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Karaoke Crazies

Quebec Premiere
  • South Korea
  • 2016
  • 106 mins
  • DCP
  • Korean
  • English (subtitles)
Official Selection: South by Southwest Film Festival 2016, Boston Underground Film Festival 2016

"A pleasant jolt of nostalgia for the early days of the Korean film renaissance" – Pierce Conran, TWITCH

Located in the middle of nowhere, Addiction Karaoke doesn’t quite live up to its name. The place is deserted and owner Sung-wook is crushed by debts, forgetting his troubles by falling asleep every night in front of assorted porno sites. When a very rare group of customers asks for an assistant to sing with them, he hires the enigmatic Ha-suck, a young woman with a debilitating addiction to online games, questionable personal hygiene and all the social graces of a clod of dirt. While the hiring of Ha-suck is initially catastrophic, the threat of Internet disconnection obligates her to — ahem — do double duty to make sure the clients leave happy. The results are instantaneous. Male customers pour in, so many that a second hostess is hired, the bubbly Na-ju, who has no intention of clutching anything other than a mic. Even if each has a personal drama to hide, the folks at Addiction Karaoke seem to have found their place — but a serial killer is on the loose and threatens to upend the fragile peace.

With its crafty blend of black comedy and poignant drama, shifting suddenly into brutal suspense, KARAOKE CRAZIES marke the triumphant return of director Kim Sang-chan (HIGHLAND STAR) with his first feature in almost a decade. Kim and his scriptwriter Park Ji-hong populate their tale with a gallery of hard-knock, almost hopeless characters who are nonetheless profoundly sympathetic, played with panache by actors at ease with both the lighthearted moments and the dark. These misfits gradually grow into a cheerfully dysfunctional family of sorts inside Addiction Karaoke, the club itself becoming a star in its own right with its sumptuously kitschy décor, lit and shot to finest effect. You won’t want to leave when you walk in on KARAOKE CRAZIES!

— Nicolas Archambault