Friday, September 4, 2009

Sex is Zero (2002)

Starring Chang Jung Lim, Ha Jin Won, Choi Seong-Guk, Jin Jae-Yeong
Directed by Yun Je Gyun

This is a pretty loopy South Korean comedy that apes American Pie-style US teen sex romps, but thrashes around in several different directions as it rolls on. The basic story involves nerdy over-aged college student Eun Sik (Chang Jung Lim) and his pursuit of driven aerobics champ Eun Hyo, who barely notices he's alive. She's pretty icy to everybody, really, which makes it sorta hard to like her, but then, I am not a 26 year old Korean college student, so who am I to judge? Anyway, Eun does whatever he can to impress her, like bashing sticks over his head and nearly drowning himself in a bucket in front of her, typical adolescent hijinks like that.

Meanwhile, he belongs to some weird club of like-minded freaks who practice endurance tests all day for no specific reason. Some of the endurance club geeks are also his roommates, and he's basically tormented by them throughout the film. And that's the set-up. Will our hapless hero get the girl? Sure. Will he endure pain, humiliation, and self-doubt along the way? Oh, in spades. This whole movie is about tormenting the poor bastard.

Will we all learn some life lessons along the way? Yeah, and that's the problem with this one. The third act veers violently into serious teen drama all of a sudden, and has a difficult time backing out of it. Still, before the after-school special kicks in, there's a good hour or so of seriously gross gross-out humor, including (real) puke scenes, anal sex, and the unforgettable sight of a guy frying his own sperm like eggs and feeding it - with rat poison - to Eun Sik. That shit was just fuckin' alarming.

But, you know, the girls all look like this, so who can complain?

Clip: Sex is Zero trailer. In Korean!

- Ken McIntyre

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