# 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
Page 01 | Page 02 | Page 03 | Page 04 | Page 05 | Page 06 | Page 07 | Page 08 | Page 09
Raped By An Angel (1994) Directed by: Andrew Lau

Probably one of most striking titles out of this wave of Cat III cinema but this Wong Jing production directed by Andrew Lau is cheap thrash, and not in a good way.

Admittedly, some of the foul sight gags do work (as well as the outrageous comeuppance for Mark Cheng's character in the finale) and Simon Yam is surprisingly fun as a kinder triad than you usually encounter in films. It's still clearly exploitation that uses the high rating to deliver as much excessiveness as it can. Those buttons, Wong and Lau obviously push very well but at the same time, they're clearly not at the forefront of the actual better filmmakers of this kind of Cat III (chief among them being Billy Tang). I have a fascination of this dirty backalley of Hong Kong cinema though and make of me what you will when I say that I'm keeping this and pursuing the Raped By An Angel series.

In places, Raped By An Angel has been marketed as a sequel to Naked Killer (the only connection being its main stars and producer Wong Jiing). When released in the UK, a 4 minute pre-cut print was not enough to please the BBFC, who excised another 7 minutes, making the UK version 11 minutes shorter than the edit presented on Universe's Hong Kong dvd (which reportedly represents the censored Hong Kong edit as evident in noticeable music jumps and audio bleeps).

Buy the DVD at:

Raped By An Angel 2: The Uniform Fan (1998) Directed by: Aman Cheung

In an odd move, producer Wong Jing waited 4 years before continuing the series that first surfaced during the heyday of Cat III filmmaking. By now, the original director Andrew Lau had moved on to not so much better, but other things and Wong Jing protégé, and not acclaimed director whatsoever, Aman Cheung was brought in to helm this sequel in name only.

If there's a throughline between the two films, it is that the bad guy at least now knows that it'd be best to use a condom but other than that "clever" touch, Wong Jing and crew go a standard exploitation route. Overly stylized to the point of silliness, director Cheung (a former cinematographer himself) does provide a fair amount of unsettling atmosphere, even when working with the lower Cat IIb rating. Anything noteworthy of his work stops right there but from this Cat III fans point of view, and bearing in mind that movies like this isn't a huge strain on ones economy, there's enough here to merit an unashamed viewing. Four words: Athena Chu, girlscout uniform...

In a way, Cheung's subplot, outside of the exploits of evil dentist, rapist, serial killer and uniform fan Phillip (Joe Ma Tak-Chung - Triumph In The Skies), about ex-con Bulky Kong (Francis Ng) attempting to woo Athena Chu's character feels like another movie. In fact, as a romantic comedy, it's almost semi-decent thanks to Ng's comic chops. Obviously, coming from Wong Jing, we find juvenile and macabre humour but placing the Francis amidst all this generates more laughs than most Wong Jing productions are able to muster. Chung Chun and Ha Ping co-stars.

Buy the DVD at:

Raped By An Angel 3: Sexual Fantasy Of The Chief Executive (1998)

Alex Fong's plays Chief Executive to be whose stressful life generates very vivid sexual illusions that in turn leads to a rape charge that may wipe out any chance of a political career. However, he is deadsure he hasn't committed such an act and while the entire investigation doesn't go in his favour, he's given leeway to investigate if someone has orchestrated a scheme to bring him down. Or is he a true beast?

Around this time, producer Wong Jing had apparently conjured up the idea of bringing quote unquote class into exploitation. A strange and questionable decision based on the kind of movies this venture affected; A Chinese Torture Chamber Story 2 and this, the 3rd installment in the Raped By An Angel-series.

Aman Cheung directs once again, bringing in much silly style over substance in what really is a pedestrian erotic thriller. Expectedly, nothing stands out as original, but Cheung admittedly involves the viewer during the middle section as Alex Fong's character tries to make sense of his situation. It also helps that Fong does just a slight bit more than just phoning in his performance (which I wouldn't blame him for in this case), displaying that trademark quiet dignity that he excels at exuding. As the twists and turns are revealed, this Raped By An Angel becomes incredibly silly just because there's no reason to jerk us around for 90 minutes in preparation for THAT ending. For a while though...bearable.

