# 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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Lady Super Cop (1993) Directed by: Billy Chung

Not too special but often intense, stylish and brutal, from one of Billy Chung's most noticeable years of directing (that also contained The Assassin and Love To Kill) comes Lady Super Cop. Inspiring little with that title, Carina Lau is the dedicated (way too some might say) madam whose cousin (also a cop, played by Teresa Mo) has a more laid back attitude. But a manically laughing madman of a villain (Chin Ho) disrupts any fun and puts lives on the line. Chung doesn't touch as such upon character-drama but the ultra-stylized environments (bathed in blue for instance) are fetching and the flick really "only" wants to score when employing brutality and action. Chung, feeling very at home with the atmosphere that content can contain, doesn't bathe the screen red in blood however and that's the effective choice for Lady Super Cop. Waise Lee, Michael Chan and Eric Tsang also appear.

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Yesasia.com

Lady Whirlwind (1972) Directed by: Wong Fung

A by now superb team-up between director Wong Fung and Angela Mao (after classics such as The Angry River and Hap Ki Do) took on more of the latter in fighting style (according to the trailer) but reduced the story even more. Not to worry though.

Ling Shi-Hao (Chang Yi) is almost fatally injured but is taken care of by Wu Ching-Erh's character. She spreads the rumour that Ling is dead but on the hunt for revenge on Ling is still Tien Li-Chun (Angela Mao). But before she can get to her mission, her cold heart and lethal skills must be re-adjusted in order to help Ling defeat his enemies (Pai Ying leading that group) that now knows he's alive. The story certainly works within the framework of a martial arts/basher genre entry but truly is canned in every sense of the word. Who cares though when action director Sammo Hung delivers literally whirlwind-fights, best being when he himself is beaten almost to a bloody pulp by the queen of fighting intensity, Angela Mao. This intense and hard hitting choreography continues to be delivered throughout the film, especially after Chang Yi achieves superb Tai Chi skills that gives the filmmakers an excuse to deliver a fun gory time as well. Also with Chin Yuet-Sang.

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Yesasia.com

Lady With A Sword (1971) Directed by: Gu Bo-Shu

Former actress turned director Gu Bo-Shu follows up her excellent Jimmy Wang Yu swordplay drama The Desperate Chase with a strong debut at Shaw Brothers about some rather primal, vicious cycles of revenge. Swearing to avenge her sister, Feng Fei-Fei (Lily Ho) takes her nephew Hu Tou (Meng Yuen-Man, later an adult kung-fu player in The Fighting Fool) on this path and after merely half an hour the movie shows her finding her target but it turns out to be her husband to be (James Nam) who's killed her sister. While not an original twist, Gu Bo-Shu involves through it and some rather tough and nasty streaks of violence. Ranging from the opening flirts with nasty 70s global exploitation films to us realizing this vicious cycle means anyone and everyone will get in the way of violence and harshly so, action directors Han Ying-Chieh and Simon Chui also provides fluid swordplay to further this dark template and even involves one of the elderly actresses to a key degree.

A Lamb In Despair (1999) Directed by: Tony Leung

It is low budget filmmaker Tony Leung Hung-Wah behind the camera so ambitious goals that speak of the psychology behind a rapist and a murderer, in connection with schizophrenia is smothered a bit under the low-fi package that A Lamb In Despair is. Having said that, Leung's ideas are worthwhile ones and manages to unexpectedly resonate a wee bit. The Category III vehicles of this exploitative kind didn't usually allow for slight bit more intelligence, especially not in 1999. Using the cliché of an abusive childhood to elaborate on, lead Mok Ga-Yiu's Ted is both the unstoppable beast and an unfortunate victim as his sickness springs to life again when media (led by a journalist with an agenda, played by Anthony Wong) hounds him. But the human mind is difficult to map out and predict, leading both to Ted's ex-neigbour Mendy (Sherming Yiu) and Maggie, a girl with a keen interest in psychology, hovering in danger. Leung shoots effective, degrading sequences worthy of the III-rating but is not overly interested in graphic depictions. Cheung Tat-Ming is horribly miscast as a tough as nails cop while Simon Loui and Joe Cheung also appear.

