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Song (Li Yixiang) and Tang (Wang Shuangbao) are poor miners, who
journey from one mine to the next to make enough money to send it back
home so they can afford their sons a good school. So, to get a bit of
extra cash, they have come up with an evil plan: They regularly pick up
guys at employment offices and tell them that they have got jobs for them,
but they have to pose as a relative of one of them.
After a few days, when alone in a mine, Song and Tang kill the third
guy, their relative, but make it look like a cave-in. Then they
wait for the mine's boss to pay them money to hush tehm up (which the
bosses regularly do to avoid a scandal or inspection or whatever). Then
Tang and Song move on, to look for their next victim ...
This time, their prospected victim is young Yuan Fengming, just 16
years old but forced to work for a living since he can no longer afford
school. Soon enough, Tang and Song have persuaded him to come with them as
their nephew, but somehow the whole thing doesn't sem right: Yuan
Fengming could be the son of either of them, and what's more, he could be
the son of the last miner the two have killed, but still, their money
weighs more than their conscience.
At least, the two figure, they could be nice to him, and let him have
his first woman in a brothel ... an experience though that proves to be
traumatic for young Yuan Fengming. And then, the boy is so nice and
trusting and returns all the favours they do to him in kind ...
However, eventually our two villains ahve set a date to dispose of Yuan
Fengming, and the date seems to be perfect, since on that day some
mineshafts are blown up, and what better way for the boy to have an accident
It's only when Song and Tang are already preparing to kill him that
they instead get at each others throat, and ultimately Yuan Fengming gets
out of the mine unscathed while Song and Tang die in the explosion.
Ironically, it is now Yuan Fengming who gets paid hushmoney to not
spill the beans on his relatives' deaths ...
Well-done and very amoral crime flick, which is actually more of a
bitter social commentary disguised as a genre film that's rich on
atmosphere and unusual plottwists. And ultimately the film proves that a
very downbeat subject matter and an entertaining film do not have to be