plot. What it has instead is a scenario that acts as n excuse to link one murder to the next with retaliatory violence in between plus some flashbacks to the brutal rape and murder that started this bloodbath of revenge to begin with. Writer-director Ji Ha-Jean has no favored method of offing his characters, mind you, but you can be damned sure that a single gunshot or knife wound is unlikely to do it: Ghostface (Yoon Sang-Hwa) has his throat slit then is shot in the chest; Axe (Kwak Ja-Hyeong ) is hacked with his namesake weapon before having his head bashed in by a stolen Buddha statue; the young girl in the flashback who is raped and murdered eventually has her face is peeled off. Those who survivor do not escape Scot free. The hero Chul-Gi (Lee Moo-Seang) — a young man of few words, who is out to exact revenge on his sister's killers — is stabbed, bludgeoned, punched, choked, hacked, clobbered, and even has his mouth cranked open with dental jacks we assume will lead to torture. He's one of the lucky ones, simply because he never receives that final death blow. Is the creepy little ballerina music box he's constructed while in prison — or is it juvie? — some kind of magic talisman that capable of warding off the Grim Reaper? Could be.

Equally charmed is Tae-yeon (Choi Ji-Eun), Iron-Rock Valley's only prostitute — hell, its only woman — who lures men to the local gambling den but defies the odds by staying alive, even as her boyfriend, dad (who happens to be a monk), and child (at least I think it's her child) are gunned down. You'd think she and Chul-Gi were a perfect match. Yet when Chul-Gi heads off on his motorcycle into the sunset, she's not behind him with her his arms wrapped around his waist and her head leaning on his shoulder. There's no place for love in Iron-Rock so he leaves her behind to deal with her inheritance: a now abandoned temple with no tenants but a lot of ghosts.

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