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Film / Three... Extremes

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Three... Extremes is an Anthology Film directed by three Asian filmmakers from different countries; Fruit Chan (Hong Kong), Park Chan-wook (South Korea) and Takashi Miike (Japan).

It was predated by the earlier anthology Three; the film's international release came after this one and was thus called 3 Extremes II. The three short films are:

  • "Dumplings": An aging actress wishing to reclaim her youth goes to a woman who makes dumplings that supposedly have regenerative properties; however, they contain a gruesome secret ingredient. Directed by Fruit Chan.
  • "Cut": A successful film director and his wife are kidnapped by an extra, who forces the director to play his sadistic games. If he fails, his wife's fingers will be chopped off one by one every five minutes. Directed by Park Chan-wook.
  • "Box": A soft spoken young woman has a bizarre recurring nightmare about being buried in a box in the snow. Searching for her long lost sister, she realizes her dreams and reality may possibly be connected. Directed by Takashi Miike.

"Dumplings" would later receive a feature-length adaptation in 2004 under the same title.

Tropes in each short film:

  • Affably Evil: Mei may be a morally bankrupt Back-Alley Doctor who sells aborted fetuses as food and performs fatal abortions without her client's full knowledge, but she's a very energetic and smooth-talking saleswoman who relates to her clients. She even sings for you!
  • Back-Alley Doctor: Mei performs black market abortions.
  • Recut: The extended cut has additional subplots and a different ending not present in the original short. Anything regarding Mrs. Li's pregnancy is removed in the extended cut.
  • Til Murder Do Us Part: Kate's mother murders (or at least tries to murder) her husband out of revenge for getting Kate pregnant which also lead to Kates death


  • Absurdly High-Stakes Game: The Extra threatens the Director's wife with the loss of a finger for every five minutes he doesn't strangle a young girl he has prepared for him.
  • Black Comedy: A lot of it throughout the short, reaching its culmination in an absurd dance scene of the Extra that comes out of nowhere, all in the wake of a situation where the lives of several people are at stake.
  • Bottle Episode: Except for the beginning, the whole short takes place in one room and real-time.
  • Fingore: The Extra cuts off several the fingers of the Director's wife.
  • Gender Reveal: As it turns out, the young girl set up as part of the game is actually a boy in a wig and not only that, but he's the Extra's own son.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The Extra is killed by the Director's wife after he trips on the ring that was on one of the fingers he cut off, and gets trapped into the wire trap he put the wife into.
  • Insane Troll Logic: The Extra's whole motive of going after the Director and his wife is because he is rich, handsome, and nice while the extra himself is poor and ugly (in his head at least), and the Extra feels it's not fair because of how in the movies it's the other way around.
  • Life-or-Limb Decision: The entire segment revolves around this. The Director knows he has to act fast to stop the game, as we can only imagine what the Extra intends for his wife after she runs out of fingers.
  • Mood Whiplash: The film goes from horror to absurd comedy.
  • No Name Given: All four major characters in this feature go unnamed.
  • The Oner: The film starts with one, the first cut being when the title ''Cut'' is shown.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: The Director gives one to both the Extra and to the Director's own wife.
  • The Reveal: The child the director is forced to kill is actually the son of the Extra who couldn't bring himself to go through with it himself after killing his wife.
  • Sadistic Choice: The Director is told to strangle a child to save his wife. In the end, the now-insane Director ends up strangling his wife, thinking that he is strangling the child to save her.
  • Sanity Slippage: The Director suffers this over the course of the segment, and by the end of it, confuses the Extra's son and his wife with one another, leading to him strangling his own wife instead. Maybe.

  • Circus Brat - The sisters grew up working at the circus.

Alternative Title(s): Dumplings