Taiwanese Slashin’

Hailing from Taiwan, Kevin Ko’s Invitation Only (Jue ming pai dui in its native tongue) is an Asian spin on Hollywood torture porn luminaries such as Hostel and Saw. The direction, the gruesome effects, the music, even the predictable story beats and plot holes are all reminiscent of earlier entries in the genre. An Asian cast is about the only unique thing it brings to the table, including adult film star Maria Ozawa in a perfect role for her talents.

Billed as Taiwan’s first slasher, five young people receive invitations to a super-exclusive party intended for the rich and famous. High school drop-out Wade Chen (Bryant Chang aka Ray Chang) is offered the invitation by his powerful boss, Mr. Yang. The CEO claims he’s busy and tells Wade to pretend he’s the wealthy man’s cousin at the party.

There’s a lot of corny fun to be had from Invitation Only if you enjoy the genre’s twisted charms and grotesque thrills

Everyone at the party is told to write down any dream or wish they have, and it’s rumored the party’s host Mr. Warren will make it come true no matter how impossible it seems. Wade sticks out like a sore thumb, a working class guy surrounded by wealth and fame. Wade asks for an exotic sports car while others ask for more far-reaching totems like political power. What initially appears to be a networking party for the world’s elite and powerful is turned upside down when the young people discover they are locked inside at the mercy of their hosts.

Kevin Ko attempts to weave in layers of rich-versus-poor as the killers are unveiled, stalking their prey like Michael Myers. The party is an elaborate ruse so the rich can hunt down their own employees. It’s a minor twist on the formula established in Eli Roth’s Hostel. The cat-and-mouse suspense is well done, if derivative. What may be missing is a great villain. Given little memorable dialogue, the killer is a rather bland caricature of an American slasher.

An effects crew was brought in from America to make the torture scenes more realistic and frightening. Invitation Only definitely pushes the envelope with its gore and viewers should get a charge from it.

There’s a lot of corny fun to be had from Invitation Only if you enjoy the genre’s twisted charms and grotesque thrills. A solid, worthwhile thriller made for gorehounds loaded with a few fantastic set pieces and an attractive cast.


The 1.78:1 presentation primarily resembles the aesthetic popular for torture porn efforts during the 2000s, gritty and darkly lit. Kevin Ko’s film has bursts of Hi-Def sharpness and definition alternate with flatter, less resolving scenes thanks to different cameras. It’s generally crisp with respectable depth, limited by the Taiwanese production’s middling budget. The digital intermediate shows no signs of undue tinkering, reflecting the source material’s inherent limitations and strengths.

Unearthed Films provides a steady, if not always flattering, transfer for the 2009 movie, offering up the fully uncensored cut which runs over 95 minutes. The digitally-shot production likely hasn’t had a new transfer struck as the detail and overall resolution are firmly stuck in that early Blu-ray era production flow. The main feature is encoded in adequate AVC on a BD-25.

The occasionally noisy video has mild crushing and somewhat opaque shadow delineation. Ironically the killer practical effects and gory special effects receive the best cinematography, revealing far more gruesome detail than many can handle.


The original Mandarin soundtrack, with a sprinkling of English dialogue thrown in for good measure, comes into two basic flavors: 5.1 DTS-HD MA and 2.0 PCM. The good news is that Unearthed Films seems to have corrected the major sync issues found on the original BD from Taiwan, so that issue wasn’t endemic to the film’s recording.

Dialogue is fairly soft in the wide dynamics offered by the sound design and mix. The active surround channels play a large role as the cat-and-mouse chase plays out between the rich and their prey. Plenty of cues spice up the discrete audio with effective tension and suspense. These aren’t completely polished soundtracks with state-of-the-art mixes but they both offer serviceable sonics for a foreign thriller.

Optional English subtitles play in a yellow font. A Spanish dub in 5.1 DTS-HD MA audio is included.


Invitation Only (Jue ming pai dui) first made it out on Blu-ray in Taiwan back around the time of its theatrical release in 2009. Now Unearthed Films issues it in North America. Their disc is listed as Region A, arriving in a clear case with reversible cover art. This is the fully uncensored version, which was slightly cut down for Hong Kong.

Behind The Scenes Featurette (06:03 in SD; Chinese Audio w/ English subtitles when necessary) – Director Kevin Ko and actress Maria Ozawa are interviewed, among other participants. Apparently the project required American FX expertise to pull off some of the gorier effects.

Photo Gallery (03:02 in HD)

Invitation Only Theatrical Trailer (02:18 in HD)

Invitation Only Spanish Theatrical Trailer (02:18 in HD)

2LDK Trailer (00:28 in SD)

Tokyo Decadence Trailer (01:13 in SD)

Evil Dead Trap Trailer (01:27 in SD)

Evil Dead Trap 2: Hideki Trailer (00:42 in SD)

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided by the label for review. This has not materially affected DoBlu’s editorial process. For information on how we handle all review material, please visit DoBlu’s about us page.

Invitation Only
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras


A late 2000s Asian rip-off of Hostel and Saw hailing from Taiwan, the derivative thriller is mostly remembered for adult film star Maria Ozawa and a series of brutal torture sequences

User Review
4.5 (2 votes)

The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 33 full resolution, uncompressed HD screen shots ripped directly from the Blu-ray:

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