Wild At Heart (1993)

Produced & directed by: Ho Fan
Written by : ?
Starring: Dick Lau, Chan Ji-Hung & Chui Chan

Although veteran photographer, director (and even actor - See Shaw Brothers' The Monkey Goes West) Ho Fan was approaching the end of his career, faced with low budgets and a fast moving scene of tons of Category III sex movies yet he found time to create style and comedy. The Temptation Summary-movies, The Sichuan Concubines proved there was creative energy still left and his misadventures of cheating-tale in the form of Wild At Heart creeps up at you nicely to reveal it's got more goods than the initial feel and look gives off.

Essentially we follow Kim (Dick Lau), a cretive supervisor at an advertising agency, as he juggles women and tends less to the one his married to. The aggressive, female boss Jacqueline and any random woman he fancies are goals, a plan is always hatched in order to woo and often helping out is colleague Peter...

Feeling initially like a very bland Category III sex-romp with forced comedy, Ho Fan has firm belief in it and that wins us over. Mainly through a fairly manic energy, infectious silliness and you wouldn't think these untested performers (especially lead Dick Lau) would be able to conjure up the laughs but he certainly does. While whimsy plot-wise as the thread is merely Kim cheating and the pending comeuppance, Ho Fan has fun playing with his frame as Lau breaks the fourth wall along with the character of Peter to talk of and justify their actions. Obviously horrible, manipulative men, there's something dopey in their firm belief that one should dip your wiener into as many women as you can. Even if it drains you because some are wilder than others.

Quite evident in a visually splendid alley sex scene with an off screen train hijacking the audio at times and the epic session leading to pipes bursting and the performers going beyond moaning to screaming, Ho Fan may let this run a long time but there's thoughts to shots here. Which is no surprise. The sex-scene while driving a car through traffic ranks as such wild intensity it becomes otherworldly as well. Winning us over equally through cartoony and surreal comedy, Ho Fan got the instincts down in terms of providing comedic energy and nailing gags through careful editing. Even creating a couple of highly entertaining fantasy sequences that are all about at one point Kim having sex publicly in front of adoring fans to more punishing scenarios when he's on thin ice, lead Lau is not afraid to look dumb, silly and even has comic timing (the condom gag has to be seen to be believed).

I Love Miss Fox and Secret Lover may be more successful comedies in the same vein but Wild At Heart scores points because it doesn't look like it can score much of a grade initially anyway. It comes down to Ho Fan's visual- and comedy skill, with the latter being present in even his final decade as director. To keep the touch intact is admirable.


reviewed by Kenneth Brorsson