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Posts Tagged ‘Hong Kong’

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When Little Cabbage and her father fall behind on their rent, the young landlord Yang, who immediately takes a shine to Little Cabbage, offers the father a monthly wage if he’ll allow her to live in his household and work off the money owed. He agrees and she quickly makes new friends in the household as well as an enemy. One night Little Cabbage happens upon the young master’s wife having an affair while he’s away on business. In order to silence the girl the mistress arranges a marriage between for her with a villager with an infamous reputation for having the biggest dick around!! After her new husband dies from an aphrodisiac overdose thanks to his penis exploding, she and Yang are put under arrest and accused of conspiring together to murder Little Cabbage’s husband! Both are tortured within inches of their lives and forced to confess but the truth has yet to be revealed!

This is one of the most famous Cat III horror/sex comedies to emerge from Hong Kong which was a big hit there when it was released in 1994. It’s a bizarre mix of sex, comedy, and OTT scenes which unless you’re in the right frame of mind to enjoy will most likely guarantee to offend a lot of people!! When I first heard about this movie I imagined it would be all about torture but how wrong I was going to be. As I’ve seen a lot of violent and odd movies I didn’t feel shocked at all by what I saw. The plot without spoiling too much involves 2 people who are the victims of being framed and ending up in court trying to protest their innocence with a lot of the story being told in flashback of how they came about to being imprisoned. The torture scenes make you wince but aren’t too graphic. Even the penis exploding scene isn’t that bad. The opening scenes does show a naked man tied up in prison having his penis cut off though it never shows the deed being done close-up. It’s the sex scenes though that stand out in the movie because some of them are incredibly funny. Take this scene for example which is basically a parody of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. It starts out quite innocently as we witness a martial arts couple flying about and fighting amongst the treetops with swords. Then the woman challenges the man to see if he can satisfy her and if he can’t he will leave her. They proceed to have hyper gravity-defying sex in mid-air with the man using such moves as “Oral Attack”, “Invincible Wheel” and “Wonder Screw”. It is made all the more funnier with the addition of some video-game sound effects as he is banging her (sorry to be so coarse here!). It had me laughing a lot and it’s something that has to be seen to be believed. There’s also a parody from the Patrick Swayze movie ‘Ghost’ specifically the potters wheel scene which includes a Chinese instrument rendition of Unchained Melody. I won’t reveal what the woman does to the man and what eventually happens at the end of the scene but you’ll never be able to see that scene again in the original movie without laughing! The two scenes described above sums up how crazy this movie is. OK, so the humour is a little low brow but you’ll never be bored watching this movie. It is so entertaining, funny and whilst it is a Cat III movie it doesn’t contain the extreme nastiness associated with a lot of them. Be aware that there is a lot of female nudity in this movie which will no doubt please some male viewers!

A Chinese Torture Chamber Story screenshot

The acting is surprisingly very good with several great performances from some of the cast. Yvonne Yung Hung is so beautiful and innocent as Little Cabbage and viewers will sympathise with her situation though I failed to have the same feelings for Lawrence Ng’s character who plays the young master Yang that falls for her. Although he is innocent in the murder of Little Cabbage’s husband, I disliked how he tried to rape Little Cabbage by becoming invisible thanks to piece of paper blessed by a holy man which he pins to his chest. Just because he likes Little Cabbage doesn’t give him the right to attack a woman in her home. It is only thanks to her husband that he fails to achieve what he wanted to do. The fact that Little Cabbage never finds out who attacked her because Yang escapes after knocking the husband out and she finally ends up with this despicable man at the end of the movie made me feel uneasy. I’m sure some viewers will find the rape scene perhaps humorous but I thought it was done in bad taste. Maybe that’s just my opinion mind you. The only other actor who I thought was fantastic was Elvis Tsui who provides the movie’s most memorable moment as one half of the martial arts superhero sex couple!

A Chinese Torture Chamber Story is one of the best Cat III movies I’ve seen as it pretty much doesn’t take itself seriously. It’s twisted, weird and is very much tongue-in-cheek which makes the raunchy stuff easier to watch. It certainly won’t be to everybody’s taste so those easily offended should stay away from this movie.

Sadako’s Rating: 4 stars out of 5

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Enter The Fat Dragon

Ah Lung is a country bumpkin who works on a farm feeding the pigs. An opportunity arises for him to go to the big city (Hong Kong) and help out in his uncle’s noodle shop. Just as he is settling down to working there, a gang of thugs who is making a nuisance of themselves in the area starts some trouble. Being a devoted Bruce Lee fan who can fight like his idol and imitate the great man, Ah Lung sends them all packing. However whilst Ah Lung is out on an errand the gang return and demolish his uncle’s restaurant. As a result he is out of work but with the help of two friends he gets a job cleaning dishes. It’s not long however that Ah Lung is embroiled in a plot by a gang who kidnap a woman he likes and wants to sell her to a billionaire named Pai. Ah Lung sets out to rescue his girl but first he must defeat 3 of Pai’s deadly bodyguards…..

