Diary of a Serial Killer (1995)

Country: Hong Kong
Circuit: New Generation
Genre: Crime
Rating: III (Hong Kong)


About 30 minutes into this Category III true crime expose, rural taxi driver and “Guangzhou Crazy Killer” Chan Kwok-bong hastily attempts to spirit the body of his latest victim from his house in a wooden cabinet and is interrupted by his supposedly unwitting wife (Farini Cheung). His lie that he accidentally hit a laborer gains her sympathy, but the moment he’s out the door, she turns to the little shrine on the wall and prays “I wish this is the last one.” As with so many entries in the lucrative true-crime genre, such fleeting nuggets of insight are flung like intellectual candy from a parade of depravity. Another such moment of clarity is a flashback that implicates the policies of the Mainland Chinese government as much as it does the killer himself, although this doesn’t entirely explain his belief that he’s helping random hookers achieve a better quality of reincarnation by strangling them, stabbing them, stringing them up like puppets in his attic, carving off chunks of their flesh and, in one case, resorting to a strategically placed firecracker to get the job done. Of course, the primary concern of the filmmakers is exploitation, and on that count, they succeed with an abundance of full frontal female nudity and fleshy gore, but it’s the little moments that make one realize how much more effectively a story like this could be told. Opening sequence features footage of the trial of Li Wenxian, the real-life killer upon whom the film is based.

Watching Link: Diary of a Serial Killer (1995)

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