Ebola Syndrome (1996)

Starring Anthony Wong Chau-Sang, Meng Lo, Miu-Ying Chan, Vincent Wang

Written by Ting Chau

Directed by Herman Yau

I suppose that anything boasting the simple title of Ebola Syndrome would either have to be the latest documentary on the vicious disease or, of course, a horror film. This being my latest review coupled with the fact that there’s no dire subtitle (how about The Liquefying Evil of Infectious Disease?), we’ll skip the educational and get right down to the genre of choice.

Though I’m not saying there’s nothing to be learned from Ebola Syndrome. Hell no, there’s a quite a few lessons about the perils of being insane and loathsome. The movie opens in your face, choosing to skip any kind of slow establishment of character and plot and instead moves right along into the territory of adultery turned all out homicide. Kai, the criminal in question having been caught with the boss’s wife, soon executes his victims (that would be the aforementioned wife, her husband, and the poor friend of the boss who has the unfortunate luck of being on the pointy side of a pair of scissors headed straight for Crotchville…ouch). After dousing the now dead parents’ young daughter with gasoline and readying himself to light her up, he’s interrupted by a friend of the family, thus vanquishing him in one the easiest escapes by a psycho killer on film.

Now I had no idea that there was such a thriving Chinese population in Johannesburg, South Africa, but apparently there is and this is where our leading man ends up, and in the same situation he was in before: shitty job working for an asshole who underpays him and treats him like shit, and a hot wife who does the same (this one won’t have sex with him, much to Kai’s whiny chagrin). You’d think Kai would have the sense to stop being such a lazy bastard and learn to hone his job hunting skills, but I suppose the excuse of being a murderer on the run allows for certain liberties with laziness. Did I mention what a prick he is? He’s a truly disgusting man and the fact that he works in a restaurant only makes the thought of him that much more vile. If you’ve ever entered a restaurant and questioned the cleanliness of the place, this movie will certainly make you think twice about dwelling on such thoughts, or at least keep you off Chinese food for a while; especially the pork. Which is where our friend Ebola makes its entrance.

I’m of the opinion that people who are monumentally stupid only get what they deserve, and Ebola Syndrome takes that belief and literally grinds the noses of the moronic head first into their own filth. Kai and his boss, sick of dealing with “whites” (the subtitles on this bad boy are severely lacking), opt to try their luck buying meat from the “blacks”. They travel out into tribal country and head into a village where the pig is cheap, but actually they’re just there to cheat these people, so the following events are truly karmic. Upon entering the village they’re greeted with a ritual being performed on some very sick looking people. I don’t know about you, but if I were in S. Africa and happened upon a village full of people bleeding from their eyes, I’d stick with old Whitey and his pigs. On the way back home, dead pigs in tow, the boys get into a fight and split up. Kai of course runs into a young woman of the topless variety who he decides to rape (yes he’s even got rape on list of “skills”) after she falls to the ground unconscious. Need I say karma again? In the midst of his misdeed, Kai’s victim begins to spasm and spews forth a milky white, puss like substance all over his grossed out mug. Ah, the sweet, if not oblivious, revenge of a woman.

From here on out it’s safe to assume what happens next, but it’s all about the execution (no pun intended). Kai eventually ends up back in Hong Kong and his exploits are marked by a trail of seizing victims. The horrid acting and paper thin story (yes they attempted a story in addition to the mayhem and gore) are forgivable only for the hilarity with which it’s presented. If you thought a movie full of pork masturbation, people burgers, and a sex crazed Ebola carrier wasn’t gonna be worth watching, you might want to rethink that the next time you’re looking for something a little more extreme.

2 ½ out of 5

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Jon Condit