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Koma (2002)

Andy Hui , Karena Lam , Lo Chi-Leung  |  R |  DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Andy Hui, Karena Lam, Lee Sinje, Liu Kai-chi, Annie Man
  • Directors: Lo Chi-Leung
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: Cantonese
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Tartan Video
  • DVD Release Date: March 8, 2005
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007M23D8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #164,193 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

KOMA intricately weaves a jaw-clenching, teeth-grinding joyride through the darkest regions of the human psyche. A psychological thriller tackling the urban myth of organ theft from a humane perspective, Hong Kong director Lo Chi Leung weaves an emotional cat-and-mouse game between two women. As facts begin to emerge, the truth becomes clearer - one has something that the other one desperately needs. As they become closer to each other, they find themselves on the brink of unspeakable danger.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chinese Hitchcock June 2, 2005
"Koma" is a surprisingly suspenseful film. While there is enough gore to certainly warrant horror flick categorization, director Chi-Leung Law delivers a very old school Hitchcock suspense tale. Close-ups on objects like a foot dragging across the floor leaving a bloodstained trail heighten the suspense and move the story. Angelica Lee as Fung Chi-Ching, a girl who needs a new kidney and has inhibitions that keep her from fully embracing her boyfriend, does a good job and hits many levels from hysteria to jealousy to drunken delirium. Andy Hui who plays her boyfriend, Dr. Tsui Wai-man, hits a number of levels also from the guy in love to the man whose hormones outpace his common sense. As researcher Suen Ling, Karena Lam projects a person who has had a difficult upbringing and as frequently as not walks on the shady side of the street. The twists of plot that trace a kidney thief who black-markets organs for $60,000 a pop never leaves you quite settled until the final frame. Subtitled with Chinese dialog the often sparsely verbal picture translates well to an international audience. "Koma" turns out to be a pleasant, often intelligent, surprise. Enjoy!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Having seen so many Asian horror films recently with a supernatural bent, I feared "Koma" might be more of the same. I have nothing against supernatural horror, per se, I was just in the mood for some variety. Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised by the very real, yet delightfully over-the-top, world of "Koma" by Hong Kong filmmaker Chi-Leung Law. This lurid revenge film about illegal organ harvesting may not qualify as "art," but it embraces its delirious plot and brings a classic urban legend to life. And while I loved the macabre silliness of the film's central plot, its gruesome treats are somewhat hampered by inconsistent pacing and far-fetched story twists.

"Koma" begins innocently enough with Kar Yan Lam, as the film's meek heroine, attending a wedding reception. Stumbling drunkenly through a hotel, she happens upon a grisly scene. A young woman, bleeding profusely, has just awoken in a tub of ice with her kidney removed. While the victim is flailing on the floor for help, Lam herself narrowly escapes being murdered. We flash forward to the police station, Lam identifies another woman who she saw suspiciously lurking around the scene of the crime. This lady, played by Angelica Lee, may or may not be involved in the amateur surgery--but one thing is for sure, she has had an affair with Lam's fiance. This coincidence propels the remainder of the film as the ladies engage in some psychological headgames.

Without spoiling too much of the plot, it does evolve in rather unexpected ways. The relationship between the women (and the fiance, for that matter) is complicated. It changes in ways that I will not mention as the film does attempt some level of clever character development. The women may have more in common than it first appears.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classy Thriller April 25, 2005
Once again, Asian cinema shows Hollywood how a truly great thriller is made. Koma plays on the well-known kidney thief legend, but it turns into a white knuckle psychological thriller. Wealthy but ill socialite Chi Ching (Angelica Lee) witnesses the horrifying aftermath of a kidney theft while attending a friend's wedding. Now determined to prove that the quiet yet eerie Suen Ling (Kar Yan Lam) is the culprit, Ching finds herself pulled into tense game of cat-and-mouse. Koma benefits from stunning production, spot-on acting, and great writing. If you love Asian cinema, especially horror and thriller genres, then Koma is definitely a must-have.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
*Subtle Spoilers May Reside Within - Travel Carefully*

