In the early 80s one of the oddest collaborations
in film history took place. Brigitte Lin, the cinematic sweetheart of Taiwan
and already a huge star for ten years throughout Asia teamed up with the
infamously schlocky director Chu Yen Ping for five films Fantasy Mission
Force, The Demon Fighters, Golden Queen Commandos, Pink Force Commandos
and Seven Foxes. In three of these films Sally Yeh was to co-star with
Brigitte, but Sally at least had an excuse as she was at the beginning
of her career but what to make of Brigitte. She was clearly at a turning
point in her career a scandal had tarnished her image and these films
may have seemed like leaky lifeboats in a stormy sea. Of course, she also
looks like she is having a hell of a good time making these insanely quirky
movies! Perhaps after years of being confined by her squeaky clean roles
in Taiwanese weepies and gentle comedies, these films were like being released
from a prison.
By almost any film standard these are dreadful
films. A film purist would either walk out after ten minutes or suffer
a catatonic shock. The plots are idiotic and often totally illogical, the
sets and designs are hokey and as cheap as fifty cent perfume, the editing
strikes one as haphazard and crude, the costumes were likely bought at
a garage sale in the steppes of Outer Mongolia, the writing has all the
polish and subtlety of a rusty wrecking ball but damn if these films
arent a hoot for the most part. What other director would have a character
cut off her arm with a sword and then attach a gattling gun as a replacement
(Pink Force Commandos) or have a ninja jump out of the stomach of a pregnant
woman (Demon Fighters)?
I would recommend the first four films mentioned
above to anyone with a sense of humor and a sense of the bizarre bad
films but in a very entertaining way. Unfortunately, the same can not
be said about Seven Foxes this is a bad film in every sense of the word.
Though the dates for these films are difficult to pinpoint have seen
1982 and 1983 given as well as 1984 and 1985 I think this was the last
one and it feels as if Chu Yen Ping had run out of steam. This film does
not capture the genius lunacy of the previous films and it is much less
ambitious in its scope.
A very wealthy fellow, Sun Yueh, is dying of
cancer and has two wishes. One is to find his long lost son and the second
is to have a professional killer finish him off. So he places an ad for
his son and has his servants hire a killer to bring his life to a quick
end. Three men all show up claiming to be the son and all three of them
are phonies. One of them is Derek Yee (Magnificent Warriors and future
fine director) along with his girlfriend Brigitte. Both of them are thieves
at the beginning of the film they rob a casino and are now out to fleece
the dying man. Sun Yueh doesnt know who to believe so he has them all
stay over along with his step-daughter, Sally Yeh, and puts them through
various tests one of them being a version of treasure hunt in which they
have to steal horses and gas pumps among other articles.
Sun finds out of course that it was a misdiagnosis
and that he will live but the killer is out to get him and cant be recalled
- and anyone else in the house is in danger as well. The first half of
the film is total goofball comedy almost like a silent Max Sennett comedy
full of pratfalls and the second half becomes almost a slasher film with
the killer chasing them all through the house. But none of it is very good.
Both Brigitte and Sally look great throughout
Brigitte wears some very chic hats and Sally begins the film with a
torrid flash dance like routine dressed in hotpants, vest and bow tie that
was quite fetching. If that is enough to hold your interest, this VCD may
be worth picking up sometime.
My rating for this film: 3.5