# 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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Laboratory Of The Devil (1992) Directed by: Godfrey Ho

Whether or not Godfrey Ho intended to shamelessly exploit what Mou Tun-Fei's historically aware Men Behind The Sun did, it is exactly what Laboratory Of The Devil (also known as Men Behind The Sun 2) comes off as. Riding on the (shock) wave of the first, even going so far as copying entire scenes, i's a Men Behind The Sun movie on autopilot and considering the real life war crimes it is based on, that is not a good verdict to walk away with. Set in the events just post Unit 731 disbanding, we flashback to events mid horrors at the facility with experimentation, human vivisection etc in the name of germ warfare in full swing. At the center there's the young doctor Morishima (Jimmy Au) feeling remorse and conscience kicking in as he's witnessing the human experiments. Featuring an autopsy scene of what looks like a preserved corpse of a woman and the freezing chamber recreation from the first, unrelated movie (which in itself based it on history and witness accounts), Ho gets the shock factor across but we're merely casually watching along and don't direct disgust towards real life atrocities as much as we should. Again, a Men Behind The Sun-movie going through the motions and that's a bit of a crime even if MAYBE intentions were human and good.

Lackey And The Lady Tiger (1980) Directed by: Norman Law & Siao Lung

Formulaic but often very entertaining, Seasonal gave Jackie Chan Peking Opera classmate and frequent collaborator Mars a chance to plow his path as a Chan style comic martial arts hero. That's one aspect of Lackey And The Lady Tiger that is sorely lacking, the leadership. Otherwise, despite following a formula featuring all too grating comedy and swiping entire key scenes from Snake In The Eagle's Shadow (although they stay clear of the animal cruelty in this one), the film has often fine pole work, acrobatics from the lead and energy in the form of Tien Niu's literally boyish character. She even does a version of "Rock Around The Clock" while putting Mars's character through training. Veteran Sek Kin also holds his own quite well when swinging the pole but the real quality injection all round comes when Hwang Jang-Lee (straight from the Drunken Master set seemingly) begins to offer up some trademark, amazing kicking. A momentum that is sustained throughout subsequently. Linda Lin, Fung Ging-Man, To Siu-Ming and Chiang Kam also appear.

L.A. Connection (1988) Directed by: Phillip Ko

Can be argued air went out of IFD when Godfrey eventually left the company but abandoning the literally colourful ninja genre to focus on modern action also deflated the quotable nature of their cut and paste products. Mostly anyway. Having said that, as long as some fun is present in either their or the source footage, aficionados would get a kick out of something somewhere. L.A. Connection is not where you'll find it. What we get here is a plot with police vs drug kingpins or something in both Hong Kong AND Los Angeles where our source movie is set and starring a very clownish, Asian character trying to find his sister. Coherent enough but low on involvement, few sparks fly here aside from in the IFD footage. Now focusing a lot of on slow motion gunplay, some familiar Hong Kong cast like Ridley Tsui and Dion Lam are present to provide some sharp moments. IFD even does quite an extended action finale because gunplay can go on for longer vs Ninjutsu and martial arts choreography but it doesn't mean throughout there's honed skill. Most is rather limp but way more bearable and fun versus the dull source movie. With Brent Gilbert, Mike Abbott and Jonathan Isgar.

Ladies In Operations (1993) Directed by: Chao Chen-Kuo

Essentially the Taiwan version of The Inspector Wears Skirts, only more shameless. A group of women are plucked from their abusive, negative surroundings to participate in anti-terrorist training (well, the targets are local gangsters really). Training in skimpy, sometimes see through outfits ensue. Largely executed with a loose skit-framework as the girls quarrel, complain, learn team spirit and then murder bad guys by the end, it's a production clearly aimed at male audiences (the supposed rousing montage-song is about how courageous these big breasted women are. That's all in the lyrics) considering how these women are filmed and portrayed. Not to mention they are being taught seduction, there's copious shots of their behinds and the assistant, male instructor is a goofy pervert. Audience pleasing one might say but it's desperate. Chao Chen-Kuo (A Girl Rogue, the source movie in Godfrey Ho's Ninja Operation: Knight And Warrior) insists on so much low humour and stupidity that it's almost winning. There's a dopey energy here that you laugh at and almost with. The action-ending gets the violent- and car stunts-aspect fairly right but very few of the women look comfortable shooting guns here.

Ladies Killer (1992) Directed by: Do Gong-Yue

Running a lean 78 minutes, clearly the original slasher thriller starring Chung Faat as the psycho ex-husband of Carrie Ng's character didn't shoot or edit together a whole lot of footage so added to that short running time is about 10 minutes of largely unrelated sex scenes with Chung Faat's somewhat elder boss and his girl/mistress/whatever played by Rena Otomo. Placing our slasher lead in these scenes makes the illusion more bearable but with its changing film stock and with no English subtitle translation for these scenes, it's evident Ladies Killer made a decision to beef up its market potential in the early 90s regardless if it fit or not. It is largely an embarrassing time though, with stale direction and a Chung Fat not pulling off the psychotic role very well. The Halloween score is stolen for this movie's "tense" scenes and Chung Fat's ending reel street is of pretty decent caliber. It doesn't make it boring at 78 but nevertheless thoroughly forgettable unless you're cataloging any movie with added sex in the most obvious of ways. Also with Melvin Wong.