The package looks fairly slick and with the Cat IIb rating, much of your usual wanted (or unwanted) elements are kept subdued. Yet, and I'm going to hell for this for sure, the majority of my viewing self wanted a III, not a IIb. Simon Lui (the sole comic relief in this film but Simon brings an, at times, entertaining nerdy presence), Angie Cheung and Pinky Cheung co-stars.

Buy the DVD at:
HK Flix.com

Raped By An Angel 4: The Rapist's Union (1999) Directed by: Wong Jing

Wong Jing takes over directing reigns for this 4th installment and makes it a semi-sequel to part 2 with Athena Chu reprising her role. Directing style between Wong and Aman Cheung (who helmed 2 and 3) is strikingly similar and this means that Raped By An Angel 4: The Rapist's Union is very much exploitation business as usual, albeit within the Cat IIb rating (the out of print dvd is incorrect stating the film received a Cat III).

So, what does business as usual mean then? Over the top stylization by someone who has no clue about stylization, largely unfunny humour by someone who clearly thinks this is comedic gold and last but not least, this is a cheap, thrashy exploitation package. The latter point does mean that Wong Jing is pressing some of the right buttons for the crowd that Raped By An Angel 4 is meant for. There are some harrowing moments of gore and rape, courtesy of the union at hand. Also, Ben Ng gives a fairly menacing performance, opting to stay fairly calm as opposed to his beast in Red To Kill. Anthony Wong also has an amusing cameo as the Hannibal Lecter of rapists! The rest merely appear, including a useless character and lame comedic relief in the form of Nick Cheung.

Buy the VCD at:

Raped By An Angel 5: The Final Judgement (2000) Directed by: Billy Tang

So, let's wrap this one now shall we? The last installment of the Raped By An Angel-series for some reason didn't include Wong Jing, a very welcome decision. Lee Siu-Kei instead produced and Billy Tang (who had directed Chinese Midnight Express which Lee co-wrote and co-starred in) was brought in. Tang had proven to be the most talented out of all directors that came out during the Cat III craze and was certainly no stranger to this type of story either (see Red To Kill). The series hadn't gone the Cat III route since the original though, having tried to bring in a bit of class into efforts like the 3rd one (Sexual Fantasy Of The Chief Executive). Well...people like Wong Jing shouldn't dabble with class, that's for damn sure.

The content doesn't fully suggest it but Raped By An Angel 5: The Final Judgement is actually a sequel to the second installment (The Uniform Fan) as was the fourth movie in the way it brought back characters from that film. The Chinese title for The Final Judgement sports a 2 in it and the translation back into English would be something akin to Uniform Fan 2: Underground Court. Whatever...

It has to be said though that Billy Tang, as usual employing the talents of cinematographer Tony Miu, gives us the slickest looking movie out of the series. Miu's attractive frame clearly has some care put into it and furthermore, Tang, working with a IIb rating here, manages to create genuine unsettling moments as we go along (in particular during the flashbacks). Despite a cast of beautiful ladies (Gigi Lai & Pinky Cheung among others), none has any charisma to stand out and any potentially, thoughtful dramatics die a painful death. Which is a shame because there are some well-honed instincts here but Tang probably won't graduate from the b-movie ever. Cat III had its day, Tang utilized his time and now even the Raped By An Angel series is over. Oh well, no one involved can claim they made classics but there you go, now I've given my perspective on it...for better or worse.

I say over but strangely enough, yet another Raped By An Angel 5 turned up on dvd in 2003, starring Teresa Mak (Street Of Fury).

Buy the DVD at:

The Raping Murderer (1995) Directed by: Lok Ga-Chi

Following a drug enforcement group consisting of women only, there's personal revenge, corruption and by the very tail end of vcd 1, a raping murderer. Painfully low budget and shoots filler (i.e. the sex) in a flimsy manner that depending on the scene has a lot of foreplay and no sex while others launches us right into the zero erotic encounters here. Utilizing the low budget better as it moves along for the dark violence, the last half does entertain more as the lackluster erotica is something to be laughed at, Lee Chung-Ling is horribly miscast in a darker role than usual for him and sex-filler becomes uncomfortable by design at points too. The Raping Murderer therefore has a clear agenda in terms of the place it wants on the market of Category III movies but it only deserves to be a minor part of it during the second vcd. There's your clue as to how to watch this movie.