After the death of Bruce Lee in 1973, a slew of Bruceploitation movies were released in Hong Kong that tried to cash in on his name and featured many actors trying to copy his style. Sammo Hung who was a very good friend of Bruce and worked with with him on Enter The Dragon wasn’t very impressed with these johnny come lately’s shamelessly cashing in on his friend’s name so he made this comedy tribute movie to him. Sammo might not look like Bruce Lee but my word he can imitate him superbly. Probably the best person to do it. He even strokes his nose exactly the same way that Bruce did, delivers his noises and is pretty much a master of nunchuks like his friend. Sammo even uses Jeet Kune Do with some kung-fu in the fights. The storyline is mostly episodic in nature and is about how Ah Lung’s fighting keeps getting him into trouble. The fight scenes on display is exciting, fun and fast and get better as the movie wears on. You’ll never see a more agile fat guy than Sammo Hung. It’s hard to believe how good a martial artist he really is. I’m not sure if the climatic showdown in which Ah Lung faces 3 foreign fighters was Sammo’s homage to Game of Death but it features a funny scene of a Chinese man who is blacked up with an afro wig (obviously a parody of Jim Kelly) going one on one with Ah Lung. You can’t help but laugh at the scene. There’s a telling scene in the movie in which Sammo delivers a scathing criticism of the copycat Bruce Lee movies produced at the time when he visits a film set and gets into a fight with a second rate Bruce Lee impersonator and promptly beats his ass and the film crew as well! His put-down comment of “amateurs” after the fight is brilliant. The slapstick comedy is a little bit hit and miss but when it works well it makes you smile. Sammo even has time to poke fun at Jackie Chan’s Drunken Master! His character of Ah Lung comes across as lovable and charming and you can’t help but like him.

Enter the fat dragon clip

Animal lovers might get a little offended in the opening scene as Sammo’s character practices his kung fu on some pigs. It’s hard to say whether the pigs were hurt by Sammo’s kicks. From a lot of HK movies I’ve seen from the 70’s and 80’s, animal welfare wasn’t a high priority on any film set!

All in all, a fantastic early Sammo Hung production considering it was done on a very low budget and a must see for fans of martial arts.

No trailer but here’s a clip where Sammo fights a Bruce Lee impersonator

Sadako’s Rating: 4 stars out of 5

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A traffic accident changes several people’s lives forever. In capturing wanted criminal Cheung Yat-Tung, Sergeant Tang Fei is involved in a shootout and car accident that puts the criminal in a coma. But in the process he also cripples a fellow officer, and accidentally kills the elder daughter of public prosecutor and single mother Ann. The car in which the girl was travelling is hijacked by the criminals and she is shoved into the boot. Unable to handle the guilt, Tang Fei succumbs to a fog of pain. Ann, meanwhile, pours all her love and attention to her younger daughter Ling. Three months later, the criminal Cheung Yat-Tung awakens from his coma. Ann, who had been working hard on bringing him to justice, insists he stand trial immediately. Then Ling is kidnapped by one of Cheung Yat-Tung’s thugs Hung and Tang Fei is determined to redeem himself and set things right after past mistakes. Will he able to rescue the little girl before she is harmed?

This movie starts with a bang and for the most part delivers throughout with its mix of human drama and tragedy with excellent taut action sequences. Hong Kong police movies have always been popular in the territory and whilst the majority look slick and have enough entertainment to satisfy the average cinema fan, there’s usually no real depth to the stories. Beast Stalker though is different as it has some emotion in the plot. It doesn’t win any prizes on originality and some will even see it as being perhaps a little bit predictable but as a tense thriller there is much to like here. It’s a movie which shows that actions has consequences and this movie shows it very well indeed. The car crash near the beginning of the movie is handled impressively. The scene is shot so well and the slow motion images of the passengers inside one vehicle as it tumbles around is effective and is easily one of highlights of the movie. The structure of the story with it’s twists and turns is intelligent and compelling.

The two main male characters are fantastic in their roles. Nicholas Tse does a great job as the tortured cop who ruins not just Ann’s life with the death of her daughter but several others as well. It’s harrowing to see Tang Fei’s realisation that he’s killed a child as he opens the boot of the criminal’s car and finds her body inside. Ultimately it’s not Tse thats the stand out actor in the movie but Nick Cheung as the one-eyed kindapper Hung. He doesn’t play the role as an OTT villain but comes across as a real person. The reason why he’s kidnapped the little girl Ling is revealed as the plot unfolds and again it links to the car crash. He comes across as quite a menacing person even though some viewers will have some sympathy for his plight. Suet-Yin Wong is absolutely adorable as Ling who proves to be a bit of a smart kid even when in danger.

Director Dante Lam excels with this movie and provides plenty of excitement alongside the drama to keep the viewer interested. There’s a car crash, some fist fights, gunplay and foot chases so action fans should be satisfied with what they see. The way that Lam manages to combine the emotional turmoil of the plot with the action has to be commended.

Overall, The Beast Stalker is a well written and hard-hitting tale about a man seeking redemption and whilst it isn’t perfect and has some flaws it’s certainly worth your time and effort.

Sadako’s Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

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The Queen’s brother Pan Bao is killed in a tournament by one of Yang Ye’s sons. Furious at this, she orders her father Pan Mei to destroy the Yang clan at the battle of Jinsha. All goes according to plan but for the fact that the 5th and 6th sons manage to escape from the trap that had been laid for them. Pan Mei must track down the remaining sons or he won’t be able to continue with his bigger scheme which is to overthrow the Emperor. The 5th son returns home but the stress of what has happened has turned him insane. Meanwhile the 6th son vows to become a monk at a temple but has a lot of anger inside of him. The temple refuses to take him in but he insists on being a monk. He takes a razor and shaves his hair off. Reluctantly the lead buddhist monk takes him in but he does not train with any of the other trainee monks. Back at the Yang clan residence, the mother hears that the 6th son is alive and sends her 9th daughter off to seek him out but Pan Mei’s spies are everywhere and follows her. She is captured at an inn below the temple that the 6th son is training. When the 6th son hears that his sister is a prisoner of Pan Mei, he vows revenge on Pan Mei once and for all.

