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Issue #167 HOME E-mail: mail@dighkmovies.com BACK ISSUES July 7th, 2003

Black Honeymoon
(2000; Taechang Heungeop Co.)

A Masterpiece
Highly Recommended
Very Good
Marginal Recommendation
Not Recommended
Definitely Not Recommended

Korean: Sinhon yeohaeng

Note: There is no English title on the packaging for this release, while the film is identified onscreen as HONEYMOON. I've gone with BLACK HONEYMOON for the review as this is the official English handle according to the The Korean Film Commission website. This DVD is available from Poker Industries as TRAVELING WITH GHOST (sic).

A varied group of newlyweds (rich professionals, old couple trying to reignite their love, virginal innocents, kinky oddballs, etc) head out to Che-Ju Island on a honeymoon tour. The trip starts innocuously enough with a night of carnal bliss (and/or exasperation), some sight-seeing, and a drunken round of karaoke. However, sparks fly when one man (KICK THE MOON's Cha Seung-won) and woman get on-stage together for a song, much to the anger of their respective mates. Later that evening, the pair accidentally end up in bed together, and one is soon found murdered and mutilated. One of the honeymooners is a Seoul detective, forced to take over the investigation when it proves too much for the island's bumbling police force. There is no shortage of suspects (including a pair of goofy thieves who specialize in looting hotel rooms), suspicious behavior or bizarre motives...and what about the ghostly apparition that was floating around shortly before the killing?

This initially looks like it will be a really peculiar and downright nonsensical slasher movie but evolves into an intricate and largely satisfying murder mystery. There are a few too many aggressively colorful characters (especially the aforementioned thieves, who are so incapable of stealth, you wonder how they could have managed to successfully swipe anything) and changes in tone that some viewers may have trouble reconciling; if you watched the first reel and then jumped to the last, you'd guess this was a different movie with the same cast. Director Na Hong-kyun does manage to keep it all together, though, and the culprit's identity is indeed a surprise. The film also manages to plausibly account for its supernatural content and even includes a couple of visual nods to the European giallos of the 1970s. Cheong Seon-kyoung, Cho Eun-suk, Hwang In-seong, and Lee Se-chang co-star.

Cover art courtesy Spectrum.

Cha Seung-won. Image courtesy Spectrum.

Image courtesy Spectrum.
Spectrum #SPD-622 (South Korean label)

Dolby Digital 5.1 & 2.0

Sync Sound Korean Language

Optional English Subtitles

20 Chapters Illustrated in the Menu With Clips

Enhanced for 16:9 Displays

Letterboxed (1.76:1)

Coded for Region 3 Only

NTSC Format

93 Minutes

Contains moderate violence and horror, brief nudity, and moderate sexual content

DVD menu courtesy Spectrum.

South Korea: 18

Aside from a few scattered speckles and bits of dirt on the source material in the opening minutes, the dual layer disc offers a good presentation. The image is a little too dark in spots and looks a bit squeezed but color and detail levels are pleasing. The sound is boisterous when appropriate, though this is not an especially accomplished mix. Extras (all of which have low volume and no translation) consist of the theatrical trailer, a 17 minute highlights section (which serves no apparent purpose beyond mixing a bunch of scenes together), a very brief "Making Of..." and interview, single page talent files and, in a nice touch, the original soundtrack (12 cuts). The layer change occurs smoothly at 56:35.

is available at Poker Industries as TRAVELING WITH GHOST (sic).

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