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Yesasia.com

Lamb Killer (1993, Jonathan Chik)

An odd blend between light and dark, Teresa Mo plays twins (therefore appears in dual roles), with one sister deep into cocaine addiction and killing herself after witnessing a murder. In order to aid investigation, the police (headed by Alfred Cheung's Au) asks the other sister to pose as her diseased one. Therefore she needs learn a bit more about being a glamorous woman but is now a target due to gangsters thinking she's in possession of counterfeit plates. Although no official credit for Alfred Cheung exists for behind the scenes work on Lamb Killer, the tone feels like something he would participate in multiple times (In Between Loves, Freedom Run Q etc). Meaning the often expected Hong Kong cinematic tone switching between broad comedy and bloody violence is unusually dark, edgy and even unexpected. Along the way there's no doubt that dark represents dark and violent is violent. Yet director Chik punctuates such moments with cartoony comedy in a way that's oddly compelling. IF you are on board with Hong Kong movies being several moods in one that is. I am. Teresa Mo comes through as she adapts to her new identity, being both appealing as a comedienne and incredibly beautiful. A confusing end twist negates some of this entertaining momentum and mixture however.

Lantern (1994) Directed by: Lau Ga-Yung

At the beginning stages a fairly ambitious film visually but Lau Ga-Yung (New Kids In Town) squeezes about as much originality out of this downwards spiral triad tale as you would expect a hundred or so movies into the genre. Lee Ga-Sing is the son fascinated with becoming a triad, dragging his family down in the process. Drama enters because father (Ng Man-Tat) used to be one and only way to pull the son out of the open arms of death is to participate a little again. Solid performances by Man-Tat and May Law as the mother makes Lantern at least a product lacking embarrassment but the moral of the story is no news to anyone. Athena Chu gets a flower vase role unfortunately while Max Mok and Lawrence Ng also appear. Extensive audio- and visual censoring is frequent, due to the subject matter within a lower rating.

The Last Affair (1983) Directed by: Tony Au

image stolen from the A Free Man In Hong Kong website

Incredibly weak, although pretty, debut by Tony Au who gave new wave productions such as The Story Of Woo Viet and The Beasts his art directing skills. Au did go on to log much acclaim but pretty much keeping solely within the hypnotic Dream Lovers and the humanistic A Roof With A View. For The Last Affair, he takes his tragic romance to Paris, introducing Carol Cheng (in her first movie role and first awarded movie role) as Ha Ching, a Chinese woman traveling to France with emotional baggage. Namely, a dead marriage and entering the city of romance, she puts all emotions on the line for musician and all out playboy Kwong Ping (an at times oily Chow Yun-Fat) but he's quite happy to have several women going on at once....

The setting is very French, touching less upon clichés but more on picture perfect elegance and at times the material resembles a Yonfan picture. Which is not a good thing and the emotions running high (apparently) makes for a cold viewing experience. Structuring itself around and as an opera, this is not a clever way to drop hints at what's to come as Ha Ching tries to decide where and if she can find romance anywhere. Or someone to hold rather. The psychology passes in terms of being filled with opportunities and watching Chow's Kwong Ping, we try to come to understand if he's just living like the city does or if he's a grade A dickhead. Up to a point we wonder anyway and bringing in poorly developed supporting characters struggling with their careers and emotions, The Last Affair seriously derails into tedium even before its utmost pretentious and terrible ending. It's a new filmmaker indeed, not knowing jack about how to present subtle emotions. It may work for a type of crowd finding substance in any kind of elegance but I feel sorry for you therefore. Pat Ha appears in a supporting role.

The Last Blood (1991) Directed by: Wong Jing

Marketed as a sequel to Hard Boiled when released on video in the UK, there exists a valid theory that director Wong Jing might've heard of John Woo's plans for the climax of the classic actioner as that shoot went on for a long time before release in 1992. Eastern Heroes anyway figured that gunplay and a finale set at a hospital warranted the deception, despite being released the year before said classic. Anyway...

