Red Nights is a 2010 French-Hong Kong film directed by Julien Carbon and Laurent Courtiaud and starring Frédérique Bel, Carrie Ng and Jack Kao. The filmmakers refer to it as a Hong Kong Giallo with mystery and murders. Alternate title: Les Nuits rouges du Bourreau de Jade
During the reign of the first emperor of China, an ingenious torturer concocted an elixir that paralyzed its victim’s limbs, while increasing the sensitivity of their nerve endings tenfold. Kept in a jade skull, the elixir could provoke sensations in infinite variations everything from caresses to appalling lacerations.
Haunted by the desire to experience the extreme sensations caused by the elixir, the executioner kills himself with his own poison, intensifying his death experience. His pursuers never found the skull, which had been concealed within a large imperial seal. But the curse of the jade skull, responsible for its creator’s death, will endure within the seal, bringing misfortune to all of those who possess it. Until today …
‘ … some good acting, an excellent music score by French composers Seppuku Paradigm (who apparently are responsible for the scores to Eden Log and Martyrs), an original story (rare these days) and some amazing photography. The film combines elements of the Italian Giallo, German Krimi films and European espionage thrillers to create something that is both unique and quite exotic.’ Blueprint
“I can see Red Nights being a film that I come back to in a few years and then appreciate a lot more. Though the story left me wanting, there is no denying the excellent filmmaking on display here.” The Horror Section
“Stylish and beautiful it may be but it’s just a shame that nobody involved decided to just embrace the weirdness of the central concept (something I won’t spoil by mentioning here). The movie therefore becomes a wild and strange beast that stands there after having a haircut and being forced into a nice suit. It’s restricted and polished when it yearns to break free and bite people.” Flickfeast