This is a classic HK Shaw Brothers movie starring Gordon Liu. It’s a period piece set during the Sung Dynasty packed full of action and incredible swordplay fights. I would say this is probably the finest showcase for pole fighting you’ll ever see. It was a troubled production at the time of filming and it took 2 years to complete the movie as one of it’s stars Alexander Fu-Sheng had a serious injury which resulted in both his legs being broken. When filming resumed, Fu-Sheng was involved in a terrible high-speed car accident which claimed his life. It was Fu-Sheng’s character that was supposed to be the main focus in this movie but due to the tragic circumstances that happened, the plot shifted onto Gordon Liu’s character. The compelling storyline has no humour at all which considering that a lot of 70’s HK martial arts movies had at the time may be more to the fact that it would have been inappropriate due to Fu-Sheng’s death. If it’s action you’ve come to watch in this movie then you’ll have plenty to enjoy here. Each fight that follows just gets better and better and the final melee involving Gordon Liu’s character taking on Pan Mei’s forces at the temple with his pole is impressive. A visual spectacle in athleticism containing fantastic choreography with swords and poles. Just watch as the 6th son has his sister strapped to his back whilst fighting off the hordes of Pan Mei’s army. There’s some gore involved as Pan Mei’s army is decimated and a lot of the blood comes from seeing them lose their teeth!! This is to do with the training at the buddhist temple which rather than kill their enemies outright, their beliefs is to defang them instead. The weaponry on show is great and I loved the poles that Pan Mei’s army have which have a twisty grappling device on the end which is supposed to counter the threat of the Yang family’s poles.

It’s sad to see Fu-Sheng in this movie knowing it would be his final role. It is said he had a bright future ahead of him as a movie martial artist. A hell of a shame his career was cut short like it did. His character for the majority of the movie acts like a man whose mind has been irreparably damaged by witnessing his brothers and father being killed. He shouts a lot and even attacks his own mother and sisters thinking they’re Pan Mei’s troops. What can I say about Gordon Liu in this movie that hasn’t been said about him elsehwhere. He is just amazing. It’s painful to watch as he shaves his hair off with a sharp razor which results in his head being bloodied and then uses several temple candles to burn 6 dots on his head signifying how serious he is about being a buddhist monk.

This isn’t called one of the best martial arts movies for nothing. Everything you’ve ever wanted in a classic Shaw Brothers movie is in this movie. Do not miss out on watching this if you’re a serious martial arts fan. Recommended.

Sadako’s Rating: 4 stars out of 5

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Big John and Little John are a couple of swindlers who are on a streak of bad luck. When one of their intended victims The Silver Fox beats them up badly, the duo realise they need to sharpen up their kung fu so Little John asks The Silver Fox if he’ll be their Master. Turning down their offer at first, he eventually relents and starts teaching them a new style of kung fu. Things are going well for the duo under their new Master until Little John discovers his tutor killing a man. It seems The Silver Fox is a wanted criminal and has been using the pair for his dirty deeds. The pair try and fight him but he uses a deadly style of Snake kung fu which ends with Big John paying for his life and Little John barely escaping. He winds up staying at the home of a wily beggar who is also skilled in the art of kung fu. Little John asks the beggar to train him up so that he can take on The Silver Fox and avenge his friend’s death.

Knockabout is a classic martial arts comedy movie which has been rated highly by Hong Kong movie fans. It brings together 3 of the biggest names in the late 70’s of HK movie makers in Sammo Hung (who directs and acts in this movie), Ka-Yan Leung and Yuen Biao. Even though Yuen Biao would never get the acclaim that his brothers in the Peking Opera (Sammo and Jackie Chan) obtained, he is still widely appreciated by martial arts fans. This would be his breakout movie role. I actually didn’t think I was going to like this movie as the first 40 or so minutes is just a rather silly story with some routine slapstick comedy which falls flat and so-so martial arts but once The Silver Fox turns on the 2 swindlers and Little John teams up with the beggar the movie improves with the martial arts fights getting better and better. In hindsight this was probably a ploy by Sammo to show that the swindlers had much to learn in their kung fu skills so that is why the earlier fights in the movie are so underwhelming. You just have to see the training scenes that the beggar puts Little John through – Yuen Biao is bloody amazing in these scenes. The guy was a gifted martial artist and was well known for his kicking and acrobatic prowess. Sammo’s beggar character makes him backflip, somersault and do some cartwheeling whilst using a skipping rope and just the training scenes alone makes it worth seeing the movie. It makes you forget the silly comedy that took place earlier on. The training scenes are topped however by the 12 minute final fight that sees Little John and the beggar combining their monkey style kung fu skills and squaring off against The Silver Fox. The moves that Yuen Biao pulls off in the fight are breathtaking. It rounds off what was eventually a very satisfying movie experience.

A big part of why this movie is such a success is down to Sammo Hung and under his direction Yuen Biao is outstanding. The intricate martial arts fight sequences he employs in this movie was a typical trademark of his and they’re a joy to watch.

Fans of old school HK martial arts will love this movie. It’s an entertaining movie you shouldn’t miss out on. Recommended.

