Sex Medusa (2000)

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Released 8-Jun-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-The Undiscovered Tomb, Chinese Heroes, Snake Charmer
Trailer-The King Boxer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 99:08
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Lor Wai Tak
Studio
Distributor
My Way Film Co Ltd
Beyond Home Entertainment
Starring Miho Nomoto
Carrie Ng
Elvis Tsui
Vincent Wang
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $14.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    A large snake hatches from some eggs in the sewer, and soon morphs into a naked young woman. Found by Charles (Elvis Tsui), a man who hides a guilty secret that renders him impotent, she is at first mute, but learns speech from watching news broadcasts. She starts to take on more human characteristics, but arouses the suspicions of Grace (Carrie Ng), a researcher who is trying to develop a way to make pests kill each other so that pesticides are no longer needed.

    That is the premise for this fairly silly film, which features a fair bit of the flesh of Japanese model/actress Miho Nomoto. Nomoto tends to takes her clothes off in her films, as it distracts one from her acting, or perhaps I should describe it as non-acting. Viewers of cult films shown on SBS-TV may recognise her from such films as Face of a Yakuza, Female Ninja Chronicles and Fudoh: The New Generation. She is quite lovely but seems to have trouble expressing anything, and is acted off the film by the equally lovely Carrie Ng.

    While this is a silly film, it probably would be watchable if the transfer was reasonable. However, video-wise, this has an appalling transfer, and the audio is an English dub. Yet another disappointing Hong Kong film release from Force Video useful only as a beer coaster.

    Sensitive viewers who ignore the above advice should be warned that there are a couple of sequences involving spiders and snakes experiencing horrible deaths that appear to be real.

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Transfer Quality

Video

   The film is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 but is not 16x9 enhanced. The original aspect ratio seems to have been 1.85:1.

    The first problem with this transfer is the aspect ratio. Rather than being the original aspect ratio as shown in cinemas, this seems to be a cropped version of a 1.33:1 transfer. Frequently the tops of the heads of the actors, or even their entire heads, are cut off by the top of the frame, and the framing at the bottom of the screen also seems wrong. If the original was shot in 1.33:1 and matted to a widescreen aspect ratio, then this has to be one of the most inept instances of matting ever seen in the cinema.

    When zoomed to fill the full screen of a 16x9 television, the transfer is revealed as lacking in any sharpness, with obvious scan lines and distorted detail as a result.

    Colour is fairly typical of Hong Kong films, but even so it is drab and uninteresting. Blacks are dark but due to the other issues with the transfer it is hard to tell whether there are any problems with the colour consistency.

    Aliasing is rife throughout. The transfer is also quite grainy and there are some film artefacts visible in the form of specks and dirt.

    No subtitles are provided and the film is presented on a single layered disc.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The sole audio track is Dolby Digital 2.0, though there seem to be no stereo effects. The audio is an English dub, with American accented voices, and sounds quite unidiomatic.

    The only thing preventing me from nominating this disc for the Hall of Shame is the audio transfer. While the audio is not brilliant, dialogue is generally clear and the audio can be listened to without cringing. I have heard much worse.

    The music score is typical for this sort of film and really there is nothing to say against it. It suits the film quite well without being distinctive.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Theatrical Trailer (1:38)

    This is in the same aspect ratio as the feature, and has the same problems.

Trailers - Undiscovered Tomb, Chinese Heroes, Snake Charmer, King Boxer (7:02)

    Widescreen but not 16x9 enhanced trailers for these Force Video releases.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    There is a Region 1 DVD available, but I have not been able to locate any reviews of it. From the specifications, it is 1.85:1 and 16x9 enhanced, which would make it preferable to the Region 4.

Summary

    The film would not be so bad if it could be seen in its original form. But sadly...

    The video quality is simply terrible.

    The audio quality is adequate.

    The extras are just some trailers.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Philip Sawyer (Bio available.)
Sunday, July 11, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony 86CM Trinitron Wega KVHR36M31. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player, Dolby Digital, dts and DVD-Audio. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationYamaha RX-V596 for surround channels; Yamaha AX-590 as power amp for mains
SpeakersMain: Tannoy Revolution R3; Centre: Richter Harlequin; Rear: Pioneer S-R9; Subwoofer: JBL SUB175

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