Lady 9 Flower (1969) Directed by: Cheung Fong-Ha

Out to free their boss, the Hwa clan led by Lady 9 Flower (Sam Suet-Jan) have to come up with a different plan after one leads to several of their brothers dying. Seeking up her old school and master in order to extract the top pupil from that school, she is not welcome back unless she performs harsh tasks for 7 days. As Lady 9 Flower does so, she's also started a game of manipulation in order to further not only one but several plans of revenge...

Going multi-characters on us from the getgo via lengthy and stiff exposition, the fundamental problem of this Taiwanese Wuxia piece isn't that it stays way too close to stage play antics but that it's a very boring theatre experience. It never survives being talky and most definitely never survives bringing in characters with muddled or boring purposes. The swordplay and Wuxia techniques are as expected not particularly refined but as always, had they come within a context and viewer engagement, tables would've turned instantly. The choreography shines more in its depiction of Wuxia techniques (jumps seen in point of view shots and trees falling when being slashed from a great distance are neat gags even in 1969). Otherwise only one beach confrontation gets tension-levels up to a bearable degree. An almost Dean Shek-esque villain (Cheung Kwong-Chiu) appears and in the end Lady 9 Flower has progressed into a piece where characters are neither good or evil. It's an interesting last thought, done in an uninteresting package.

A Lady Came From The Hell (1974) Directed by: Ding Keung & Yeung Ming

KENNETH'S REVIEW: Funky sights, sounds, a stiff murder investigation and a family melodrama, this yawner from Taiwan won't have heads turning (probably would've helped to include it though). Pai is the presumably dead daughter that pops up again (possibly from hell) to execute revenge on the associates of her mother. A mother that abandoned her dad (not by blood however) on his death bed. Au Wai leads the investigation and while odd, totally unintentionally funny (such as when drama plays out in front of the corpse of the father and acting reaching parody-like levels during a late revelation), there's nothing going on in A Lady Came From The Hell. Suen Yuet also appears.

Lady Cop & Papa Crook (2008) Directed by: Alan Mak & Felix Chong

After debuting as directing pair (rather than just writing pair as on the Infernal Affairs trilogy) with Moonlight In Tokyo (2005), this kidnap drama/quirky comedy fails rather miserably at firing on the same fresh, creative cylinders clearly inside the pair of Mak and Chong. With Sammi Cheng's inspector bringing relationship and pregnancy issues into the house of triad John (Eason Chan), whose son has been kidnapped while the triads try to get the kid back their way, the stage is set for a challenge. Mixing the dark and light, the out of place and quirky as in their 2005 debut as a pair never pans out for Lady Cop & Papa Crook. Downright dull at points, Mak and Chong has a better grasp of darkness and tension than their low key, comedic side to their script. Bursts of engagement doesn't translate to anything tolerable in this case. Also with Chapman To.

The Lady Is The Boss (1983) Directed by: Lau Kar Leung

Lau Kar Leung once again turns Chinese traditional values on its head with a modern day effort that just reeks 80s in many ways. He gets amusing results out of the culture clash of martial arts education methods but the broad comedy does not, as expected, make The Lady Is The Boss the smoothest ride.

Lau however is terrific as the old school master having to deal with the modern ways and what really rises the movie up several notches is Lau's combination of traditional kung-fu and modern, for its time, applications. Highlights include the BMX assault led by Kara Hui's character and the climax set in a props filled gymnasium. It's also here that Lau references his past work, such as Mad Monkey Kung Fu and The 36th Chamber Of Shaolin, with exciting results as it's really the first time he lets Gordon Lau and Hsiao Huo loose in the film. In a role reversal from My Young Auntie, it is instead Hsiao who plays the rational student while Kara Hui in general runs wild. Supporting players include Wong Yue, Johnny Wang and Elvis Tsui as one of the students Mei Ling recruits for the martial arts school.

Buy the DVD at:
HK Flix.com

The Lady Punisher (1994) Directed by: Wong Jan-Yeung

Less impressive than Wong's various action vehicles such as Devil Hunters, Angel Terminators 2 etc but it's interesting to see him try out the extensive and sometimes lucrative Category III movie (and rating). Featuring action but in reality is a basic rape/revenge flick, The Lady Punisher doesn't threaten to provide the most primal bite out of these genre efforts (especially not via a very pleasant poster involving two girls on a horse) but it's passable junk from a very interesting and prolific era for Hong Kong exploitation. Tsui Man-Wah is at times left a little to her own devices as the victimized heroine but she springs to life more when the revenge combined with some kind of action choreography is called for (the sequence involving her and Chan Lau, Wong's co-director on Angel Terminators 2 is the standout). A late introduction of a rape-revenge groupie that aids Tsui leads to some darker, more intense erotica in a welcome move as well so despite at times feeling like a no budget movie, some sparks are present through performers and Wong's eye for gunplay is also strong during the detours into this. Also with Tommy Wong and Shing Fui-On.

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