Halloween Endurance Test: Save the Green Planet! (2003)

This South Korean film runs highly touted in my circle of (dead) friends. Sold on the fact that it is “torture porn;” a genre all my friends (alive and dead!) agree suits me just fine. The story is about a deranged factory worker who’s come to believe that certain members of the population are aliens. And thus it’s his job to capture and a.) determine whether they’re extraterrestrial, and b.) extract as much information about their plot as he can.

The film is agreeable, but certainly not due to its blood content. (Which, by Dead Alive standards, is rather slim.) It works because you’re never quite sure what you’re watching. Is it a horror/sci-fi send up? There’s plenty of winks to the audience to make you think so. But right as you become confident that it is a comedy, it’ll hit you with something grotesque.

Case in point: early on after the kidnapping, you’re treated to a exposition about the aliens’ powers. They’re quite resilient to pain. They communicate through their telepathic hair follicles. They can control you through said follicles.

While all this is being explained you’re treated to glimpses of the narrator’s notes; all comically drawn. This sets a tone that is immediately contradicted by the next sequence, where they use sand paper to scrape off the top layer of the alien’s feet. So they can apply Menthol rub to weaken the alien’s immune system.

So if you enjoy horror films with wildly varying tones, this one’s for you. Perhaps the most gruesome part is the end: when the torture victim tricks his assailant into murdering his own mother. You’ll actually feel bad for the torturer!

Not the easiest film to find, but well worth the trouble.

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