Ebola Syndrome (1996)
Golden Movies International Ltd.
Marianne Chan Mui Ying, Shing Fui On, Peter Ngor Chi Kwan, Michael Tam,
Edward Corbett, Lori Shannon
Cameo: James Ha, Bobby Yip
Producer: Wong Jing Director: Herman Yau Lai To
Genre: Thriller Rating: III Length: 98 minutes
"It's God who created the ebola virus, not me. And this virus will kill all you bastards!"
Filmed on location in Johannesburg and Hong Kong, Ebola Syndrome is arguably the sickest
HK film ever made. But let's not argue, I don't like conflict. Still, if it's not the sickest,
then it is surely the most * unsanitary *. This is, after all, a film about the deadly
contagious ebola virus.
Anthony Wong Chau Sang stars as Kai, a guy with a grudge against the whole world.
He's got an axe to grind, but a sharp pair of scissors will do. In the opening scene,
Wong is fornicating with his boss's woman when the boss (Shing Fui On) and one of his
men bust in. Kai's excuse, "It's not my fault, your wife asks me to screw her" doesn't
fly. He snatches some scissors and manages to slaughter all of them.
Kai flees to South Africa where he gets a job working in the kitchen of a Chinese
restaurant. He ignores the "Employees Must Wash Hands" signs. He also ignores the
"Employees Must Not Pick Nose While Preparing Food", and "Employees Must Not Ejaculate
Into the Meat and Serve It To Customers" signs. His boss, Lo Meng, hates his guts but
keeps him employed because Wong is willing to work dirt cheap.
One day the two trek to the African bush to buy pigs from the local tribesmen. They get
into an explosive argument and go their separate ways. Kai wanders the area and
comes upon an unconscious Zulu woman. He rapes her. She begins to convulse and
spews chunks all over his face.
Kai contracts ebola from his victim, but lucky for him, (and unluckily for everyone else),
he is one of the 1 in 10 million who doesn't die of the disease, he is just a carrier.
This makes Kai a walking bio-terrorist, spreading ebola to nearly every man, woman,
and child he comes in contact with.
For Cat. III sleazehounds, Ebola Syndrome hits the spot. No one could be more perfect
for this role than Anthony Wong, whose previously starred in Herman Yau's The Untold
Story. The breakout success of that film on the careers of both Wong and Yau must
have made Ebola Syndrome sound like a sound investment. There is even a variation
on the human roast pork buns- African buns, anyone?
Ebola Syndrome balances sleaze, violence and dark comedy nicely with its numerous
gross out bits. A scene showing Kai chopping up frogs in the kitchen is especially blunt,
as is a graphic autopsy of an ebola victim. Kai's contagiousness is illustrated with what
I'll call the "germ cam". Like the "bullet cam" in Full Contact, the germ cam shows things
from his mouth's point of view, before he coughs or sneezes the diseased particles out
at his target. Nice effect.
This is Anthony Wong's show, but the supporting cast isn't bad either. Marianne Chan
appears as Kai's ex-wife, and Vincent Wan Yeung Ming plays the cop pursuing Kai
in Hong Kong. Especially enjoyable is Lo Meng's role as Kai's hot tempered boss.
There's also a subplot involving the saga of the little girl who witnessed her
parents' murder, all grown up and still haunted by Kai's crimes.
Hong Kong Movie World warmly recommends Ebola Syndrome.
Related viewing: The Untold Story (1993) Anthony Wong, Danny Lee
Trust Me U Die (1999) Simon Yam, Mark Cheng, Sam Lee
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