Friday, January 7, 2011

Asian Week: Naked Killer

Subtlety does not exist in China!  This 1992 film is considered to be the start of the Raped by an Angel series, despite all evidence to the contrary.  What a lot of people don't realize is how big softcore films (aka Category III films) were in China for a while.  Did they replace wushu or horror films?  No, but they did better than they should have.  Does a lot of it belong to the success of this film?  Who knows?  It gives me a good pretense to talk about this movie though.  The film involves a woman who ends being part of a secret group of lady assassins.  A cop has a thing for her and refuses to let it go, however, creating some tension.  There's a little nudity and a lot of fighting her, people.  The film has a bigger body count than most Friday the 13th films!  Break out your binoculars as we check out a...

The film begins with a man being attacked at home by a woman coming out of the shower.  The man is dressed like Mad Max for some reason, but they never say why.  Odd.  She also displays some rather silly physics to her moves, not to mention an obvious wire in the shot.  The police investigate the scene, led by our hero- a man with a tragic back-story.  Basically, he was chasing a perp and accidentally shot his brother, who was also a cop.  As a result, he can't fire a gun without throwing up- odd.  A bit later, the man ends up at a salon where a jerk of a man hits on a woman, who in turn gets stabbed by the same woman.  That's what you get for trying to beat up your pregnant ex-girlfriend!  The cop chases her down, but fails...which endears her to him.  Women love men who suck at their jobs, I guess.  They go for a date, but trouble strikes at her house.  Her mother-in-law gets caught in bed with another man and her father inadvertently gets killed.  She shows up at the man's place of work and engages in some crazy kung-fu hijinks.  The businessman has a small army of goons, leading to the death of at least a dozen men.  Our heroine is saved by a mysterious woman, however, which changes her life forever...

As it turns out, the woman is a female assassin.  She uses her connections to give our heroine a new identity, but only after she agrees to be her apprentice.  Our heroine learns quickly, thanks to the woman locking her in the basement with a rapist.  Learn by doing, I suppose.  We get some sexual tension between the two, but nothing actually happens.  All those posters with our heroine posing topless with another woman- lies.  I just figure that I'd get that out of the way before you think that I've just started reviewing straight-up porn.  The women bond over small talk, hit jobs and fun little pranks like our heroine locking the women down with two rapists.  It's funny because they could have molested her!  The pair begin to work, going to Japan and taking out a man.  They apparently can kill you by dancing around you and wrapping a rope around your neck, severing your head.  No, I don't know how that's supposed to work.  Our hero, meanwhile, mourns the loss of his lady.  Conveniently enough, he begins to investigate the killings that she is taking part.  As far as comedy goes, there's a bit where a victim's severed dick falls on a plate.  Ha ha eww!

When our hero sees the 'love of his life' again, he's happy.  When she claims that she's not the same person, he's sad...but convinced that he shouldn't give up.  Meanwhile, a rival killer makes her presence felt.  She decides to take out our heroine and her mentor,, because.  Our heroine can't resist the charms of the detective and falls in love, leading to some PG-13 sex.  She wants to give up being a hit-woman, but that plan gets kiboshed by the death of her mentor.  On the plus side, she takes about another five to ten guys.  Our heroine sets up a meeting with the woman who, despite her seeing our heroine vow to kill her, is up for being seduced.  Again- nothing actually happens, save for a fight in the pool.  You tease me, movie!  Our hero finally gets over his phobia/vomit-inducing and shoots up some thugs to help out our heroine.  They go back to the mentor's house- naturally, go where they have already broken in- for one last fight scene.  More random stunt men die before our heroine takes out the evil hit-woman with the same trick she used.  You'd think that she would know how to counter her own trick, but whatever.  Our heroine is poisoned though and the cops have them surrounded.  Doing the only logical thing (to him), our hero blows them up.  The End.

Holy randomness, Batman!  The plot of this movie is strange, mixing melodrama with kung-fu, romance and intrigue.  It's a very bizarre mix, let me tell you!  They throw in a bunch of things from other movies too.  The action is right out of Jackie Chan's early films- even with the wire work- and the shooting is very reminiscent of John Woo's work from this time period.  My favorite rip-off, however, is the scene they steal right out of Basic Instinct.  Our heroine is interrogated by the police- well, two of them- and dresses just like Stone's character.  She even does the leg-crossing thing, although China can't have you actually show anything.  In all honesty, the action here is pretty good.  The plot- I could live without it.  Of course, a lot of the scenes are shot too close are edited so spastically that you can't really get any clear detail.  When you can make out the real details, it's nice enough.  Ultimately though, the movie is not really an erotic thriller.  It implies that it should be, but delivers on none of the promise.  Check out the assorted bits of cover art for all the stuff that was apparently meant to be in it.  On the up-side, it is better quality than either of the Raped By An Angel films that I've seen.  That's some solace, I guess.
Up next, Blockbuster Trash brings us the second (and last) Asylum film of January.  This one involves 'Gabrielle,' 'Brad Majors' and a 500-foot whale.  Stay tuned...


  1. This is my fave CAT III movie. I guess I look at it as a sort of pop art mishmash of other Hong Kong films of the time. The U.S. DVD is apparently heavily cut, although I've only ever seen the uncut version.

  2. Hmm, that may explain a lot.

    Mind you, the DVD I saw is probably the one most people see, so I feel that my review is still notable. Just make a mental note that there may be a different cut out there when you read about the one I saw.