- Director:Pang Ho-cheung
- Cast:Dada Chan, Ronald Cheng, Fiona Sit, Kristal Tin, Chapman To
- Release Date:August 16, 2012
- Distributor:China Lion
- Running time:93 minutes
- Film Worth:$14.00
- FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
This ironic HK movie within a movie trades in crass humour championed by recent Hollywood R rated hits, but something is lost in translation.
Vulgaria starts with ironic captions informing us, the audience, that the film is not at all suitable for children. Given that recent Hollywood comedies – post Judd Apatow – occupy this elusive space between PG goofiness and R-rated sex references, we should be used to all this. Vulgaria also adopts the trope of making itself about a filmmaker’s life, so that it can do film-within-a-film sequences to its heart’s content.
The “hero” is a film producer. He is holding a live masterclass at a film school, where he starts by blandly dropping into his patter all the topics that his Chinese audience consider most taboo. Then in the flashbacks to his disaster-dogged film producing career, we get even more lurid sequences. “Producer” (as he is respectfully known) plans to make a smash hit adult art movie called Confessions Of A Concubine II. The only people who will bankroll this are a mafia-style gang who expect it to be an exploitation film come porn story. Producer gets drunk with these guys to seal the deal, whereupon the lead gangster, “Tyrannosaur”, offers him the chance to screw his pet mule, which has been brought into the club, complete with a fetching bonnet. Producer declines this delightful invitation, but this angers Tyrannosaur, who then insists that his mule (who is also his girlfriend) must have a speaking part in the film…
It’s not that Vulgaria is merely crass or naively lavatorial, as some Chinese comedies can be. It’s actually postmodern and poised about its vulgar humour, but renting The Hangover might be an easier way to get gross-out laughs. Then again, the addition of foreign fare does spice up the visual diet.