# 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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Madam City Hunter (1993) Directed by: Johnnie Kong

The English title Madam City Hunter obviously evokes thoughts of this being somehow in cahoots with the Wong Jing helmed Jackie Chan vehicle City Hunter. Unless it's subtle (and the film certainly isn't), I missed the connection and instead Johnnie Kong brings us nonsense of the worst kind combined with the Yuen Clan doing action of the fun, over the top kind.

So as far story goes, wherever it is, you'll get Cynthia Khan being hunted down by the Ring Gang, her father (Wu Fung) engaging in a relationship with sexy vixen played by a stunning Kara Hui, Anthony Wong as an off-beat private dick with his crazy wife Sheila Chan along for the ride and finally Tommy Wong has the hots for Cynthia Khan. Coherence or a sense of fun transferred from filming to screen doesn't occur and this juggling act of extreme moods ain't pretty. Treats can be found in the action though including a rare chance to let Anthony Wong flash his actual fighting skills, exchanges of blows and weaponry of the frenetic kind and even some witty Wuxia style action.

Madame Fung Shen's Lover (1992) Directed by: Ha Jo-Fai

Bearing the much better title The Demon Wet Nurse on its vcd cover, this Category III period drama featuring power struggles and naughty things within the imperial palace walls definitely has effort put forth but immense chunks of plot holes are nowhere near filled up. Much seem missing in the story of poor Ru Yee who applies to be the nurse maid of the Emperor's son. She gets help to gain access by Wei (Tan Lap-Man) and soon they are both heavily involved inside the palace. She as the nurse maid and he as a eunuch in training. Wei also finds time to murder Ru Yee's sick husband and child... a fact barely mentioned after it's happened.

So you wait for Ru Yee, who clearly is seen playing Wei early on, to reveal some sort of master plan of revenge but the directions taken by director Ha Jo-Fai veers almost totally into Wei's desire to take over the palace instead. But in Ho's favour, the big sets are utilized very well and it's one of a handful of cheap efforts of its kind that doesn't want to settle on point and shoot only. Thankfully but up for heavy criticism nonetheless. Watch out for the scene where Wei has his penis bitten off (or damaged) by a black dog and Charlie Cho as the Emperor who often kills off women he beds thanks to his intense prowess.

Buy the VCD at:
Yesasia.com

Madam The Great (1993) Directed by: Wong Wai-Yip

KENNETH'S REVIEW: Also known as The Way Of The Lady Boxers and distributed by IFD as Angel Kickboxers, the original really feels like a cut & paste mess at times as well. Basically being a poster boy for Hong Kong and Mainland China co-operation, that is represented by cops working and fighting together. Then there's also some limp romance between Robert Mak's cop and the girlfriend of our villain. All being thin elements and rather sloppily put together. Sadly the action fails to impress largely as well. When good, it's a showcase for painful and daring stunts with or without Sharon Yeung. When at the other end of the spectrum, pace and editing beats up intentions into a stiff pulp and injecting high flying wire-fu at points just doesn't gel within this particular flick. Carter Wong also appears.

Madam Q (1996) Directed by: Cheung Sam-Fung

God of Gamblers but with nudity! Surprisingly unexplored angle in the 90s until this 1996 Taiwan cheapie came around and that's where the good news largely ends. Centering around a big gambling competition with skilled men and women from all over Asia, sexuality is used as a weapon in gambling... naturally. Some mad sex scenes (mad behaviour within them rather) and the camera going into a dizzying style at a few select points signals some promise but Madam Q possesses few sparks. Those few are worthy and memorable but shame a better drive and pace wasn't accomplished.

The Mad-Cold Blooded Murder (1981) Directed by: Albert Law

After a killer is leaving a trail of prostitutes behind him, cop Wong (Carter Wong) is under preassure to solve the case. Meanwhile we see the poor family of Kay's (Michael Chan) disintegrate as his wife gets a job at an opera troupe and decides to go for the wealth the boss of the troupe can offer up...

With hints at giallo combined with a pretty pedestrian police thriller, The Mad-Cold Blooded Murder doesn't win much points in the originality department. The execution is very basic but Albert Law earn points for keeping elements such as comedy out of the picture. With Bruce Le in a supporting role however, there's an unnecessary aura of Bruceploitation but then again it's way more subtle than you'd think. But it's in the sidestory (that then becomes a main story) with Michael Chan that director Law scores the most. Shooting in suitably gritty locations and never veering of the misery this couple and child lives in, Chan as the underdog is for this actor an original spin on his on-screen persona. This dirt and grit also extends to most of the violent scenes and although the tally of The Mad-Cold Blooded Murder won't amount to more than passable, the gritty tone Hong Kong cinema of this era in particular managed to inject over and over again is AGAIN compelling. Co-starring Ga Lun (Jumping Ash)

Made In China (1981) Directed by: John Liu

Also known as In The Claws Of The CIA, star John Liu directed and action directed this partly Paris set actioner (and he clearly shot Zen Kwun Do Strikes in Paris aka Kung Fu Leung Strikes Emanuelle there at the same time too) is an example of a director wanting to keep things snappy, feature a lot of ideas and boy is it a perfectly glorious mess because of it. Making little sense, John Liu is a martial arts star recruited by the CIA and going through/witnessing various mind control tests in the facility. When attempting to flee with secret documents, the hunt is on...

