May 5, 2016

The Black Hand: Hearts on the Chopping Block

Okay, torture porn fans, let's talk about amputation and love. We've got a long history of creepy movies to build on starting with the 1927 silent classic The Unknown in which Lon Chaney's knife-thrower has his arms removed in an effort to get closer to Joan Crawford's squeamish ingenue, the most engrossing version of The Hands of Orlac (1935), where Peter Lorre's mad doctor jealously grafts a killer's hands on his main rival, and Jennifer Lynch's 1993 debut Boxing Helena about a crackpot surgeon uses amputation as a way to keep his woman faithful. Love and losing limbs go hand in hand apparently.

Such is the case, once again, with The Black Hand, Park Jae-sik's gorey fright flick in which a quack transplant specialist (Kim Seong-Su) expands his entrepreneurial organ-harvesting business to include his wife (Shin Jeong-Seon), his mistress (Han Go-Eun) and his mistress's sister (Bae Geu-rin), all of whom incite a push-pull/cut-reattach impulse in him. What he has failed to take into account is that a transplant recipient takes on some of the characteristics of the donor. So while Dr. Dismemberment is banging every woman he can, including the local bartender (Han Soo Yeong), his latest science experiments are taking on the rage (as well as the body parts) of the doctor's scorned spouse (a.k.a. his human farm).

Given his luck with the ladies, I bet this demented doctor's main victim/colleague/creation/protege eventually has her attacker/boss/torturer/mentor's penis grafted onto somebody else as a way to honor the best part of their relationship. And why stop there? Why not re-purpose his hair, his ass, his eyes, his lips, his tongue, his teeth and that one hand he's always using to choke whichever partner he's currently pounding? Just because your abusive, heartless, narcissistic lover is dead is no reason to stop screwing with him. Stick with what works. And then find a host for it.

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