Sadako’s Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

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aka Roboforce

The Hero Gang led by the evil Lam and his lover Maria is a villianous organization that sends it’s giant robot named Van out to rob a bank in HK. With the police helpless against the marauding robot and Lam threatening more chaos if the authorities doesn’t hand over a load of cash to them, a trio of bumbling heroes go into action. They are eccentric inventor Curly, a newspaper reporter and Whiskey, an ex member of the Hero Gang determined to right his past wrongs. The Hero Gang in the meantime have created another decidedly different robot. This one is patterned after female gang member, Maria. This robot is sent after our goofy trio, but in the process it’s nearly destroyed. Curly reprograms Maria to go after it’s creators when they send in the heavy artillery including Van to look for her. Who will come out on top in the robot showdown?

Despite the title which may suggest a romantic story, this is in fact a sci-fi action comedy with some shades of Robocop and a nod to the classic movie Metropolis. It tanked big time when it was initially released in HK but has in fact gained a cult following over the years. Stories about its troubled production is well known amongst HK movie fans with producer Tsui Hark getting rid of director David Chung at some point during filming and taking over the directing duties himself and even reshooting large chunks. The movie starts with a bang as the massive hulk of a robot Van goes on a destructive rampage around Hong Kong and this is only the beginning of the fun you’ll have in watching this. It’s quite an imaginative romp with not only a giant robot appearing but also a flying motorcycle armed with a set of machine guns. The movie is not meant to be taken seriously one bit and Tsui Hark doesn’t let the comedy overshadow the great action sequences which includes a hilarious scene in which one of our heroes tries to escape through trees on swinging vines ala Tarzan only to be pursued in the same manner by the villains with machine guns. The clash between Maria and Van is also very entertaining. It does turn a little bit dark at times with it’s violent content but the majority of the movie is lightweight and harmless. The special effects looks a bit dated though but with only a small budget for the movie the filmmakers did the best they could. The rubber styrofoam walls and rubble on display does look bad! The robots (Van and Maria) are fantastic creations with their jet pack boots, hidden missiles and extending fists. I found it to be such a creative movie with the array of gadgets on display. The wacky and slapstick comedy was fine, I did find it to be a bit repetitive at times especially when two of our heroes regularly get electrocuted for touching the robot Maria. This movie though belongs to the beautiful Sally Yeh who plays the dual role of the evil Hero Gang member Maria and her Metropolis styled robot counterpart. She’s really good at playing the robot role using just a few expressions on her face and even gets to sing a few lines as well. The trio of heroes played by Tsui Hark, John Sham and Tony Leung Chui-Wai are also excellent in keeping the storyline chugging along and there’s great chemistry between them.

I Love Maria is a unique piece of HK cinema which is well worth checking out just for it’s mix of wackiness and action. I had a lot of fun watching it.

Sadako’s Rating: 3 stars out of 5

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Aka Iron Angels and Fighting Madam

The HK Government lays waste to Thailand’s Golden Triangle poppyfields’ production which was worth $30 million dollars. The drug lord and his executives are furious for this disruption by the police and seek immediate reprisals against them. One of the executives Madame Sue, a ruthless killer starts murdering the police personnel involved in the Thai raid as revenge but refuses to listen to orders from her boss to stop. She kills him and takes charge herself. Enter The Angels – a specialist highly skilled team consisting of Moon – a secretary during her offtime, Elaine, Saijo, the new recruit Alex and their boss John Keung. Their job is to take down Madame Sue and her cronies who are looking to expand their empire abroad.

This is a mixed bag of a movie. Whilst it has many incredibly exciting action sequences that you normally associate with this kind of genre from HK in the mid 80’s, it is hampered by the fact that it’s a stop/start affair. If you come into this movie expecting an all out action movie you’re going to get disappointed as the movie is partly a spy thriller too which slows down proceedings. There’s a little bit of comedy as well but mostly this is a straight forward action/spy movie. The action you do see however is probably one of the best in the girls-with-guns genre (it has been called the defining movie in the genre) and features some brutal martial arts action especially the short fight between Moon Lee (in her breakout role) and her usual nemesis Yukari Oshima at the climax. The raid on Madam Sue’s HQ by The Angels is particularly memorable with guns blazing in all directions and explosions going off capped off by two of the main characters leaping off the top of a house through some pine trees which breaks their fall. HK action at it’s very best. The sequence even has Saijo dangling one handed on a helicopter ladder whilst mowing down Madam Sue’s goons with a machine gun.

There’s an excellent cast in this movie. The pick of the bunch has to be Yukari Oshima who is on top form as a cruel sadistic villainess who enjoys torturing her prisoners. She comes across as an icy cold and a not-to-be-messed person, even punishing her own workers if they’ve failed her. We don’t usually see her sexy side but here we see her in a swimming costume and even being sexually aggressive. Fans of Moon Lee will love her kick ass role in this movie. Whilst she had been in several movies previously as a minor character, this would the one that would make people sit up and hail her as one of HK’s newest female action star. She’s her usual cute self in this movie and shows her fantastic nimble and acrobatic fighting skills. It was nice to also see Hwang Jang Lee in this movie who is best known in the West from being in Jackie Chan’s movies Snake In The Eagle’s Shadow and Drunken Master. I have to mention that the rest of the cast are no slouches in their roles either.

Whilst this movie isn’t one of the best in the genre thanks to it being bogged down at times by the script, it does have plenty of intense violence to satisfy the action junkie. It’s certainly worth checking out.

