Pink Force Warriors (1985)

Directed by: Yang Chia-Yun
Written by: ?
Producers: ?
Starring: Shirley Lui, Ying Hsia, Lu Hsiao-Fen, Don Wong, Teresa Tsui & Cheung Foo-Mei


Originally released in 1983 in Taiwan as Women Warriors Of Kinmen, IFD got it in their package deal (or maybe saw individual potential) with key Taiwanese cinema (and some not so key) of this era and released it presumably intact (and dubbed) as Pink Force Warriors. Adhering to a Taiwanese cinema tradition that popped up here and there in several decades, this is the army training movie-template and while it may be a very hitting and felt product for its audience (or maybe just tiring propaganda for said audience), director Yang Chia-Yun is kind of stuck with a very non-lethal, non-threatening product here. Which is a shame because Yang's track record making rape-revenge and Western influenced slasher-horror like The Lady Avenger and Exposed To Danger is way more interesting even when she got so many of the premium ladies attached to this big looking frame here.

Following a female army unit training to stand ready to defend the island of Kinmen from communist invasion, when off-duty there's also drama and romance. Mary (Lu Hsiao-Fen) loses her father to an act of violence by communists and is trained the leader (Don Wong) of the frogmen unit to battle back as violence is all she sees now. Shirley Lui's character has a family ready to take off to Taiwan. There's a few more storythreads amidst the soldiers and a final one involving their commander (Teresa Tsui) who's got an ultimatum by her boyfriend's family. Leave now or they aren't allowed to marry.

Briefly but graphically setting up the conflict between Mainland China and Taiwan in a Saving Private Ryan-style opening, this is well depicted and harrowing but it's soon clear the piece Yang Chia-Yun is heading here and it's largely a tiring one. Some higher up's I'm sure was satisfied with the message and good execution by the units at hand but as for character- and story involvement, everybody at hand is going through the motions, being incredibly annoying and Pink Force Warriors is really dull cinema. Would those desiring the inspirational depiction really sit through this mess of emotions and dull romance?

It's understandable what the script does in structure but when characters like Ying Hsia's highly obnoxious, immature one (that will learn responsibilities by the end) gives you a headache through every wide eyed facial expression and constant talking (when she was mute in Richard Chen's Ms. 45 remake/rip-off Girl With A Gun, it worked so much better), it's understandable that audiences get antsy. Yang Chia-Yun has worked very well with Lu Hsiao-Fen before and it's no surprise her sidestory engages more as her Yang can crank the darkness and actual violence of the piece up to engaging levels here. Featuring two very well choreographed and executed fight scenes involving the actress and a rather shocking conclusion, Lu comes alive here and clearly the filmmaker for hire does as well.

The graduation training exercise is epic and well staged for the scope frame but the combination of nigh on zero percent care for characters, lack of investment in the plight of the country's army and the fact essentially this is all training (and hence an informercial for Taiwan's finest), Pink Force Warriors is a memorable mess unfortunately because some annoyance gets lodged in your brain and the few, rousing frames makes you wish Yang Chia-Yun and Lu Hsiao-Fen went out and logged another fine collaboration instead.


reviewed by Kenneth Brorsson