- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 20, 2002

In the tradition of David Fincher's "Seven," the acclaimed 2000 Korean import Tell Me Something, new from Kino Video, is an unabashedly bloody indeed, at times downright gushy serial-killer thriller that's not afraid to pull out all the celluloid shock stops. It's our Video pick of the week.
"Tell Me Something" (priced for rental VHS, also available on DVD) has Korean leading man Han Suk-Gyu starring as troubled cop Lt. Cho, in mourning over his mother's recent death and under investigation for graft. His problems expand exponentially when trash bags stuffed with mixed body parts start surfacing around Seoul.
The killings are linked: All the victims were once romantically involved with the same woman, demure artist Su-yeon Chae (Shim Eun-Ha). Suspects, including Su-yeon's possessive father and her doctor friend Sung-min (Yum Jung-ah), steadily accumulate, while the case grows more complicated with Cho's increasing attraction to the enigmatic, imperiled Su-yeon.
Slickly shot by director Chan Youn-Hyun in atmospheric Seoul locales and impeccably acted by the entire cast, "Tell Me Something" confidently builds its case, succeeding as an expertly constructed police movie, complex romance and envelope-pushing horror film.
"Tell Me Something" is obviously not for the easily unnerved. But if you possess sufficient intestinal fortitude to enjoy the above-cited "Seven" or "The Silence of the Lambs," you'll find this gripping suspenser well worth the price of an overnight rental. Fans of large-scale action may also want to scope out another lavish Korean import, Shiri, available via Columbia TriStar (priced for rental VHS, $24.98 DVD).


The 'A' list

In 'A' list developments, expect a quartet of theatrical sci-fi titles to beam down into local vidstores next month. Dimension Home Video introduces a "director's cut" of Gary Fleder's much-maligned futuristic thriller Impostor, drawn from a story by Philip K. Dick (responsible for "Blade Runner" and "Total Recall") starring Gary Sinise and Madeleine Stowe.
Columbia/TriStar offers Resident Evil, the big-screen video-game adaptation by Paul Anderson, known for "Event Horizon." It stars Milla Jovovich as a zombie-fighting superheroine, along with Michelle Rodriguez.
DreamWorks launches the computer-driven remake of The Time Machine by Simon Wells, the great-grandson of H.G. Wells, with Guy Pearce as H.G.'s intrepid Edwardian time-traveler.
In a somewhat lighter vein, Lions Gate Home Entertainment proffers writer-director Harry Ralston's doomsday romantic comedy (a rather small subgenre) The Last Man, wherein a nerdy David Arnott sees his hopes for landing foxy lone femme survivor Jeri Ryan threatened by the appearance of hunky rival Dan Montgomery. All four titles will be priced for rental VHS and also available on DVD.


Swingin' spies
Keyed to the latest "Austin Powers" big-screen adventure, 20th Century Fox revives a happening foursome of tongue-in-cheek 1960s spy flicks: Raquel Welch plays a sexy skydiver hired to retrieve a lost atomic device in the fanciful Fathom, co-starring Anthony Franciosa. Sleek secret agent Monica Vitti turns the tables on her duplicitous British government employers in the pop-art-influenced Modesty Blaise.
A suave James Coburn performs unlikely feats of daring as super-agent Derek Flint in the popular James Bond send-ups Our Man Flint and In Like Flint, both co-starring Lee J. Cobb as Derek's flinty boss, along with the expected bevy of curvy beauties without which no self-respecting '60s spy spoof could be considered complete. The DVD titles will be priced at a fan-friendly $9.98 each.


Price is right
While Halloween is a long way off, fright fans get can an early fix with the fascinating shock doc Vincent Price: The Sinister Image (All Day Entertainment, $24.95 DVD). The disc features a lengthy, informative 1987 interview with the eloquent horror star conducted by David Del Valle, along with bonus audio interviews and radio shows, the 1965 TV special "The Wild World of Dr. Goldfoot" and a priceless Vincent Price photo gallery with more than 200 rare stills.


Phan mail

Dear Phantom: Do you know where I can find a movie I saw in the mid-1980s, called Savage Harvest? It's a true story about lions that came down from the hills looking for food because of a long drought. They start killing the village people and then go after the overseer and his family, who live in a compound.
Karen Barnett, Washington, D.C.
Unfortunately, that fact-based 1981 thriller, starring Tom Skerritt and Michelle Phillips, has yet to join the home-video ranks.
Send your video comments and queries to Phantom of the Movies, The Washington Times, 3600 New York Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20002 or e-mail us at: [email protected] Check out our Web site at www.videoscopemag.com.

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