The Story Of Lady Sue (1992)
Directed by: Lam Yee-Hung
Lam Yee-Hung has had the odd moment or two. The good thing is that those moments, in particular a sequence in O.C.T.B Case - The Floating Body and the end of The Woman Behind have been extremely violent standouts. Let's call it The Lam Yee-Hung Push if you will. Having done the period ghost story before in Liu Jai (Home For The Intimate Ghosts), a suspicion one should have is that a vehicle such as this, which The Story Of Lady Sue also is, doesn't have the time and space to shock the sh*t out of its audience. One would be right and speaking of time, the Taiwan dvd up for review here merely runs 69 minutes. For a Category III movie, not too much of a disaster if the nudity was still intact. It ISN'T and while it doesn't change appearances that much and you do get a showcase of just how much of the adult material would be featured in a 90 minute movie, The Story Of Lady Sue could've earned some extra grades if we had been blessed with the chance to see how Lam Yee-Hung shot his erotica.
Yin Feng (Tan Lap-Man) finds himself to be the target of Lichun, leader of the Black Religion (played by Lam Wai of Long Arm Of The Law fame) and while fleeing, he strikes up an uneasy alliance with the money-minded Fairy of Po Tin Mountain (Charlie Cho). Yin Feng does get to develop his fighting skills however and saves street artist Fan (Maria Tung - My Wife's Lover) from being sold as a prostitute. Tragedy will soon strike as Lichun will not give up...
There's a select few instances of dialogue being cut as well but the whole package isn't thoroughly attended to when it comes to the intact narrative. One of the few drawn out scenes is one of melodrama at the beginning which certainly doesn't showcase any skill on behalf of our B-list lead Tan Lap-Man. What a cry baby and the subtitle "Stop being lousy" sums up the virgin state he's in. Virginity does play a part in all this as Lichun wants such people's blood in order to create the Dragon Pill which would make anyone thoroughly awesome in bed. Right on. So through some decent scenes scattered throughout of Wuxia energy with energy bolts being generously featured on screen, The Story Of Lady Sue at least have something going for it that IS intact. Scattered throughout should be a key phrase to keep in mind as no other element still in this cut convinces, especially not the key romance between Yin Feng and Fung who's dreadfully played by Maria Tung. Going down some A Chinese Ghost Story routes this story, if it ever materializes in a good way it is when combining the energetic animated effects of the finale. It's a deep romance in words only though and that obviously isn't enough but PERHAPS we could've had a sense of romance had the reportedly long sex scenes not been cut out.
The movie still comes off just maybe a notch below the actual grade I would give it and in a surprise move, Charlie Cho as the Fairy who wants to use his healing skills for his own monetary benefit (even though a character he's being asked to heal is called Billion, Fairy still wants a billion) is somewhat amusing in his shameless ways (plus his facial hair is a stroke of genius... somewhat). It's always good when Cho isn't always having sex, oogling women and/or raping them in movies. This is character acting! Sporadic character The Story Of Lady Sue does have and it's for the kind of Hong Kong cinema fan that can take with them the few minutes in minority that sparkles. In uncut form I'm sure Lam Yee-Hung's movie would still have favourable minutes in the minority camp but they would've been more in quantity.
The DVD (Scholar/Shengchi):
Video: 1.67:1 non-anamorphic widescreen.
Audio: Mandarin Dolby Digital 5.1.
Subtitles: Imbedded English and Chinese.
reviewed by Kenneth Brorsson