I always worry when I read a film-description involving the words "serpentine thriller." "Serpentine" like Miike's "Koroshiya 1" (Ichi the Killer)? Between the non-linear plot and reading the subtitles, a "fun film" turned into a gargantuan mental-exercise (this is not the film's fault, but mine). Or maybe it would be "serpentine" like Kim Ji-Woon's "Janghwa, Hongryeon" (A Tale of Two Sisters)? That film was two steps ahead of me throughout (again, this is my shame). So when I ordered Law Chi-Leung's "Jiu Ming" ("Koma"), I was worried ... needlessly.

The plot is linear and effortless to follow: think a combination of Blanks' Urban Legend (but featuring adults) with a dash of Lyne's Fatal Attraction (but sans the bunny-boiling). The main thrust of the film is the infamous "kidney heist" myth (including ice-baths and the "Call 911 or You Will Die" scrawl). But, twists abound. (Better add a pinch of novice-Hitchcock).

The cinematography is above-average. The use color is clever: Chi Ching's (Angelica Lee's) renal-disease is emphasized by her yellow wardrobe while Suen Ling's (Kar Yan Lam's) red wardrobe is used to foreshadow. Nicely done. Furthermore, the acting is both convincing and engaging ... but not enough to boost this film to stellar status. The film's flaw is the writing ... it was a bit transparent (especially the conclusion).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this film!
One of the best of Hong Kong in my opinion. I really love this movie--if you love asian cinema this is definitely one to see!
Published on February 23, 2012 by Liz-N
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad little thriller.
<strong>Jiu Ming</strong> (Chi-leung Law, 2004)

...and then there was <em>Jiu Ming</em> (released in the west as <em>Koma</em>), the second... Read more
Published on December 29, 2011 by Robert Beveridge
4.0 out of 5 stars Well-made thriller with some great performances
Koma is a neat little film that doesn't break any new ground but is successful in what it sets out to do. Read more
Published on August 12, 2011 by Phillip Frangules
2.0 out of 5 stars Too Predcitable.
This movie I just found too predictable and figured it early. FF and yup I was right about everything. Read more
Published on January 15, 2011 by maskedgamer
3.0 out of 5 stars Despite a lot of of nonsense plot twists, its watchable.
There are some nonsense plot twists in the film involving the protagonist rendering decisions that no right-minded person ever would. Read more
Published on June 11, 2009 by Vort3xxX
3.0 out of 5 stars Did you hear the one about the woman who woke in a tub of ice?
Everyone know the urban legend about the woman who wakes up in a tub of ice to find her kidneys have been stolen. Read more
Published on January 7, 2008 by Genevieve Hayes
3.0 out of 5 stars Did you hear the one about the woman who woke up in a tub of ice?
Everyone know the urban legend about the woman who wakes up in a tub of ice to find her kidneys have been stolen. Read more
Published on January 7, 2008 by Genevieve Hayes
3.0 out of 5 stars Average Hong Kong Thriller: Will Appeal To Some
Directed by Chi-Leung Law, "Koma" boasts a fine supporting cast. The film begins with a wedding party, and one of the brides' friends Ching (Angelica Lee) discovering the bleeding... Read more
Published on September 20, 2007 by Ernest Jagger
4.0 out of 5 stars be careful whom you make friends with...
I thought that *Koma* was an interesting foreign thriller. *Koma* is based on the popular urban legend of one waking up in a bathtub of ice with a kidney surgically removed. Read more
Published on March 19, 2007 by LARRY
3.0 out of 5 stars original interesting thriller victim of a poor DVD treatment by...
This movie is remarkably engaging. Some lunatic is stealing people's kidneys bringing terror to a young girl in particular. Read more
Published on January 26, 2007 by JB
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