# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
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A Killer's Blues (1990) Directed by: Raymond Lee

Fresh off the chaos that was Swordsman, Raymond Lee helmed this drama with gangster genre aspects up for cliché target practice but he showcases a will to make something that will peek out just a little bit more distinctively than the rest of the output at the time. While Ti Lung's character journey is about leaving the gang life in order to settle down (yea...easy as pie as always), Lee knows that if you put enough sincerity and get actors of dignity and charisma, you can achieve better things than expected of the surroundings. That happens with Ti Lung's strong leading act, embodying a character who realizes he has failed but also that success was never going to be an option in life, knowing what he knows now. Lo Lieh is equally good in a seemingly ordinary supporting act but Lo brings subtlety along the way that speaks well to the veteran nature of the loyal character. It's not the greatest drama tools employed here (some over the top melodramatics comes with it) but it's effective in a modest way. Watchability level also goes up whenever action director Tony Leung steps in, in particular an intense shootout at a funeral parlor has a nice gimmick not seen in too many other films. Also with Olivia Cheng, Fennie Yuen, Mark Cheng, Roy Cheung and Lam Chung.

The Killer's Love (1993) Directed by: Jamie Luk

Professional killer Cheung (Simon Yam) takes refuge in a village community, posing as a former gigolo when renting a room with teacher Lee (Carol Cheng). No sparks fly initially but since this film belongs the to the rom/com genre... Oh, and there's a rival, sadistic killer (Karel Wong) out to get Cheung too.

Cheng appears as her otherwise known screen persona, the one possessing little female traits but those traits are this time forced and her chemistry with Simon Yam is poor. Director Jamie Luk (also co-star) takes the characters places but for no plausible or logic reasons and useless asides such as a focus on a school election marks Luk's lack of strength in his core material. Enter Karel Wong at sporadic points to turn the piece bloody and yet another poorly fitted mood takes refuge in The Killer's Love.

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Killers Must Die (1988) Directed by: Tsang Jau-Shyun

Ruthless triad assassin (Robert Mak) spares one woman (Toko Okawa) and thus, he's the target of his own gang and an old, crippled friend who's after revenge. Using a story template The Killer would execute better the year after, this Taiwan cheapie has a decent amount of energy despite little means seemingly to put forth such. Opening up with action seeming like the finale cut into the beginning as there's pyro, gunplay and explosions going off left and right, throughout director Tsang Jau-Shyun keeps the standard template alive thanks to this keen eye for energy. Squibs may be plenty but rather weak but the insistence to tear it up violence-wise helps matters and Robert Mak is a capable modern action hero. Bad but with spirit.

Killer's Nocturne (1987) Directed by: Nam Nai Choi

A 1930s gangster tale with Alex Man as Yen, a cruel and nasty crime lord that likes to settle his deadliest deals at the mahjong table. After Lo (Chin Siu Ho) begins laying his eyes on night club singer Chui (Pat Ha), Yen steps in and injects bloodshed...

A grand and generally fine looking period piece where writer Manfred Wong has provided zero originality in terms of the storyline at hand or its characters. Alex Man is just called upon to play a variation of a gangster he's done numerous times before, Pat Ha is dreadfully underused and poorly developed, leaving only Chin Siu Ho who does shine on occasion. Much having to do with Nam Nai Choi's (The Cat, Story Of Ricky) direction during certain parts of the film.

Nam clearly isn't at ease directing serious drama here but when giving free reigns along with action director Chris Lee (who also is one of the henchmen in the film), they log some exceptionally brutal violence that easily is on par what Nam would bring in Her Vengeance the year after. Despite being played straight, Nam's mad mind still decides to feature a fight scene that will go down into the Hall Of Fame (or Shame depending on how you look at it) when Hong Kong cinema is summed up. That fight ladies and gentlemen is between Chin Siu Ho and...wait for it...a kangaroo! Despite, Killer's Nocturn still continues to be ultra serious which in the end obviously doesn't make for a good , balanced film but that bit of fun combined with nasty violence makes it very much watchable. Also with Patrick Tse, Wong Hap. Alex To, Chui Sau Lai & Shum Wai.

Killers On Wheels (1976) Directed by: Kuei Chih-Hung

Hardly a deep study about youth gone wrong, Killers On Wheels is overall free from pretension but doesn't have enough material to fill 90 minutes. But it does so anyway. Kuei Chih-Hung (The Bamboo House Of Dolls, Boxer's Omen) follow the motor cycle gang as they party, do drugs, engage in animalistic sexual tendencies ON drugs but ultimately they are terrorizing a small group of Hong Kong citizens on a very isolated island (which doesn't have its own police force). With elements of Straw Dogs creeping in, after an aimless hour with the only highlight being decent stunt work from the bike riders, director Kuei starts to have fun his way. The final third is therefore a pretty relentless siege on the house where Danny Lee, Terry Lau and Ling Yun protect themselves using every lethal means they can conjure up, including boat motors, boiling waters, molotov cocktails and the now deadly intensity becomes something highly memorable. And very Kuei Chih-Hung.

