失眠 (The Sleep Curse) (Blu-ray release 2017-8-24) is a spiritual successor to the Hong Kong exploitative movies The Untold Story (1993) (which features human flesh in Chinese style pork bun) and Ebola Syndrome (1996) (which features human flesh in hamburger – notice the connection?). Although the exploitation is the selling point of the movie, the best surprise is its story.
The protagonist is a professor specializing in the research of a medical condition that causes people to be unable to sleep. Early on it is hinted that it may have something to do with a curse. Then the story unfolds between two generations of people, back to the days of the protagonist’s father, who was forced to work for Japanese during the era of Japanese occupation, and met a group of women who were abducted to be comfort women (sex slaves).
If this movie is viewed as a drama, the exploitative scenes are unnecessary and the ending does not make a whole lot of sense. However, since the story is actually an excuse for the exploitation, this excuse is the best I’ve ever watched in this category, although I do not claim to have watched a lot of this type of movies.
Note: The Japanese actor, who played the role of evil Japanese commander in this movie, wrote a blog expressing his frustration and quit acting after having finished this movie.