Sadako’s Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

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Fallen Angels (1995)

Ming is a suave but lazy assassin who receives his orders from a mysterious woman known as The Agent. She’s a beautiful, melancholy, chain smoking person who’s obsessed about Ming – she’s cleans his place up before he comes home but has yet to really meet him even though they’ve been working together for three years. After a close shave, Ming decides he no longer wants to be an assassin and tells The Agent that he wants to terminate their business relationship but only after he does one last job. He meets a woman called Baby who hides her loneliness by exuding a crazy personality. Meanwhile Qiwu is a mute man and has been like this since the age of five when he ate a can of expired pineapple chunks. He has no job but likes to reopen various shops after they’ve closed in the evening and forcing passerbyes to eat his food whether they want to or not. Qiwu lives with his elderly father. Whilst conducting business, Qiwu meets Charlie – a woman who is angry and out for revenge on a person named “Blondie” who has stolen her man. Qiwu likes Charlie but she is so single-minded that she fails to notice his interest. How will the lives of these characters pan out over the course of the movie?

After being slightly disappointed with the last Wong Kar-Wai movie I watched (In The Mood For Love), I’m pleased to say I was more than happy with this one. It’s more in spirit with my favourite movie by the director – Chungking Express and even has countless references to that movie. I don’t think it’s a sequel per-se as there’s no crossover of any sort between the two movies but still many people seem to think it is. However they do compliment each other very nicely as they share many characteristics such as the method of filming. Whilst many have said that this movie is superior to Chungking, I can’t agree to that at all. Don’t get me wrong I really like Fallen Angels a lot but Chungking is a very special movie to me. Even though the story about 5 lonely people is terrific, it’s the cinematography that’s the star of the movie courtesy of Christopher Doyle. There are numerous examples of excellent mesmerising visuals such as a long black and white scene showing two characters sitting in a cafe as the viewer watches them through a rain drenched window or Qiwu going on his motorcycle through a green lit neon tunnel. It really is a superb movie to look at. There’s a potent mix of action, drama, humour, love and music in this movie that just gels together so beautifully. The soundtrack is also incredible and I didn’t expect to hear a British classic 80’s track Only You by The Flying Pickets during the last scene and end credits. It kinda took me by surprise when I heard the opening bars of the song. I cannot fault the stylish directing by WKW, it’s outstanding.

The acting by the main 5 characters is top notch from Takeshi Kaneshiro as the free-spiritied loose cannon Qiwu to Michelle Reis as the enigmatic Agent. Just watch one of her scenes when she chooses a song from a wurlitzer jukebox machine which shows the pain and confusion she’s going through. The rest of the principal cast – Leon Lai as the assassin, Karen Mok as Blondie and Charlie Yeung as Charlie are all unforgettable in their roles.

This is yet another must-see movie by Wong Kar-Wai. If you’ve enjoyed some of his previous work then you’re bound to like this one. Highly recommended.

Sadako’s Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

PS – Thanks Jason aka Genkinahito for recommending this movie to me.

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Tough no nonsense girl Kitty is on the police wanted list in HK after avenging the murderers of her father. Traumatised cop Tinam who has a problem with handling a gun (he spews his guts out every time) due to accidentally killing his brother is charged with his partner of trying to track Kitty down. Before she can get arrested by the cops, Kitty is recruited by mysterious assassin Sister Cindy who trains her up to becoming a professional killer and gives her a new identity.  They become a formidable duo in offing the bad guys. When Tinam’s investigation leads him into Sister Cindy’s house and he sees Kitty, they begin a relationship although Sister Cindy warns Kitty that falling in love with affect her as an assassin. Danger lurks though when Sister Cindy’s former student – the psychotic Princess sets her sights on taking Kitty as her lesbian lover. Princess has been leaving a trail of blood soaked male corpses in the city by mutilating their private parts. Sister Cindy is fatally poisoned by Princess and it’s up to Kitty and Tinam to settle the score with her in an explosive finale.

This is one of the most famous and notorious Cat III productions to come out of HK and is a huge cult favourite in the West. It’s not hard when you watch it to understand why it’s such a memorable and special movie in the eyes of many HK movie fans. It’s an erotic action packed movie with plenty of OTT violence, stunning and deadly femme fatales, girl-on-girl sex scenes and some sick humour as well. Some have said this is like La Femme Nikita mixed with Basic Instinct. It rifles along at a fast pace leaving you breathless by the time the end credits show up on the screen although I did find the movie ends rather abruptly. It’s a very entertaining and enjoyable movie with a great plot. This was the movie that propelled actress Chingmy Yau to becoming a big star in HK and it’s probably the only movie that director Wong Jing will be remembered for which isn’t a bad thing.  Some people may be offended by what they’ll see in this movie such as Kitty’s training in the basement of Sister Cindy’s house which involves her being locked in a room with a salivating rapist and having to kill him first before he can rape her. There’s also a sick gag involving the police searching for a man’s penis in his house after Princess has killed him and hacked it off and one of the stupid detectives accidentally eating the penis thinking it’s a sausage!! You do get a little bit of gore when Princess kills a man by smashing two barbells on the side of his face resulting in blood being sprayed on the camera.  I suppose some shots of testicular stabbings will have some men wincing! No wonder this movie was cut in the UK for many years but thankfully the version I saw was uncut.

Brilliant acting from the cast with Chingmy Yau at her sexy best as Kitty with Carrie Ng so cool and vicious as her rival Princess. Even though she has a minor role I also liked Japanese actress Madoka Sugawara as Princess’ lesbian lover Baby who gets jealous when Princess turns her amorous attention on Kitty. Kelly Yao is fantastic as Kitty’s mentor Sister Cindy plus there’s the presence of the delightful Simon Yam. The four woman are drop dead gorgeous and that’s what I imagine is part of the appeal of why hot blooded men love the movie so much……..although the insane well-constructed kickass action sequences, dark comedy and hot steamy sex scenes certainly add to the charm of this movie too! It was interesting to note that Anita Mui and Michelle Yeoh turned down the part of Kitty due to the nudity.

