It’s 1967 and a hammer-weilding serial killer is loose on the streets of Krakow. 19-year-old military diver Karol Kremer (Filip Plawiak) puts two and two together after he finds a bloody body at a carnival and spots the killer, a middleaged veterinarian (Adam Woronowicz), leaving the scene. His obsession gives way to a strange relationship that can’t end well. Grim and peculiar, The Red Spider unfolds deliberately and slowly– at times painfully so. But it pays off in the end.
We all have demons, but not quite like those of the Laundryman (Joseph Chang). He is an anonymous hitman with a serious problem on his hands: the ghosts of his victims are following him around everywhere, rattling him and interfering with his job—which is done behind the scenes of a dry cleaning and laundry front. He enlists the help of funky, sassy medium Lin Hsiang (Wan Qian) to rid him of his demons, upsetting his boss, the icy hot femme fatale ex-psychiatrist A-gu (Sonia Sui), in the process. Danger, Laundryman, danger!
A dark comedy romance action thriller with the supernatural thrown in, I loved The Laundryman—and it has so much to love. It’s fun, colorful, and full of great energy. The story and the characters are clever and wonderfully strange, yet somehow plausible despite pushing the limits of ‘suspension of disbelief.’ The cinematography is sharp. The sets are loaded with delightfully tacky details without distracting from the action. Director Lee Chung plays with gender roles and archetypes, making his women fierce and the Laundryman the recipient of unwanted sexual advances. It all adds up to a ghastly good time: never cheesy or boring, The Laundryman is packed with action, suspense, and subtle humor that kept me through the end.