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#fear and terror / violence / blood / rape / torture / madness / pandemic / repulsiveness / aggression / gross bodily discharge / bestiality / apocalypse / survival / love in the time of the pandemic / lost hope / revenge / severed limbs / heads ripped apart / sexual kinks / fight for survival / mutilation / barbed wire / morality / humanity / Polish premiere


horror / Taiwan / 2021 / 1h 39m

All hail the new pandemic king!

Attention! The first symptoms of the Alvin virus infection are a runny nose, teary eyes, and fever, as well as an irresistible urge to maim, bite, torture, and tear anyone you meet limb from limb. In case of suspected infection … you might as well give up: it’s already over.

Jim and Kat are an average young couple living in Taipei, Taiwan. Like any other day, they spend some pleasant time in their warm bed, talk about upcoming plans, and feed the fish in their aquarium. Nothing seems out of the ordinary: the kind neighbor is tending to his balcony garden while the tv news wastes time on reporting on a mostly harmless virus pandemic. As we now know all too well, viruses have a peculiar tendency to mutate unexpectedly (especially in genre films and as the summer months come to an end). The Alvin Virus is no exception when it abruptly transmutes into a nightmarish plague turning people into bloodthirsty, ruthless beasts driven by a primal predatory instinct. They turn the city into a killing field flooded with scattered piles of intestines and severed limbs. The devastating extent of such savage violence ripping apart the city has never before been seen in any other zombie movie. While all hell breaks loose, Jim and Kat are preoccupied with their daily routine. He’s in a local diner, observing with horror the massacre carried out on the face of a cook by a repulsive old lady. She’s on a subway train, witnessing a vicious slaughter so bloody and extreme, it raises questions on the extent of our knowledge about the human body. Jim and Kat try to find each other amid this horrific madness.

Will love find a way to survive in a city that looks like the album cover of Cannibal Corpse?

„The Sadness” is a survival horror film so extreme in its depictions of grotesque and bloody violence that it should only be seen by people with nerves of steel. A love child of “Rabid” and “A Serbian Film” sent on the “Train to Busan” to Ruggero Deodato’s summer camp. In his debut feature film, director Rob Jabbaz presents us with an exceptionally shocking spectacle. He unceremoniously throws the audience straight into a wildly satisfying plot seeping with gore. His film shocks the viewer by boldly crossing set boundaries and offering an innovative vision of a degenerated world. “The Sadness” is an action-packed film that will keep everyone on the edge of their seat till its very end. The viewer is left to witness scenes of monstrous slaughter, savage violence, and revolting sexual deviation. The Canadian director plays with the concepts of both a pandemic and zombie horror cinema but tweaks their cliché elements to the limit. All the while, he’s mindful of ramping up the tension and keeping characters likable and believable.

directed by: Rob Jabbaz
screenplay: Rob Jabbaz
starring: Regina Lei, Berant Zhu, Tzu-Chiang Wang, and others
cinematography: Jie-Li Bai
music: Tzechar
languages: Mandarin, Hokkien
subtitles: Polish

WORLD PREMIERE: Locarno Film Festival 2021

Age restriction: 18+