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I was stoked when I first heard of the concept for this film (although, for some reason, it's taken me years to actually see it). Uniting three of the finest Asian horror directors, "3 Extremes" is an anthology showcasing short films--each about 40 minutes in length. Well, there's good news and bad news. Overall, I quite enjoyed "3 Extremes" and would recommend it to any fans of the genre. But as with most things in the anthology format, different segments will appeal to different people. And, interestingly enough, the filmmaker I was eagerly anticipating presented the most mundane story and the one I was least familiar with provided the film's best moments.

The first segment is "Dumplings," courtesy of Hong Kong's Fruit Chan. Chan, whose work I am the least familiar with, provides the most wickedly entertaining story. Bai Ling (and who doesn't love Bai Ling?) plays an industrious entrepreneur who makes and markets special dumplings that help women regain their youth. Operating out of her apartment, the dumplings are prepared lovingly with.....let's just call it a special ingredient. I found the entire episode to be smart and grotesque--always a winning combination. I'd award this segment 5 stars.

Next up, the macabre and over-the-top entry from Korea's Park Chan-Wook is entitled "Cut." Chan-Wook has increased in popularity lately due to "Old Boy" and the "Vengeance" pictures, and "Cut" doesn't stray too far from that successful formula. A film director finds himself held captive by a disgruntled extra, and to survive he must prove that he is capable of evil. Elaborately staged (think something excessive from the "Saw" franchise), this segment is fascinating and theatrical. It lacks a little bite due to its artifice, but still manages to be great fun. A solid 4 star experience.

Last, we have "Box" from one of my favorites--Japan's Takashi Miike. As I alluded to earlier, this methodically paced segment was the least effective for me. Taking a cue from a traditional Japanese ghost story, a young woman is haunted by a family tragedy in her past. It's pretty standard fare mixing reality with dreams, but a nice ending helps the piece overall. Still, about 3 stars.

Check this out if you're a fan of this type of entertainment. I do wish that they had restructured the segments. If they had been placed in reverse order, the film's momentum would have built. Instead, by leading with the most intriguing segment, it did go somewhat downhill from there. KGHarris, 03/07.
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DUMPLINGS (Hong Kong. directed by Fruit Chan)- An aging woman seeks to regain her youth through unethical, unearthly methods. This one is NOT for anyone who can't stand the sight, or even the thought of unflinching, gynecological horror! I'll never eat dumplings again as long as I live! CUT ( Korea. directed by Park Chan-Wook)- A film director finds himself abducted and forced to make choices between life, death, and dismemberment. Suspenseful, horrific, and (at times) humorous! BOX (Japan, directed by Miike Takashi)- A woman is haunted by nightmares of her twin sister. Many eerie and ghoulish goings-on. Much of the film is dreamlike, giving a sense of unreality. A great ending helps this one! 3 EXTREMES is an excellent anthology for lovers of Asian horror, or horror in general. Well worth owning... P.S.- The 2-disc edition has the full-length feature version of DUMPLINGS. Highly recommended as it fleshes out the story, as well as providing a more thorough narrative...
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on January 20, 2006
I have had this film for several months now, as I purchased it as an all-region import disc. The film is actually an omnibus of three films, one film each directed by Takashi Miike of Japan, Fruit Chan of Hong Kong, and Park Chan-wook of South Korea. Of the two, Miike and Park are no doubt well known here in the U.S. This is my first exposure to the work of Chan and based on his contribution, I look forward to seeing other of his films. The first film is "Box," directed by Miike. This is some of the most strongest, recent work done by Miike. I thought that "Zebraman" was okay, and I was impressed with "Izo" though it did tend to be repetitive. "Box" however, is visually impressive and calls to mind the work of David Lynch. The brief running time also seems to have made for a more coherent and focused story. I don't want to give too much away, but like Miike's best work, "Box" is disturbing and unforgettable. Chan's "Dumplings" follows next. Now, this film is not only disturbing, it's haunting and a bit gross. "Dumplings" isn't gory though. Let me just say that when you find out what the filling in the dumplings is, you may begin to feel a bit queasy. There is a full-length version of this film as well, and I really would like an oppotunity to see that version. Bai Ling is actually pretty funny in this film. She should definitely do more overseas work. "Dumplings" has probably one of the most haunting last shots you will see. Very good film, arguably the best of the three. The last film is "Cut." This is my least favorite of the three. I've seen Park's other films and this one comes across as very light weight. With it's excessive gore the film plays like a "Grand Guignol." Park even appears to satirize his revenge trilogy. Pay attention to the words spoken by the son of the villain of the piece. I recommend this movie wholeheartedly. I don't think you will be disappointed.
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on April 13, 2013
Three separate, albeit short films from three separate directors.
Dumplings can easily be considered morbid. It does present some sensual scenes, but its premise is too easily recognized.
Cut gets into the bizarre with graphic mutilations and difficult choices.
Box is haunting in its expose of an unfortunate catastrophe and its resulting ruination of a woman.
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on June 14, 2014
Basic plot NO SPOILERS:

Three different gruesome stories are told about taboo subjects. There's the lady that wants her youthful appearance back and will go to any length to get those wrinkles to disappear. Next is the story of a washed up actor who cannot accept the fact that the director would not cast him as the main character in a movie - his only way to make himself heard is through revenge. The last story is that of a circus, a box and conjoined twins just as messed up and gory as ever.

*This is a foreign film so there are subtitles. Don't bother turning this on if you won't be able to pay attention 100%.
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on January 3, 2012
Overall, this is a great collection for any horror fan, especially any fan of Asian horror, mostly as it covers the range of three large countries in the Asian horror industry: China, Korea, and Japan; as well as three distinct and prominent aspects of the horror genre in general, namely shock, dark humor, and psychology.