Overall, Naked Killer is a fun filled and stylish wild action rollercoaster ride from start to finish with a bevy of beautiful strong women that light up the screen. Highly recommended.

Sadako’s Rating: 4 stars out of 5

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A lawyer with a history of violent sex becomes obsessed with wanting to rape a woman named Yau Yuk-nam after seeing her in a milk commercial on the TV. At a party he tries to hit on her but is given the brush off but he’s not going to give up that easily. He finds out where she lives and moves next door to her apartment. As part of his game, he befriends her flatmate Chu and after being let into the apartment by the janitor waits for her to come home at night and rapes her. She calls in the police but he tells them they are lovers. The case goes to court where he is acquitted after he pays off a witness to give false evidence. He gets his revenge by drugging Chu and cutting her into pieces with a chainsaw. Yau Yuk-nam in the meantime has started to date a Triad boss. She is furious that the lawyer has dodged a bullet by not going to jail and plots her revenge by playing mind games and starting to dress provocatively at home knowing that the lawyer has made a hole in his wall to her apartment to spy. Yau Yuk-nam intends to drive him so wild he’ll make a mistake. Then one night after Yau Yuk-nam comes home to her apartment, the lawyer strikes………..

This Cat III exploitation movie has been advertised as a sequel to the famous HK movie Naked Killer (review coming soon) just because it has Simon Yam, Chingmy Yau and the director Andrew Lau Wai-keung reuniting again but in reality it has nothing to do with it. The title of the movie gives a false impression as well as the villain of the piece is certainly no angel although it could refer to the hockey mask he wears on his face at the beginning of the story. This is a formulaic and dull sex revenge movie (the first of 5) with a thin plot and hardly any suspense. I don’t understand why the director feels he needs to inject some stupid humour into this kind of movie. The story picks up slightly during the courtroom scenes and whilst you might think it might build up to a dramatic and exciting conclusion it doesn’t. There’s even a brief action scene at a hairdresser salon as Simon Yam’s character is attacked by a gang of hoodlums and has to escape on a motorbike. I was surprised by how tame this Cat III movie was. There is no explicit rape scenes as such and the climax of the movie is very tasteless. I won’t spoil that for you. Simon Yam is great in his role as the Triad boss though I do prefer him playing villianous roles and the delightful Chingmy Yau is at her most beautiful. There are some semi-naked shots of her body for all you hot blooded males out there to enjoy.

There isn’t a lot to recommend here but if you’re a fan of sleazy rape/revenge movies there might be something to interest you.

Sadako’s Rating: 2 stars out of 5

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‘Fatty’ Lung and ‘Baldy’ Mak are two gung-ho officers in the HK police force who are trying to bring down a powerful cocaine drugs lord known as Prince Tak. Nicknamed the ‘7-11 Cops’ as they provide a service 24/7, they create chaos whenever they go due to their habit of bending some of the rules. Their unorthodox style brings them results much to the delight of their boss. The police commissioner might not like what they do but the duo’s boss usually smooths things over so the pair can escape scott free from any punishment. Whilst trying to arrest a lady-boy who is smuggling drugs, they are accused of sexually molesting a woman at a shop (she’s a member of the criminal gang) and then to confound things even further whilst running after a suspect they completely wreck the Police Commissioner’s wedding. The duo are ordered to take a holiday whilst things cool down and go over to Singapore when they meet a couple of women. They are convinced to quit their jobs and start a karaoke business with the woman funding their venture. On coming back to Hong Kong and giving their resignation notices to their boss, they are drawn back to the Prince Tak case when Baldy’s girlfriend is threatened by his goons. Baldy and Fatty vow to take down Prince Tak, his brother and their workers once and for all setting up for an explosive climax.

Skinny Tiger, Fatty Dragon isn’t one of Sammo Hung’s most celebrated works thanks to the thin basic plot and so-so comedy. It’s your standard HK ‘buddy cop’ movie which is elevated above average thanks to the fantastic fight action on show. It doesn’t help that the main plot comes to a grinding halt about half-way through the movie and goes on a pointless diversion when our two heroes go to Singapore. It hinders the story. Thankfully things get back on track when they arrive back in Hong Kong. Depending on whether you like Karl Maka’s silly comedy, you may find him getting on your nerves after a while although some of the humour is well done. I did laugh when the duo break into a suspect’s apartment and come face to face with a fierce alsation dog. Baldy tells the dog to put his paws up and face the wall. Seeing the dog actually do that is very funny. The real highlight is the action scenes especially when performed by Sammo Hung. He does a very good impression of Bruce Lee and the way he fights considering his bulk frame is amazing. It’s obvious that some of the fights are a tribute to Bruce Lee himself. The choreography for the action alone is worth checking the movie out such as Sammo battling a gang of jewel thieves who are all wearing Sesame Street masks, the trashing of a restaurant and the superb finale which sees him taking on the baddies with some nunchukas. The climatic fight between Sammo and the knife-wielding chief villain played by Lau Kar Wing is superb. You can see that Karl and Sammo are comfortable in each other’s company as it shows on screen. They have great chemistry due to having worked together in the past on some rather good martial arts movies.

This is still a great light-hearted comedy action movie to watch despite its flaws thanks to the excellent martial arts action on display and some hilarious comedic moments. Well worth having a look.

