Film Review: A BLOODTHIRSTY KILLER (Film at Lincoln Center’s Korean Cinema’s Golden Decade: The 1960s Series)

September 13, 2023

Written by Joseph Perry

Joseph Perry is the Film Festival Editor for Horror Fuel; all film festival related queries and announcements should be sent to him at He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Gruesome Magazine, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right. A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.

Writer/director Yong-Min Lee’s South Korean horror film A Bloodthirsty Killer is absolutely bonkers! First-time viewers will join protagonist Shi-Mok Lee (Ye-Chun Lee) in having no idea what is going on for many of the opening scenes, and after that it’s nigh on impossible to guess what is coming next, straight through to the rather sappy ending. 


Businessman Lee is first seen wandering through a deserted museum where he finds nothing but a melting painting of his first wife Ae-ja (Geum-Bong Do) and is then transported by a mysterious taxi driver to a secluded house where he witnesses a murder at the hands of the ghost of Ae-ja. I don’t want to give much more away because the ride with A Bloodthirsty Killer is a wild one, full of what-could-possibly-happen-next? surprises, so suffice it to say that the supernatural — in more forms than one — and familial drama are among the elements at play, with all-in performances ranging from the melodramatic to the crazed, including Ae-Ran Jeong as Lee’s amorous mother and Bin-Wha Lee as his second wife, who is also Ae-ja’s cousin. Eerie set pieces, feline fury, creepy practical effects galore, and even some old-school pre-CGI effects make for a jaw-dropping, smile-inducing watch. 


You may not understand everything that is going on in A Bloodthirsty Killer, but this is the style of horror movie with which you just have to let go of trying to make realistic sense of the proceedings and give into its utter nuttiness. I had a blast watching this film, and aficionados of outrageous Asian horror from the past — Japan’s 1977 House (Hausu) for example — are bound to have a great time, too. 



A BLOODTHIRSTY KILLER screens as part of Film at Lincoln Center’s Korean Cinema’s Golden Decade: The 1960s Series, which runs September 1–17, 2023. For more information, visit


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