Shot on location in Singapore, The Last Blood doesn't represent Wong Jing bringing anything worthwhile to the table as the humour is lame and plotting routine. I bet the overabundance of celebrity jokes (including ones aimed at the celebrities actually in the film) is a riot to Wong but it gets tired fast. Having said that, the proceedings are made much more bearable thanks to action director Blackie Ko who logs some entertaining and effective gory mayhem from the good old days of the heroic bloodshed genre. That genre, headlined by John Woo, came with its share of pale imitators and while The Last Blood is one among them, it doesn't take much to make it a passable, pale imitation. However, it is a bad movie. Andy Lau, Alan Tam, Eric Tsang and Leung Kar Yan stars.

The Last Day Of Hsianyang (1979) Directed by: Lin Fu-Di

Having escaped the burned city of Hsianyang, the Princess, her bodyguard Chen (Tien Yeh) and his daughter enlist the help of two conmen/swordsmen (one being actor Suen Yet) to get safely through the sneaky lands covered with enemy forces. Since the Princess carries with her a case of gold, the conmen sees an opportunity but it's not easy to be sneaky around apt bodyguard Chen. With a tense style and refined skill, director Lin Fu-Di does the Taiwan tradition of Wuxia filmmaking proud. The Last Day Of Hsianyang thankfully treats its story small despite being set against a larger backdrop and the various settings (such as thick forests) are admirably stylish and atmospheric. Central performance from Tien Yeh comes with fine weight too as a theme of sacrifice for country begins to ring true in a valid way and while the film can be a slow trek, it has quite a distressing emotional effect on you. Much due to the human characters and the action being brutal. An effect achieved thanks to fine build up before any swords are drawn.

Buy the DVD at:
HK Flix.com

The Last Duel (1989) Directed by: Tommy Fan

Suen (Alex Man) is framed by born to be supremely über evil cop Ken (Karel Wong) and is blessed with a 3 year prison sentence. Upon his release, Suen tries to steer his life in the right direction when moving in with an old friend (Dicky Cheung, playing it dramatically straight which some of us aren't used to. It's a welcome change from the drooling idiot from The Black Panther Warriors) and newly found girlfriend with a shadowy secret. Prone to violence, Suen's hopes and dreams will obviously be crushed by Ken, who also happens to be the boyfriend of Suen's neighbour (Rosamund Kwan)...

From a relatively inexperienced main film crew, The Last Duel doesn't benefit from its overwrought drama, Rosamund Kwan in a flower vase role or the low-budget. However Alex Man comes through with an affecting performance that despite its melodramatic excursions is worthwhile. All this of course is at best fair dramatic cinema, a springboard for hysteric action and that Lau Chi-Ho graciously gives the production. Distressing and brutal prior to the final reel, the team comes through with what seems like a modest display of firepower due to the sparse number of characters involved in the scenarios but it definitely has raw power that has carried over from Man's performance. Plus Karel Wong is a great deal of fun in one of those 223% unsympathetic bad guy roles. Tommy Wong appears in support.

Buy the VCD at:
HK Flix.com
Yesasia.com

Last Ghost Standing (1999) Directed by: Billy Chung

On New Year's Eve 1999, the GV Broadway cinema is closing down. A few last visitors come but are refused exit privileges as the ghosts decide to make a stand against the ill-treatment of their beloved cinema. A cute statement...

It's kind of criminal that deep inside Billy Chung's Last Ghost Standing manages to somehow work. Directing with a hyperactive sense and "borrowing" scenes very literally from the likes of Evil Dead II, Alien and Trainspotting, it's not so much unique Hong Kong cinema madness on display (the elephant poop monster resides in that department though) but the familiarity and surprising visuals are entertaining strengths put forth by Billy. Fans of the works heavily referenced normally should be offended but the all round, low-budget combo becomes not only strangely appealing in its b-movie ways but also inoffensive. He does ask us to take the limp romance between Simon Loui (whose novel apparently this is an adaptation of) and Sherming Yiu very seriously though but amidst the sights that takes place around these two characters, Chung should tick the "failed" box of this main plot.

Wayne Lai steals the show as the on edge and eccentric usher while Pauline Suen, Amanda Lee, Angela Tong, Pinky Cheung, Francis Ng and Chin Kar-Lok also appear. The latter doning a role that is a rather cheap send-up of Jackie Chan.

Buy the DVD at:
HK Flix.com

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