John Liu is the director and it clearly shows, in particular in how he centers the erotica around himself. During the training the instructors test John's strength by teasing him with the opposite sex essentially and this is only part of the madness conveyed with a sense of fun by Liu. It's outrageous ideas, exploitation and jumps from one tangent to another so quickly you even forget to question logic in Liu's particular movie universe. But it adds to the fun when you do, like when the various agents out to kill Liu rarely arm themselves with guns but rather poor martial arts skills vs Liu's superb ones. Add Liu's twin brother who may or may not be in a wheelchair (I suspect a huge continuity problem here but who knows) and you've got yourself a confusing and nicely tuned, trashy time. Casanova Wong appears as one of the other trainees in the CIA facility.

Made In Hong Kong (1997) Directed by: Fruit Chan

After one early directorial attempt, the ghost/romance Finale In Blood and bit parts in movies such as Haunted Cop Shop and 3 Days Of A Blind Girl, acclaimed director Fruit Chan found his desired path as as a filmmaker with the independent effort Made In Hong Kong. Armed with a low budget and utilizing amateur actors, the end result was met with 3 Hong Kong Film Awards including Best Picture and Best New Artist for star Sam Lee (who was hanging out in the streets of Hong Kong and studying to be an electrician when he was discovered by Chan).

Co-produced by Andy Lau, Chan's story of disillusioned youth, coupled with the uncertainty of the 1997 handover, is in a minor way a terrific but challenging film. Using voiceover akin to Wong Kar-Wai's work and mostly emplying a straightforward style (most of the final act is the one leaning towards arthouse), Chan isn't about to easily let in the viewer on his theme. It's not a drama that has a hook 5 minutes in, it's rather through some well-placed and even haunting voiceover towards the end that Chan seals his intentions. There exists a gap in the film between the adult world and the youths but Chan passes judgment on both (although characters like Sam Lee's Moon seem to possess more nobility than hopelessness). Made In Hong Kong clearly does present a gallery of doomed characters though, living in the transitional, bleak times according to them and I'm sure that communicated very well to the Hong Kong people but Westerners still have much to appreciate. If you want to be rewarded, you can with Made In Hong Kong but its scattered narrative may be frustrating for some.

Currently there's no ideal dvd release for the crowd that needs English subtitles. Dvd's are available in both France and Japan but neither have English subtitles. A subtitled release surfaced in Malaysia a while ago but not only is that out of print, it was sourced from the theatrical print with burned in Chinese/English subtitles. In Hong Kong, Asia Video Publishing handled the vcd release but never got round to doing a dvd edition.

Buy the VCD at:
HK Flix.com

Mad Mad 83 (1983) Directed by: Chor Yuen

Although hard to fully read and see this Shaw Brothers comedy in the hugely cropped presentation on laserdisc (Celestial never released a remastered version), Chor Yuen's comedy of confused identities and general madness is largely pretty pointless. Chen Chi (Aan Kwok-Leung) has a busy morning as he deals with all his friends and relatives issues with emigration, economy, marriage, health AND he's offered money by a mysterious woman to pose as her husband. In this convoluted mess (again, the presentation) we see the emergence of actor Aan Kwok-Leung in the role of a gangster boss of a drug syndicate as well and this confusion means assassins are usually going after Chen Chi with often failed results. Aan Kwok-Leung provides annoying comedic energy (aside from a moment or two in his other role) and nothing is really funny nor creative here. Just loud and long. Anita Mui, Stanley Fung and Tony Leung Chiu-Wai turn up briefly.

Mad Mad Ghost (1992) Directed by: Billy Chan

Another Billy Chan directed ghost-comedy (Chan also did Crazy Safari) with Lam Ching Ying, the icon of the genre ever since Mr. Vampire. Despite coming long after the original and the numerous copies, Mad Mad Ghost still contains enough of the Lam Ching Ying magic in both the authority of being a master to his excellent deadpan comedic expressions.

The plot this time around sees Lam and annoying ghost busting students move into a house occupied by a ghost couple (Jacqueline Law and Mandy Chan) in a marriage marred by abuse. There's also apparently a gold treasure on the grounds that a couple of gwailos (Eddie Maher and Mark Houghton) are after.

Best sequences reside in the first half as Lam rescue Jacqueline Law's character and the creativity on display makes for good entertainment Hong Kong style. Not that things take a turn for the worse but the energy otherwise throughout is one resembling autopilot for the genre Nonetheless, it's the Lam Ching Ying show and any moments of him doing his trademark thing makes it all worth it. Watch out for the crude and odd detour in full on patriotism during the finale. Anything goes...

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

The Mad Monk (1993) Directed by: Johnnie To

Johnnie To and Stephen Chow team up again after the hugely successful Justice, My Foot (1992) but The Mad Monk proves to be an uneven experience for Western audiences. The plot involving Chow as a god trying to get a beggar, a whore and a thief change their ways is a no-brainer but not knowing much about the religion makes the narrative less accessible. There's enough slapstick to merit a viewing and the cast (including a gorgeous Maggie Cheung) liven up proceedings. The Ching Siu-Tung wirework and several other bizarre images ranks as highlights as well.

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

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