In my opinion, Box was by far the strongest film, followed by Dumplings, and finally Cut. Perhaps that is my subjection favoring more ambiguous and cerebral psychological horror. Personally, I thought Box had an amazingly intriguing plot and near perfect cinematography and directing with a strong message. It was done in a creepy way that didn't rely on gore, shock, or cheap scares. In my opinion, this one short film is worth the price of the whole DVD. I very much wish Takashi Miike would have made it into a feature-length film as it is among his best. I would award this a 5/5.

Dumplings was great too. It succeeded as a great shock movie with an intriguing plot and a great breaking of taboos. I really enjoyed the grotesque nature of the film and found it very unique; it will certainly shock any first-time viewer. I would give this a 4/5.

Unfortunately though, I found Cut to be boring, pointless, and overall just a bad story. I doubt my opinion here is particularly biased either, for I do appreciate dark humor a lot, but nevertheless, I found little value in the story itself, and thought the message was poorly presented. Not to mention, the ending didn't really make a whole lot of sense, and not in the intricate, ambiguous kind of way characteristic of Asian horror films (e.g. Box); plainly, it didn't make any sense to me in the context of the story. I would give this film a 2/5 at best.

Overall, a great collection, with one weak film, and one amazing film. Of course, that is just my opinion based on my personal taste in horror, and many people may find their opinion differs from mine greatly. Certainly, then, buy this film; it is a must-have for any fan of horror, and any fan of Asian horror will definitely not regret it!
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on May 25, 2015
The first was gross but entertaining. The second story was just over the top and not very believable but it did have some gross moments. The third had such promise. The ending was very disappoint. It was something to watch on a rainy afternoon but it really didn't give too many chills or thrills.
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on March 19, 2012
It's not so much fear as it is a sense of being disturbed that grips you as you watch 3 Extremes. True all three short films do contain their own extreme natures but they are not so much horrifying as they are unsettling. Dumplings seemed to be the most stomach clenching, and even that eventually felt like a flu you kept expecting to come back, as in you knew it was bad (upsetting) and knew it would return but you became used to its presence. On the whole all films were well done but not mind blowing. 3 Extreme's fails to live up to the hype it places on itself but remains a powerful film. Renting is recommended.
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on April 29, 2015
When I rent a movie with a title containing the word "extreme", I expect something extreme. It wasn't even extreme in 2006... The 3 stories are slow, non-schocking, a bit bizarre and quite frankly boring.
If you expect an extreme flick, go get something else; this is for absolute horrorfans only who wish to "have seen it all".
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VINE VOICEon February 23, 2007
This is the perfect jumping-off point
for anyone curious about diving into Asian Shock Cinema.
It contains 3 Extreme Tales,
that encompass the brunt of what Asia has to offer.

For those interested in creepy gross-out fests;
Fruit Chan's "Dumplings" will deliver.
For those interested in tales of vengeance;
Chan Wook-Park's "Cut" will leave you in pieces.
And for those seeking a ghost story;
Takashi Miike's "The Box" will haunt you.

I personally ordered this flick twice from Amazon;
- once for myself
- and once for a friend of mine who also loves Eastern Horror

To both my suprise and delight, this is a 2-disc set
The second disc containing the full version of "Dumplings",
which quite honestly, is worth the purchase alone.

Anyways ... on to the movies:

Fruit Chan's "Dumplings"
is easily the most extreme of the 3.
It tells the tale of a woman, whose Home-made Dumplings can restore the youth of anyone who can afford them.
Subsequently, she also runs a clinic out of the back of her shop, where she aquires her youthful ingredients.
Needless to say:
This one is not for The Feint of Heart or Weak of Stomach.

Chan Wook Park's "Cut"
is the most intense of of the 3 Extremes.
More than once it had me on the edge of my futon.
Another tale of of retribution, from the man who masters in the subject.
This tale concerns a POMPOUS director,
who is kidnapped by a demented extra he once employed.
Tied up with a giant rubber-band, that allows for minimum movement,
he must make the most dire decision of his life.
Is he willing to take the life of a little girl to save his wifes?

Takashi Miike's "The Box"
is the most artistic of the 3,
yet sadly, it's the least extreme.
For those who know his work, you will be thoroughly disappointed.
For those who don't know his work (good for you, you may enjoy this)
he is the most extreme of the extreme.
So Extreme "Showtime" wouldn't air his episode of "Masters of Horror" due to graphic content.
(Interesting Side Note:
"Showtime does however play "Ichi the Killer" & "Gozu" - Go Figure)
Anyway he's a cult favorite in both America and his native Japan.
The guy practically screams "extreme" from hemisphere to hemisphere,
so naturally, he seemed like a shoe-in for this project.
Regretfully though, his installment is totally not "Miike"
But since you don't know of his work, it should be fine.
Whatever the case may be....
This ghost tale revolves around 2 Sisters (Sound Familiar?)
Both of whom fall in love with their dance instructor.
The one sister becomes jealous when she finds the other is intimately involved with the trainer, so naturally she locks her sister in a box to keep her safe. (Sounds Rational)
- Loads of artsy atmosphere, gorgeous settings, and enough chills to keep you on ice; but ulimately none of that could save me from the impending confusion, and dare-I-say, boredom that ensued.
- Maybe if you've never seen a "Miike" film before you'll enjoy this one, or maybe if you still like "Ringu" you'll get a kick out of it.
But for me..........
when I order Wheat, I don't want rye.(If you catch my drift)

MORAL OF THE STORY:
Youth has its price
Fame has its price
Love has its price
These are the 3 Extremes
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