Sadako’s Rating: 3 stars out of 5

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Shiang is a teacher who is toasting marshmallows with 5 of his beautiful female students on a beach when all of a sudden the moon turns red and a tall, long-haired man with glowing green eyes attacks them. Though Shiang does his best to protect his students, he cannot stop the man who has super-human strength. Shiang is knocked out in the fight and when he comes to, he finds his students have been torn to shreds. When the police arrive on the scene he is arrested and assumed to have murdered the girls. They don’t believe his ridiculous story of a tall man with green glowing eyes attacking them. Shiang is bailed by his friend Chiou, a private eye and together they set out to find the killer with the police tailing the duo. The green-eyed killer strikes again with a woman having her throat ripped out. Chiou manages to get himself inside the crime scene where the killer was praying to an idol god and take some pictures of it. Shiang and Chiou ask a woman who has some knowledge of the occult if she has any idea about the idol. She tells them that it is linked to a tribe in Cambodia. The idol is also linked to a Moon Monster, an evil being whose resurrection is signalled with the moon turning red. The Moon Monster is in league with a Cambodian man named Ma Tien, a leader of a cult who is after a certain kind of woman for a special ceremony as it coincides with a very important date. That certain woman is Shiang’s ex-wife Shamen who the Moon Monster tries to kidnap. Luckily her lover, a police detective Chen is on the scene and together they manage to electrocute the Moon Monster in the swimming pool. However, he isn’t down for long and is able to come back to life in the morgue and then kills an associate of Shiang’s who was helping him in the case. Shiang, Chiou, Chen and Shamen head to Cambodia to stop the Moon Monster’s master Ma Tien. They’re aided by Princess White, the daughter of the head of a local tribe who has a magic sword which can kill the Moon Monster. Meanwhile Shamen who is out shopping is kidnapped by Man Tien’s goons. Will our heroes be able to rescue Shamen, stop Ma Tien and destroy the Moon Monster?

With a title like this, I just had to check this movie out. I don’t know if it was just a shameless cash-in by the studio marketing team to use the name Evil Dead in the title but it has absolutely nothing to do with Sam Raimi’s movie trilogy. There’s no zombies at all here. Maybe the movie’s original Cantonese title meant it wouldn’t make much sense in English so they gave it a snappy title that would stand out or it was just bad translating? If the first reason is true, it was a genius move by the studio. I’m sure anybody browsing through a DVD shop and seeing the title alone would go and buy it……..well I did anyhow!! The movie itself is a Cat III OTT horror/action movie which has got great fights, nudity, gore and a fantastic vampire-like monster with green eyes who goes around ripping clothes off women and tearing their throats out. For HK movie fans who like their violence and action there’s plenty of brilliantly choreographed gunplay and martial arts. There’s also a fair bit of unnecessary nudity culminating in the climax where about 150 women strip off for no reason at all. It’s a very cheesy movie to watch even with all the action and the plot is a bit of a mess with a lot of holes in it but I doubt viewers will really care about that. It’s one of those movies where your head will boil if you try and find any meaning to the plot. It’s best if you sit back and enjoy the wild ride that unfolds before you.

Donnie Yen is the main star of the movie and he’s always good to watch. His martial arts fights are exciting though short in this movie. Pauline Yeung is excellent as Princess White (the Holy Virgin of the movie title)and I love the magic sword she has which has a red lightning-like whip which comes out of it. It’s a shame that Sibelle Wu only has a small scene as a mouthy police officer. She’s introduced after Shiang is arrested and quickly disappears from the story soon afterwards.

It’s hard to tell if this movie was supposed to be a camp comedy or a serious fantasy martial arts/action movie but whatever the way it was supposed to be there’s no doubt it’s very entertaining and I had a blast watching it. Even with the cheese factor it’s definitely worth taking a look as it’s a lot of fun. Recommended.

Sadako’s Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

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Young and reckless cop Cheung and his CID partner Hoi stake out a band of thieves, when two traffic cops accidentally interfere and the situation escalates to a full blown shootout. The criminals led by Yuen escape in a hail of bullets followed by police officers. The chase takes them through the streets of Hong Kong, past a simple traffic accident where some news crews are filming. When the news crews see the pursuit, they follow, and everything after that is documented on live TV. The criminals shoot several police officers during their escape, and in one case an officer falls to his knees and begs for mercy. They eventually escape, and the Hong Kong police is humiliated on live TV. Naturally this won’t do. The chief of police demands immediate action! Enter Deputy Commander Rebecca Fong. She recognises the seriousness of the situation and suggests a new course of action: The police needs to get back at the criminals, and they need to do it in the public forum. When the criminals’ new hiding place is exposed by Cheung and his colleagues, Fong orders every available PTU officer to the scene, and alerts the media. The criminals are about to get their comeuppance… and a very public one at that.

From the enthralling opening scene of a dramatic shoot-out on a Hong Kong street during which a stake-out has gone horribly wrong, director Johnnie To instantly grabs our attention in this excellent movie. Despite a very simple plot idea of a criminal gang holed up in an apartment with hostages, it is never allowed to become just an action movie. Yes, there is plenty of gunplay and explosions but Johnnie To cleverly adds an intelligent parallel satire plot that has to do with the news media and how the government will manipulate the news to best meet their needs. Even so it seems the police are doing what they can to make themselves look good, the criminals aren’t beyond playing the game too and start uploading their own footage through the internet to the media to show that the police aren’t telling the whole truth. I did enjoy the cat and mouse aspect of the movie between the gang leader Yuen and the Police Inspector Rebecca Fong who are trying to outsmart each other. The movie moves along at a fast pace throughout it’s 90 min running time with the best sequence being that of the opening 7 minutes which was shot in one continuous take. It looks awesome thanks to the clever camera work on show. The script is well written and the story is different and innovative from other police/criminals dramas you might have seen.

