The Rapist

August 6, 2017 at 9:19 pm (7 Heads, Rapist) (, , , )

The Rapist – 1994 – Hong Kong

The Rapist is about a serial rapist who prowls the halls of a low-rent apartment complex. A police detective tries to track him down. Cat-and-mouse games ensue. The detective taunts the rapist in television broadcasts, and sets traps for him using an undercover policewoman as bait. Eventually, the rapist is caught when he falls in love with a victim and invites her on a date. She agrees and tips off the police.

The Rapist is unsettlingly violent and sexual, and its lengthy graphic scenes of rape and abuse are hard to sit through. The film explores the psychology of the rapist. He was abandoned by his mother and is neglected by his stepmother. He paints erotic anime statues as a hobby. I was disturbed to discover that The Rapist is based on an actual Hong Kong police case.

The Rapist could be a throwaway exercise in exploitation, but it is actually pretty interesting. Instead of using sophisticated forensic science, the detective and his team spend hours questioning people. Although the rapes occur in a densely populated building, potential witnesses avoid the police. They are lazy, scared, or just too busy and don’t want to become embroiled in the investigation. The rapist’s victims provide testimony, but it is unreliable. In one scene, a victim confidently selects the wrong perpetrator in a police lineup.

The Rapist is enhanced by atmospheric images of urban Hong Kong. The sprawling low-rent apartment complex has an ambiance of loneliness and oppression. The film’s percussive industrial-like soundtrack is intense and eerie.

Rating: 7/10 Shrunken Heads. One character suggests that the frequent rapes in this particular apartment complex is because there is no brothel nearby. I’m not quite sure what to say about that.

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