2023 New York Asian Film Fest Review
MAD FATE by Director Cheang Pou-soi: Some Fates Can Be So Fickle That You’re Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don’t

MAD FATE is a kinetically charged blast of derring-do filmmaking by an auteur with an inimitable prowess that allows his creative genius to sweep audiences to incredible levels of entertainment pleasure. This reviewer’s Cinematic Richter Scale Rating (#WCRSR) for MAD FATE is off the chart!

Veteran Korean Director Cheang Pou Soi’s gem of a movie that has elements of several move genres – horror, supernatural, gut-wrenching terror – had this reviewer’s mind, body and soul writhing. I’m sure many in the audience will have similar experiences. Hint to WORD patrons: Be prepared for feeling viscerally compelled to see MAD FATE more than once.

The visual flow of phantasmagoric, supernatural and paranormal scenes and images added an extra rush to this reviewer’s willingness to suspend belief that supernatural and paranormal forces can’t influence human fate. Sophisticated slapstick of a darkly comedic, razor sharp edge and rapier wit flows through MAD FATE from opening to end. And the cinematography can be breathtaking.

Feng Shui Occult Master (played by Gordon Lam). A nightmarish moment.

Every character because of his or her fate, is threatened with death, harm and perils beyond belief as well as being bloodied, hammered, smacked, stomped, stabbed, shot … and so on … and so forth … because they miss or can’t comprehend harbingers of things to come.

The Story

The plot intertwines the incredulous fates of people who cross paths at the scene of a heinous murder of a prostitute in a brothel. Astral signs and dark omens are real in MAD FATE: For a misogynistic serial killer whose lust to slaughter prostitutes is triggered by rain storms; for a delivery man, obsessed with sharp knives, who guts black cats; for an honest veteran police inspector who started arresting the black-cat-gut-er when he was a kid; and for a Feng Shui Master Occultist who is always trying to convince people that he understands the astral signs and dark omens that influence the fates of men and women, no matter their status in life – and that he can help them.

Yet, in the course of his missions and predictions, he has caused harsh tragedy for himself and people close to him and, thus, is saddled with incredible guilt that influences his senses and actions. He had predicted the murder victim’s gory fate but couldn’t prevent it.

Summary: MAD FATE is a surreal, hyperkinetic thriller with a sophisticated slapstick rarely seen on the Big Screen.

Director: Cheang Pou Soi
Feng Shui Master played by Ka-Tung Lam
The Serial Killer played by Peter Chan
Young Prostitute Jo played by Wing-Sze Ng


Editor, Reviewer Gregg W. Morris can be reached at gregghc@comcast.net, profgreggwmorris@gmail.com