# 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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Protectors Of Universe (198?) Directed by: Larry M. Jackson

More Korean made anime rip off shenanigans presented by Joseph Lai's IFD Films & Arts (but more prominently their Adda Audio Visual gets the main released through-credit). Acquiring the 1983 giant robot feature Super teukgeup Majingga 7, those makers were not shy about what famous manga- and anime design they were copying as clearly Go Nagai's Mazinger Z is being victimized here to a degree (to what extent is hard for me to say as I'm not familiar with it). But the Japanese need not worry about a third rate anime like Protectors Of Universe that launches at us with expected crude results. It's another blue faced alien invasion plot with Lai adding the best (or unbearable depending on the viewer you are) elements needed to sit through such as poor/hilarious dubbing, ridiculous names for our villains (including Alfred) and the original crew mixes quite limp giant robot action with a large dose of wacky comedy courtesy of our invading forces. It doesn't have a particularly strong story-drive despite its brief running time but at least some memorable, nutty elements that is all capped with a fight between Mazinger 6 and a fire breathing dragon.

Proud And Confident (1989) Directed by: Lee King-Chu

screencap courtest of Dragon's Den UK

Not that I remember Top Gun in detail but the story beats of Proud And Confident are, to provide a bit of an understatement, familiar....

Basically substituting pilots with cops, Tom Cruise with Andy Lau and Val Kilmer with Francis Ng, director Lee King-Chu (co-action choreographer on Lau Kar Leung-movies such as My Young Auntie) touches upon most clichés in a bad way and tops it all of with an underdeveloped romance between Lau and Rosamund Kwan.

There's plenty of action though, gunplay-oriented, and at times it's fairly tension filled, with moody cinematography to go with that. The filmmakers shoot themselves in the foot with the finale though. It has a lot of firepower but its ballistic nature does for one not really go hand in hand with the supposed drama and really lacks flair or style to make it less of a struggle to get through. It may be rare but Proud And Confident isn't exactly traits the filmmakers show with this 80s actioner. Also starring Dick Wei and Kirk Miu (Magic Cop)

A Punch To Revenge (1989) Directed by: Lee Chiu

Tsang (Eddy Ko) struggles to make money for his family, that includes a son with Cerebral Pares and since he can't take it when the wife has to go into prostitution, he goes into business with Mainland thieves. Fan (Yukari Oshima) is a social worker that gets caught in the crossfire as the thieves start to argue amongst themselves and cop Lee (Ben Lam) engages in the case that has personal meaning to him...

Low budget but above average (especially compared to the dreck Yukari Oshima has appeared in) that benefits from a gritty look and one mood-storytelling. Nothing extraordinary pops out from the screen as in actuality the action seems hastily staged and edited without much flow. But scenes of Yukari getting peed on, a terrific finale involving hostages covered in petrol that will be set on fire when shot on, screwdrivers, saws and gore heightens Lee Chiu's at times while also providing sharp direction in terms of tension. Also with Chan Ging (Long Arm Of The Law), Joh Chung and Stanley Fung.

Purple Darts (1969) Directed by: Pan Lei

Wang Ling plays a swordswoman carrying out revenge on her parent's death, with her calling card being the titular purple darts. Having to team up with the son of one of her victims in order to take down one of the most invincible forces of the martial world, Purple Darts is a limp, age old story from Shaw Brothers. Wang Ling has sufficient fury in her eyes but her participation in the action leads to some very choppy and stagey swordfights. That the aftermaths are often very gory is a plus but there's no supersharp team working anywhere here.

Pursuit (1980) Directed by: Wong Tin-Lam

Now this is one for the record books of silver screen turkeys but I rather think it will be kept out since it never have or should make an effect on the general audience. I'm not part of that latter crowd however so naturally Pursuit must be...*insert pun*

From acclaimed director Wong Tin-Lam, now a regular supporting player in the Johnnie To's camp, his last film clearly is evidence of someone doing something they once were good at, now having fallen far, far from grace. His thriller comedy here about a feisty and thoroughly annoying damsel in distress (Dik Boh-Laai) being witness to a murder by a psycho hitman (Chow Yun-Fat) looks to have been largely shot at one hotel (and a few years earlier than 1980), using room and various locales around to create your good ol' epic! Ignorance is bliss and this mess scripted by his equally messy son Wong Jing revels in its personal hard on for stupidity. Yes, Wong Jing sees fit to include people tripping over banana peels, males thinking largely with their libidos, groovy cops seemingly ready to P-A-R-T-Y rather than staying ahead in the investigation (one of them being unconvincingly dressed and played by George Lam), flashing, S&M etc etc. The assault unfortunately does suffer from the Wong Jing syndrome where it's sometimes impossible not to laugh but have no fear, Pursuit represents the lowest of the low, failing in a way not even my feeble words can describe and those Chow Yun-Fat fans wanting to see every piece of footage with the man, you can. You'll however be just as frustrated as every viewer has been every since Pursuit was released.

Pursuit Of A Killer (1985) Directed by: Taylor Wong

Taylor Wong (Buddha's Palm, Sentenced To Hang) directs this Long Arm Of The Law-esque tale that also blends in a whodunit-murder mystery with giallo-like stylistic excursions, all concocted at the by then tired Shaw Brothers studio. Pursuit Of A Killer doesn't waste time though as it steamrolls through the escape of a band of brothers (and sisters) from the Mainland to Hong Kong into their criminal career leading to prison sentences and finally, the systematic murdering of one by one of the brothers once they're out of jail. Lo Meng plays one that the police releases early to lure out the killer and by ending up on the government payroll, he utilizes the system by eating free and having sex for free. But while Taylor never really convinces us he's the right director for this gritty, gory and sleazy story, the script calls for passages that describes Lo Meng's character as heartless and it works for a while as valid subtext. Then again the grittiness and violence are created within surroundings that doesn't scream "we're still trying" but instead Pursuit Of A Killer has an aura that feels too manufactured. There would soon be no more manufacturing at a constant basis at the legendary studio. Jason Pai, Sun Chien and Chan Shen also appear.

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

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