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1942 (Singapore)


Starring: Hiroyuki Hasegawa, Toshihide Onisuka, Seiichiro Okawa
Director: Kelvin Tong
Rating: NC-16 (Some Disturbing Scenes)
Year Made: 2005




- Teaser Trailer
- Trailer




Subtitles: Chinese & English
Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen 4x3
Sound: -
Running Time: 1 hr 24 mins
Region Code: PAL 3
Distributor: Innoform Media




1942. Malaya. Sgt. YASUO FUJII, a war cameraman, is huddled in a trench, waiting to film the Japanese 6th Army cross the Slim River on its way south to Kuala Lumpur. An enemy mortar shell lands in the trench and, in a heartbeat, Sgt. FUJII is running through the jungle for his life. Armed with nothing except his 8mm camera, the young soldier soon hooks up with remnants of the scattered 6th Army. Together with three soldiers, he must race against time to get a fatally wounded soldier back to the division in Kuala Lumpur. However, everything starts to go wrong and they get lost in the maze-like jungle. All their maps are wrong and their radio malfunctions. Sgt. FUJII starts sighting mysterious figures through his camera’s viewfinder, and a female ghost starts to haunt them. Survival is at stake and the ghost is hot on their heels. Will they make it to safety?


If reviews are to be trusted, Kelvin Tong’s latest work Men In White seems to be a scarily bad piece of mess. A local director mixing horror with comedy? The idea didn’t sound quite right from the beginning.

But wait, before we condemn Tong to trashy filmmaking hell, let’s take a look at what he has to offer in this straight-to-video release about a group of Japanese soldiers who are stuck in Malaya’s thick jungles. They have a wounded compatriot who needs to return to headquarters for treatment. And true to Tong’s genes for making horror films, a female ghost is thrown in this drama set in, you’ve guessed it, 1942.

This reviewer has not picked up the courage to watch Men In White (no thanks to the unkind reviews everywhere), but he thinks that this DVD movie is considerably spine-chilling. You can feel the looming suspense and danger throughout the film’s 84 minutes. Towering trees and thick bushes only escalate the fear felt by the characters.

The film is boldly shot in Japanese (does that mean that Tong is our very own Clint “Letters From Iwo Jima” Eastwood?), and from a Singaporean’s point of view, it is authentic enough to pass off as a foreign picture.

The cast of unknowns also make viewing more comfortable (there are no stars like Ken Watanabe to distract you here), as you’d be concentrating on the characters’ fates. Couple that with a technically capable cinematography and a haunting main theme (you will hear it at the DVD menu page), and you’d have a eerie time watching this film.

Although the characters do not seem to be doing much except running from place to place most of the time, and that the “twist” at the end is less than surprising, the film is still an engaging watch, considering the tons of other slipshod horror movies in the market.

So there is still hope in local filmmakers’ talent for directing horror movies. Just as you are about to feel disappointed for Tong’s dismay (after all, he did helm the critically acclaimed Eating Air and The Maid), pick this DVD up and go on a supernatural journey into the unknown world of spirits and ghosts.


This Code 3 DVD contains two teasers and a trailer.


The disc’s visual transfer showcases the luscious green trees and bushes beautifully, while the film is presented in its original Japanese soundtrack.



Review by John Li



Other titles from Innoform:

. 200 Pound Beauty

. Just Follow Law

. Nada Sou Sou

. The Haunted School

. A Mob Story

. The Third Eye

. Perfect Match

. Undercover

. The Unseeable

. Mercury Man

. Confession Of Pain

. Loveaholic

. Colic

. Silk

. Ghost Variety

. The Knot

. Boa

. The Host

. Forbidden Siren

. The Banquet

. Hell

. Eating Air

. Ghost Valentine

. 4:30

. My Name Is Fame

. Letter

. Born to Fight

. Lizard Woman

. Chai-Lai Angels

. Helen the Baby Fox

. Love Asia

. The Commitment

. The Story of X-Circle

. Beautiful, Wonderful, Perfect

. Hit Man



This review is made possible with the kind support from InnoForm


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