Killer's Romance (1990) Directed by: Phillip Ko

Based loosely on Kazuo Koike's Japanese manga Crying Freeman (as was Clarence Fok's The Dragon From Russia), director of low-budget action Phillip Ko does seem to strive for something greater in terms of echoing sensibilities of Japanese samurai movies. Well, that comes eventually and up till that point, Ko subjects us to standard gangster plotting that despite location work in England doesn't distinguish itself one bit. Japan, Hong Kong or Philippines (where Ko has shot quite a few of his trademark low-fi actioners) would've done just fine. It's only when the gory mayhem, be it gunplay or swordfighting, breaks out that interest is maintained. As for paying tribute to the old style, Ko does ok while also adding the fast moving Hong Kong choreography onto it.

Simon Yam puts in notable effort, playing much to the quiethodd that Yam on occasions can bring to good effect. A few moments of his also showcase an admirable execution of fighting technique mixed in with obvious stunt doubling. Joey Wong is pure windowdressing, Luk Chuen's character development can be spotted a mile away, Phillip Ko Fei overacts like a true Hong Kong villain would and Jason Piao appears VERY briefly as a priest.

Killer's Romance represents the good old days in a compelling nostalgic way despite huge flaws along the way. Don't expect a lost classic however.

Killing In The Nude (1985) Directed by: Lee Tso-Nam

With only a smattering of kung-fu action offered up, Lee Tso-Nam (Shaolin Vs Lama) attempts story and exploitation instead. Not feeling totally at home then but offering up images for the sex-thirsty crowd to be amused by (like cutaways to a cock after one has been cut off and insects mating), the main character of Shi Shi goes through prostitution with all its outrageous tests and prep it requires, to feeling secure as a concubine of a General. But peace is never maintained and the flick takes a turn into family tragedy instead, rendering all fun absent and useless. When at its best, Killing In The Nude is a poor man's Intimate Confessions Of A Chinese Courtesan as it brings out a revenge side to Shi Shi but all's quickly ticked off in favour of melodrama, unfortunately.

Killing Me Tenderly (1997) Directed by: Lee Lik-Chi

Out of the talent zone with Stephen Chow and on his own directing the Hong Kong take on Bodyguard, Lee Lik-Chi is indeed way out of his league and even though he provides the commercial Sammi Cheng product Killing Me Tenderly with what it's designed to be, the results are painfully terrible. Playing the singer Cindy who has a way devoted fan after her, former village chief and police Lai (Leon Lai) has to go undercover as part of her gay staff to protect her. Some bonding later and there's romance...

Extremely bland and not getting any spark out of the leading duo of Cheng and Lai, nothing romantic is channeled and nothing even remotely said about the preassures of being in the public eye. Sole bright spots is a mini subplot about your status being elevated when your cd's are bootlegged and Wayne Lai IS effective as a disturbingly devoted fan.

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A Killing Order (1994) Directed by: Dick Wei

Little to be scared of in otherwise bonafide frightening screen villain Dick Wei's second (and last) feature as director, A Killing Order is cops and robbers plot 1A with Wei's Yun after Tony Ho (a fairly involved Lam Wai). Dull, stiff patches of direction and mildly interesting carnage, it may make a lot of noise but Wei's action direction is low budget to the point of being painfully sloppy. Some finale rage helps matters but not much.

The Kingdom And The Beauty (1959, Li Han-Hsiang)

While not THE movie that signified the evidence of Huangmei operas having commercial appeal, The Kingdom And The Beauty made a distinct impact and alongside 1963's The Love Eterne often is singled out as part of a duo of goto movies for appreciation and understanding of the musical genre at hand here. Using the Shaw Brothers stages to full, theatrical effect, Li Han-Hsiang depicts a part playful romance between unlikely couples that then switches to melodrama. Emperor Chu Te Cheng (Chao Lei) is tired of the confines of the kingdom and travels to a small town where he becomes enchanted with wine merchant Li Feng (Linda Lin Dai). Leaving her pregnant and subsequently ill, there's your 'will they?' element to the story. Being a musical, Li mixes unseen choirs crafting development of the story (it could be seen as essentially replacing voice over), latter duets mixed with dialogue between the actors and the point of that also is, Li makes us forget there is singing for certain stretches. He's got his and our eye on story, which is a fairly charming one thanks to compelling turns by the duo at hand. More so in the latter stages for Linda Lin Dai, being the sole occupant of the frame sometimes, as a lot of drama rests on her shoulders. While the story dictates that Chu Te Cheng essentially forgets and abandons Li Feng, it doesn't make that much sense he's all of a sudden thrilled with his wealthy surroundings he once turned away from out of boredom. One can sense Li Han-Hsiang is going for the theme of mismatched couples, divided by class and tradition but the latter stages proves to be shaky in this regard despite. On the other hand Li showcases the Shaw Brothers sets wonderfully as he plays with colors to dictate mood, puts tons of extras in the palace-scenes and being a musical (and quite theatrical acting-wise), the fake indoor sets aids his vision and sets appropriate mood. Friend and future director King Hu (A Touch Of Zen) co-stars.

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