The cast is rather good with Richie Ren rather menacing as the gang leader Yuen. Nick Cheung is also excellent as the determined cop Cheung who will not give up in his pursuit of the gang despite repeated instructions to back off from his superiors and finally we have the gorgeous Kelly Chen as the icy cool and calm Inspector Rebecca Fong. It’s just a shame that the great Simon Yam just has a cameo role near the beginning.

Breaking News is probably one of the best Johnnie To movies I’ve enjoyed. Filled with suspense and superb action scenes from the get-go, this is a solid and entertaining HK movie which is well worth checking out. Recommended.

Sadako’s Rating: 4 stars out of 5

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A cheeky young scholar who brushes off a buddhist monk’s advice that nothing good comes from carnal pleasures gets married to a busty young woman. After introducing her to the joys of sex, he decides that he wants to have fun with other people’s wives. Unfortunately the young man isn’t blessed with a large penis and his staying power in the sack is less than satisfactory to the women he’s with. After making friends with a thief who insults his small pecker, he decides on an operation to replace his own knob with one from a horse!! He finds a mystical doctor who agrees to his request. The operation is a success and the young man continues his journey to satisfy his sexual appetite leaving his poor young wife at home who’s pining for him. One husband takes revenge on him by ravishing his wife and selling her to a brothel. When the young man comes to the brothel a tragic event happens.

This extraordinary CAT III sex comedy with it’s OTT lovemaking scenes has to be seen to be believed. Before you think that this movie is one of those low budget smutty productions, you couldn’t be further from the truth. The director Michael Mak was given a sizeable budget to produce a high quality movie. The cinematography which uses bright vivid colours for the sets and costumes to great effect is very good. Over the years this movie has attained a cult following and it’s easy to see how. What viewers will naturally remember the most is the raunchy and wild sex scenes. They aren’t extremely explicit and due to the ridiculous nature in some of the scenes it’s very hard to be offended by it all due to the humour involved. The sex is done mostly for laughs. An example of one funny scene is after the young man gets his penis cut off by a mini guillotine during his operation. The doctor’s dog steals the penis and starts eating it!! Other sexual stuff including lesbians, S&M, underwater sex and bondage all make an appearance and you’ll certainly look differently at a flute and a paint brush afterwards!

The women we see in this movie are absolutely gorgeous with Amy Yip standing head and shoulders above the rest of the females at her beautiful best. Isabella Chow and Carrie Ng also sizzle up the screen. All 3 women are very attractive and have natural stunning bodies for all hot blooded male viewers to look at with glee!

Overall, Sex and Zen is an outrageous erotic comedy which I found very amusing. A unique experience for Asian movie fans looking for something different. A couple of sequels did come out to capitalise on the notoriety of the original and a remade 3D updated version of the story complete with a new cast came out last year.

Sadako’s Rating: 3 stars out of 5

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Red Wolf (1995)

Alan is a security officer onboard a cruise liner having quit the police when his girlfriend was accidentally killed during a pursuit of a suspect. It is New Year’s Eve and a group of terrorists disguise themselves as crew members in the hope of stealing uranium from the ship’s safe. Alan witnesses the captain being murdered but is framed for the crime and handcuffed in a room. A female waitress Linda who is using her job to steal from the passengers overhears 2 of the terrorists talking about their plans so she decides to free Alan. Once he’s released, they are pursued relentlessly by the terrorists around the ship. Can they beat the odds stacked up againt them and take down the terrorists before they murder all of the passengers?

This is basically Under Siege done HK style with more blood, martial arts and heavy violence. It’s starts off quite slow but ends up being a very exciting high-octane actioner directed by the great Yuen Woo-Ping. The plot about terorrists wanting to steal uranium and why they’re so desperate to get their dirty mitts on it is never explained but I don’t think many viewers will care when there’s so much action going on. The movie might not offer anything new and fresh to the action genre but what you see is very well executed. Once it’s gets going the action is frenetic and relentless. The fight choreography is top notch and the final encounter between the terrorist boss and Alan is long, brutal and intense. There’s a lot of gunplay and shattered glass involved throughout the movie. It’s such a shame that the director spoiled the movie right at the end with a little girl having a bomb strapped to her whilst dangling from a rope and Christy Chung having to make sure she doesn’t touch the floor as the trigger is on one of her shoes. Another mistake the director makes is having so little passengers on such a big ship. Apart from those minor blips I thoroughly enjoyed Red Wolf.

Jackie Chan protege Kenny Ho plays the hero Alan and while he’s not a very charismatic character (bland perhaps?) you do root for him to beat the baddies. The beautiful Christy Chung who is so stunning is given a comedic character in Linda. She’s never looked better than in this movie. Her cringeworthy rendition of Madonna’s Like A Virgin is hilarious but the comedy seems out of place in such a serious movie with people being killed left, right and centre. Christy doesn’t get to do an awful lot except scream a lot and to get in the way of Kenny Ho’s character. She only gets involved in one cat fight and I would have liked to have seen more of her kicking ass. Out of the terrorists I liked Elaine Lui as the cabaret singer. She is amazing and such a cruel maniacal bitch who seems to enjoy killing the passengers and crew with a gleeful look on her face.

If it’s wall-to-wall martial arts action you want then Red Wolf will more than satisfy you. It may be unoriginal but it’s still a brilliant and entertaining movie. Recommended.

Sadako’s Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.

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