Women on the Run

For those who enjoy that genre of film that could be titled “Men are Scum” should take pleasure in this one as there isn’t a man worth a plugged nickel in sight. On the other hand fans of trash cinema will find many delights within as well – I know I did. Seeing this 1993 minor exploitation classic twelve years later was a needed reminder of how much fun Hong Kong film was when it was out of control and feared nothing. This was the film industry that churned out these kinds of sleazy gems without batting an eye, but they either have forgotten the art of trash or are afraid to put their foot in it. The last good one that comes to mind was “Naked Poison” from 2000. Where has all the good exploitation gone? This one is a nice trip down memory lane in which the filmmakers happily give us all the tasty ingredients one could ever want with kung fu nude fighting, drug addiction, police brutality, a man getting his penis shot off, a gang rape and some pretty solid action.
As a director, Corey Yuen is associated with a few classic female bonding action films like Michelle Yeoh and Cynthia Rothrock in “Yes Madam”, Joyce Godenzi and Carina Lau in “She Shoots Straight” and Hsu Chi, Karen Mok and Vicky Zhao in “So Close”, but this one came as a surprise with its unsavory aspects and crotch shots. Maybe he just needed to get it out of his system. Like these other films just mentioned it too takes as its premise two women who have to bond together to survive and to kick some male ass – they are just a bit hornier than his usual characters. If Yuen had put Michelle and Cynthia on scaffolding in order to shot from below them, my guess is he would have needed reconstructive surgery, but the two actresses on display here have no issue with it apparently because they do it on two different occasions!
Siu Yin (Tamara Guo) grows up in rural China dreaming of being the next Bruce Lee or Jet Li and when she wins a martial arts contest she thinks that it's only a matter of getting to Hong Kong to make her dreams come true. Instead, her boyfriend takes her to the big city of Guangdong and turns her into a moneymaking machine on her back and gives her a heroin habit to keep her in line. She puts up with this for a while until one customer urinates into her championship cup and she bounds out of bed in the nude and gives him a walloping roundhouse kick that sends him crashing through the door. Her boyfriend being the consummate businessman that he is isn’t pleased. Soon though she spots him wooing another girl and drives his head through a nail. He is still not pleased and very dead. She escapes to Hong Kong, but it isn’t show business waiting for her but more customers lined up down the hall. When her little den of sin is raided by the cops she gets away by climbing up scaffolding and just waits there for them to go away, but instead they send a female cop, Ah Hung (Farini Cheung Yui-ling in her debut film while part of the musical group Ascension) to bring her down. The two get into a fracas – the camera leering upwards like high school peeping tom – before they both fall to earth – unhurt of course.
The two are brought together again when Ah Hung’s cop boyfriend David persuades her to go undercover in China to track down the drug dealer King Kong (Korean kicker supreme Kim Wong-jin) and to take Siu Yin with her. The real deal though is that the boyfriend is corrupt and in cahoots with King Kong and they are just setting the two women up to take the fall if need be. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise after seeing David suck on her knee like a ripe peach – you just can’t trust knee suckers. The pair makes their way into China and knock around a bunch of guys in a well-choreographed scene by Yuen Tak. In particular, Tamara looks extremely able in her martial arts moves and this makes her willingness to disrobe all the more peculiar. They hook up with King Kong but things start going askew when they are met at the Hong Kong airport by rival cop Corey Yuen and somehow they manage to board a plane to Canada – airport security not being what it is now back in 1993. In Canada the girls run into more problems – they get arrested for drug smuggling, beaten by the cops, almost killed by a band of assassins and then gang raped by no doubt hockey fans – all in one day. Welcome to Canada. They find there way somehow back to Hong Kong – resourceful as they are – with only one thing on their minds – to even the score.
The acting here isn’t very good, there are some absurd plot holes that are just papered over and the film has a dirty old man sensibility to it that can be a bit cringe worthy at times, but this is just good old fashioned trashy fun in a way that seems to be a thing of the past. By the way, I can only find credits for Tamara for two other films – a low-budget Filipino production called “Techno Warriors” (1997) and “Ghost Promise” (2000) – and would be curious as to what else she has been up to if anyone knows.

My rating for this film: 6.5