The popular Taiwanese filmmaker and novelist Giddens
Ko has written the novel this film is based on, and also the script.
I've only seen one other film with Ko involved and that was Mon Mon
Mon Monsters which he directed, scripted and produced,
and that one was a pretty good teenage horror drama with an apocalyptic
tone to it.
The Tenants Downstairs is an odd one indeed. Bizarre, funny, sad, horrific
and yes, disgusting. A freakshow for the cult film crowd,
and as it's released as a Category III in Hong Kong there can only be
one actor in the lead role, and if it's not Anthony Wong it just
have to be the one and only - Simon Yam. A great actor
with international roles under his belt but with legendary status achieved
to his roles in infamous 1990's Golden Era nasties as Dr. Lamb and Run
But, yes, Yam has acted in tons of Hong Kong films and also in art movies
as Pang Ho Cheung's Exodus (my favourite Yam film).
The film starts with an interrogation. The police is
questioning an unknown middle-aged man about the disappearance of a
of his tenants. He's Mr. X (Simon Yam) the landlord of an apartment
house and tells the police officer that the story he's about to
tell will be truly out of his imagination, and then follows the Flashback
with Mr. X narrating the story.
A man lying on his deathbed gives his distant relative,
the somewhat hobo looking Mr. X, the keys to a building (in Taipeh?),
abandoned rat infested apartment building with a control room with monitor
surveillance of the apartment rooms.
There's a time jump in the narration and obviously Mr.
X has restored the building and got ridden of the rats and is now The
Landlord, renting out his apartments to ... a selected ... group of
To: the divorced Mr. Wang and his 9 year old daughter, a nerdy student
interested in parapsychology (Hou Yan-Xi), the sexy
office worker Ms. Chen (Xing Li), a homosexual couple, gym teacher Chang
(Kaiser Chuang) and the mysterious woman Ying ru
Mr. Landlord is obsessed with spying on his tenants,
surveying them, studying them, and he's keeping a dossier with notes
about everyone of them. But, the mystic woman Ying ru he can't figure
out and she has a blank page in his notebook. What on
earth makes her tick? What about her huge collection of red suitcases?
He crosses the line and enters her room when she's out and when he then
decides to take an active part in his tenants lives,
arranging things, perverse ones, like a puppeteer or a God ... an evil
God, the result is madness, death and deliria.
But it starts in a relatively harmless funny way as when, after feeding
his tenants with aphrodisiacs Mr. Chang breaks into Ms.
Chen's apartment and sniffs her panties and licks her toilet, or when
he lures the student into believing he has teleportated.
DVD presented in anamorphic widescreen with a mandarin
audio DD 5.1 with english subtitles, a trailer and a gallery