“Becomes sensory overload, throwing despair, degradation and dark comedy at the audience with gobs of style and absolutely no pity” - Kozo, LOVE HK FILM
Director: Soi Cheang
Screenplay: Izô Hashimoto, Szeto Kam-Yuen
Cast: Shawn Yue, Masato, Dylan Kuo, Francis Ng, Bruce Leung, Annie Liu, Ryo Ishibashi
Producers: Sam Leong
Distributor: Tai Seng Entertainment
Adapted from a popular mange with a mixed Chinese-Japanese production team, SHAMO stars the ubiquitous Shawn Yue—seriously, the guy’s in everything these days—as Ryo, a troubled young man jailed for killing his parents. Jail is hard for anyone, but it is particularly so for Ryo. His case was particularly shocking and violent. The ensuing media frenzy made him something of a celebrity before he ever arrived within the prison’s walls, and the last thing you want to do in prison is stick out. If people know you then you are a target, and Ryo spends every day of his prison life being beaten by his fellow inmates, the guards not caring enough to do anything about it, until the prison’s martial arts coach takes Ryo under his wing and teaches him to defend himself. By the time he emerges, Ryo is a hardened, brutal fighting machine, his only goals to find his sister and make a name for himself in the ring. But legitimacy won’t come easy for a high-profile ex-con, and Ryo is not exactly gifted with patience…
If Soi Cheang’s DOG BITE DOG came at you like a punch to the gut, then his follow-up film, SHAMO, is a kick in the teeth. Stylish, emotionally raw and intensely violent, this is a film that leaves its audiences just as battered, bruised and beaten as its lead character. Existing in a world somewhere between a ’90s Hong Kong Category III film and 1970s Japanese exploitation, SHAMO is brash, colourful and brutal. The fights are plentiful, the action punishing. Come prepared.