The Rapist (1994) Directed by: Cha Chuen Yee

As per usual when it came to Category III exploitation from this part of the 90s, The Rapist took its premise straight from the headlines of reality (Portrait Of A Serial Rapist covered the same story and also featured Chan Kwok-Bong and Farini Cheung). Director Cha Chuen Yee (Once Upon A Time In Triad Society 1 & 2) provides atmosphere that relies highly on immersing gritty style and pushes all the buttons the ratings allow to greatly upset. It definitively services the crowd but even that crowd knows when to feel disgusted while more than gladly being ones that takes on this less than life affirming experience. Cha's greatest asset to this production is a good ability to crank up the tension during the police hunt for the Tuen Mun rapist of the piece (played by Lee Kar-Sing) and thankfully, the cop unit is of the less goofy kind. Other sub plots including the a lame romance register as filler only and while chilling in its own right, the psychological aspect behind the rapist is the age old stuff that Dr. Lamb and the likes already handled.

The Rapist Beckons (1992) Directed by: Cheung King-Nin

KENNETH'S REVIEW: There's not much info to be found about this Category III rape-revenge thriller but notably it's an early role for Lily Chung who would go on to dedicate herself fully in victimized roles such as in Daughter Of Darkness and Red To Kill. Here she's fully clothed throughout but nonetheless a fine effect in director Cheung King-Nin's frame. She is conveniently enough Lily, scarred mentally from rape and after being saved from possibly yet another one by Po Wah (Ridley Tsui) and Ben (Karel Wong), she shacks up with the former while she regains her composure. But composure is hard to come by with memories of a dominating mother and a hungry Ben...

Quite amateurish partly as director Cheung exaggerates Lily's back story cinematically and the romance between Lily and Ridley's characters is certainly a poor man's hack job as created. But when turning conventions slightly on its head by having Lily planning her revenge on the innocent (in this case, on Ben's pregnant wife), a disturbing effect begins to loom over the proceedings. Our leading lady is fully focused in her distressing role, Ridley plays it weak which definitely fits but bad man veteran Karel Wong steals the film in yet another repelling act. Always with his clunky ass cell phone taped to his hand and after dishing out as much hurt as he can, through Wong we cringe at violence executed here. Be it his multiple scenes of raping Lily Chung, kicking other assorted women around or fighting brutally with Ridley, there's a cast effect over The Rapist Beckons that fits it firmly in the camp of films it belongs to. It stands out as a little bit more effective too.

A Rascal's Tale (1991) Directed by: Dick Tso

Not epic by any means, this expected and convenient tale about triad blood being passed on through the generations, with barely any chance of redemption does nothing new or surprises. Tse Wai-Kit plays the cocky triad youngster who is encouraged to stay in school, quickly does that (a development glossed over by director Tso) but can't turn his back away from the hacks, slash and bloodshed of the gangster world. Adult counterparts in the form of Shing Fui-On and Wu Ma's characters doesn't aid and Carrie Ng's good-hearted prostitute represents nothing to the overall message of the film. Sylvia Chang is too good for this material but takes the film to watchable levels through her presence. The intense final brawl contains some worthwhile brutality however.

Buy the VCD at:

The Real Me (1991) Directed by: Chow Wah-Yu

Having watched a version of the movie running only 70 minutes, it possibly is as much as 20 minutes shorter than intended but The Real Me easily and possibly easier survives thanks to this swiftness. Undercover cop Chiu (Kong Wa) is on the run with a disc of illegal transactions but loses his memory in an accident. As the memory is re-gained, he's drawn to a woman (Michiko Nishiwaki) on the wrong side. This is no fresh drama or emotional conflicts but all's kept afloat by a brisk, short running time and several energetic outbursts of gunplay. Also with Chin Siu-Ho, Kara Hui, Dennis Tang and Hsu Hsia.

Page 01 | Page 02 | Page 03 | Page 04 | Page 05 | Page 06 | Page 07 | Page 08 | Page 09