Pure Evil Exists

By Young Film Critic Nick M

Attending IFFR 2017 for Dutch premiere and three midnight screenings of Kfc, young Vietnamese filmmaker Lê Bình Giang warned audiences who watch his splatstick debut film that they would not be able to sleep. Though 69 minutes of this bizarre experience is not for the faint-hearted, an unique and distinct perspective on evil is clarified at the end.

A Part of Bright Future 2017, Kfc is directed by the 26-years-old filmmaker Lê Bình Giang who was educated in Film at the University of Theatre and Cinema of Ho Chi Minh city. The main theme of this 69-minutes debut feature film is about the cyclical effect of violence. 

The story takes place in a fictional city of Vietnam and in an ambiguous time period. Here, a cycle of cruelty is set in motion by several characters. A cannibalistic doctor who uses an ambulance to hit a couple in the street at night and then raping an unconscious woman. His obese son, also addicted to the taste of human flesh, befriending the children of a prostitute who fell victim to the deadly doctor. Another boy roaming the streets who becomes friends with the two children. A man whose wife has also fallen victim to the doctor... This amoral violence and revenge is inevitably being passed on to the following generation.

Bizarre Dreams

Six years ago as a student majoring in Film, Lê Bình Giang had had some bizarre dreams about the good and the evil, cannibalism and fastfood, and even what does it taste like if we mix Pepsi and Coca Cola?. And then the idea of Kfc came up promptly to him. However, he was not allowed to graduate because the script was considered too violent by the Council of Examiners. Giang did not give up on his debut feature film project and tried to find sponsors. In 2013, he won the “Film of the Future” Award at the Autumn Meeting which is a non-profit annual international film event taking place every autumn in Da Nang and Hoi An, Vietnam. In order to complete the whole budget for production, he asked his family and friends to support this project. After five years of continuous production, divided into three phrases of filming process, Lê Bình Giang finally made Kfc.

This is a fiercely original filmmaking debut for Lê Bình Giang, as a director, co-producer, screenwriter, and also film editor. In a splatter film that runs for a little bit more than one hour, there are numerous visually shocking scenes on screen, such as cannibalism, child abuse, kid violence, visible physical torture, necrophilia, bloody accidents… which are totally not suitable for the faint-hearted. Beside the shocking elements, Giang also proves that he had a sense of humor by mocking multinational brands including Pepsi, Coca Cola, and the indispensable KFC. 

Promising future

As Lê Bình Giang explained: KFC is one of the world's largest restaurant chains and a typical symbolism of fast food which has become more and more popular in our modern life. The same to pure evil which is appearing everywhere. But normally we always treat them as something bad, something need to be devastated. Pure evil exists and lives a parallel life with the good, just like fastfood. Although they are not good for health, we could not live without them nowadays."

Impressive camera work was expressed through some long-shot scenes, using light in sex scenes and almost bloody torture scenes. As it can be seen that first-time feature film director Lê Bình Giang has a promising future in horror, thriller and even dark comedy.

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