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Article, Asian Cinema, CAT 3, DVD, Horror, Rant

Capsule Reviews

Naked Killer [1992]

As I said on the last Capsule Review post, I’ve been delving into CAT III movies recently, an area of Hong Kong cinema that I never really explored when I was at my peek of HK fandom. I’m rather ashamed it’s taken me this long to finally watch Naked Killer, considering its status.

Like a cross between Nikita, Basic Instinct and a Shannon Tweed movie, but with ultra violence and hotter women. Naked Killer is a film nerds wet dream basically, they’ve got it all covered, you can even through in some tasteless humour too (mistaking a severed cock for a sausage for example). I had heard in the past that Naked Killer is a film that is over shadowed by it’s reputation and it’s nothing more than a pretty average movie hiding behind a sexy ad campaign. Which is bollocks quite frankly as I enjoyed the hell out of it. Wong Jing and Clarence Fok really tried to cram in as much madness, sexy ladies, violence, action and oddness into the 100 minute running time as they could and what we got was a movie that may not flow as well as some and is kind of all over the place pacing wise, but it’s thoroughly entertaining and really well shot on top of that.

The Untold Story [1993]

Another classic Hong Kong CAT III movie i’d never seen, but always wanted to…Although my enthusiasm to see this was always more cautious than say, Naked Killer, as I’d always heard that it was a bit gruelling. They were right.

Anthony Wong plays the “owner” of a small restaurant in Macau who has a secret, he’s a horrible murdering psycho bastard. The more people find out (or even nearly find out) his secret, he brutally murders them. Then turns their remains into pork buns to sell to his customers, hence why the film can often be found under the brilliant title ‘Bunman’. It’s a harsh film at times, especially when Wong loses it on his female co-worker, attacks her and ends up jamming a handful of chopsticks in between her legs, but on the flip side, there are also scenes with Danny Lee (who also produced the movie) and his team of comedy cops, which does resemble the same juxtaposition of scenes in Last House On The Left. But here it’s more forgivable (though still annoying), because mixing broad comedy with violence is just what they did things back then and if you’ve seen enough Hong Kong movies, it shouldn’t bother you too much, but I still could have done with less of it.

Highly recommended anyway, although not for the faint of heart, but worth watching for Anthony Wong’s terrifying, unhinged performance, which actually won him the Best Actor gong at that years HK Film Awards. Which would be like if Joe Spinell got an Oscar for Maniac. Amazing. God bless you Hong Kong.

Robotrix [1991]

Yes, more CAT III action.

I had seen the majority of Robotrix in my teens, but all I could remember was a scene where the bad guy (who is a Terminator-esque cyborg played by Billy Chow) has enough of the woman he’s having sex with and suddenly chucks her out of a window in a huff. In my teens my friends and I thought this was hilarious, but this was one of those times where my memory was playing tricks on me, as the scene didn’t play out like I remembered…Chances are the version we saw as youngsters was probably cut considering what happens in a big part of the scene in question that I couldn’t remember. She gets shagged to death…spoiler. Yeah, not that funny anymore.

But, I digress….

Robotrix tells the story of a female cop, who when killed in the line of duty, is reborn as a cyborg. Like Robocop then. If Robocop was an attractive Asian woman with big mammary glands. After that, her and her pals (one of which being CAT III mainstay Amy Yip) are on the trail of a mad scientist who has transported his consiousness into his cyborg assassin and is bombing around Hong Kong causing much carnage and kidnapping princes and what not. If i’m honest i’m not entirely sure what the plot was, I don’t even know if the movie does. But it’s fun stuff.

There is some nice action to be had and considering the majority of our main characters are cyborgs, they all have super strength and are invulnerable to pain, making for some ridiculously entertaining moments during a scuffle. Billy Chow is great in his role as an unstoppable killing machine, he’s either punching holes in people, raping someone or indulging in a nasty hit and run. A total bastard.

Not much more to say other than it’s a fun time, ridiculously over the top and at times camper than a book of John Inman’s holiday photos. It’s could have only ever come out of Hong Kong.

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