Despite only appearing in three films released
in 1990, this American-born Filipina bodybuilder made quite a physical
impression with her fluid grace and power in “She Shoots Straight” (1990).
She co-starred alongside Joyce Godenzi in “License to Steal” (1990), and
played a memorable, menacing assassin in “The Big Score” (1990).
Reportedly a former London barmaid who walked
in cold to the HK movie industry, Sophia Crawford rapidly acquired the
physical conditioning and skills to perform screen fight sequences and
appeared in many cameo fight roles. She has since forged a career
in American television stunt work. Crawford’s screen time was frequently
brief but intense – as in her single line appearance in “Hero Dream” (1992).
Her most extensive roles in HK action cinema were opposite Yukari Oshima
in “Story of the Gun” (1992) and “Beauty Investigator” (1992).
Nadeki Fujimi is a Japanese martial artist
and action actor who – despite approximately ten contemporary action roles
that have included some fairly prominent films – remains virtually unacknowledged
in English language sources. Fujimi provided much of the martial
arts punch in two pairs of high quality action films that are among the
In the first pair (“Killer Angels,” 1989;
“Mission of Condor” 1990) she would square off against Moon Lee, with a
particularly fine fight with Simon Yam in “Mission of Condor.” Even
more of Fujimi’s martial arts skills were on display in two films co-starring
Carrie Ng and Donnie Yen (“Crystal Hunt,” 1991; “Cheetah on Fire,” 1992).
Fujimi’s screen time and part in “Crystal Hunt” probably qualifies her
as Donnie Yen’s co-star. Her jumping kicks are impressive and she
also provides a fair dramatic performance. She manages to convey
some of the visceral intensity that characterizes the best action performances.
Fujimi would also star as the female action lead
in several more GWG films. In the Cat. III police actioner “Rock
on Fire” (1994) she would play a dour detective who fights Billy Chow.
Fujimi co-starred with To Kwai-fa in similar roles in three Taiwanese productions
that included two police actioners (“Lady Killer,” 1992; “Wonderful Killer,”
1993) and a title (“Pink Panther,” 1993) that deserves to be a minor cult
classic. Here Fujimi leads a female vigilante group that takes revenge
for partner violence. Unlike some other performers, Fujimi’s roles
were restricted to essentially two parts – police detective and assassin.
Both were well suited to her rather formal style and excellent physical
abilities. She also appeared in a cameo fight role opposite Sharon
Yeung in “Erotic Passion” (1993).
Godenzi, Joyce Mina
A former Miss Hong Kong with no previous martial
arts skills, Joyce Godenzi would appear in approximately a dozen films
between 1985 and 1992, many directed by Sammo Hung. Not all were
action roles, but Godenzi evidently trained with Dick Wei for her leading
part in “She Shoots Straight” (1990), co-starring Carina Lau.
Godenzi’s training, intense dramatic performance,
and constructive editing would yield one of the best GWG films. She
would also appear opposite her nemesis from this film – Agnes Aurelio –
in “License to Steal” (1990). One of Godenzi’s most memorable parts
was as a guerilla fighter in Sammo Hung’s “Eastern Condors” (1987).
Ha Chi-chun, a former model, has enlivened
a number of action films with her screen presence and martial arts performances.
She appeared in an expanded cameo role as a martial artist in “Gambling
Soul” (1989), but would create an enduring screen impression as the immaculately
turned-out super-soldier “Jensy” in “Final Run” (1989) in which she spars
with Oshima. Ha also co-starred as Oshima’s Filipina police partner
in “Angel’s Mission” (1988), and as a kung fu practitioner in “Brave Young
Girls” (1990) in which her style was an interesting contrast to Oshima’s.
Ha was often cast in exaggerated villain roles, which she played to the
She was the traitor in Joyce Godenzi’s guerilla
squad in “Eastern Condors” (1987), a cross-dressed crime boss in “Angel
Terminators” (1990), a gang leader’s spouse in “Widow Warriors” (1990)
and a cruel corrections officer in several women’s prison films (“Women’s
Prison,” 1988; “Jail House Eros,” 1990). She was afforded greater
dramatic depth in “Women’s Internment Camp” (1993) – a jailbreak film.
Although Ha appeared in more than a dozen supporting roles (e.g., "Thunder
Run," (1990), she does not appear to have appeared in film since the early
Ha Man-chik, Pat
Pat Ha appeared in at least a dozen films of
various genres during the 1980s. An actor who came to some prominence
with the New Wave of HK filmmaking, she would have significant parts in
a number of contemporary action films, including “Night Caller” (1985),
“Women’s Prison” (1988) and “Vengeance is Mine” (1988).
But Ha’s co-starring role in “On the Run” (1988)
as the down-at-heel assassin who gradually rediscovers her humanity was
her most memorable – a performance that ranks among the very best of the
Hu Hui-chung, Sibelle
Sibelle Hu is credited with more than 50 film
parts between 1978 and 1996, as well as additional cameo appearances.
One of her roles was in a late Shaw Brothers martial arts film “The Master
Strikes Back” (1985), as well as the Sammo Hung/Jackie Chan film “My Lucky
Stars” (1985). Co-starring at one time or another alongside most
of the principal action actors in the industry, Hu developed a conscientious,
tough cop screen character (e.g., “The Inspector Wears Skirts” 1988; “Hard
to Die,” 1990; “Who Cares,” 1991; “Fatal Mission,” 1991; “Drugs Area,”
1991; “Crystal Hunt,” 1991; “Lethal Panther,” 1991; “Fighting Fist,” 1992;
“Way of the Lady Boxers,” 1992; “China Heat,” 1993; “Angel Terminators
II,” 1993; “Angel’s Project,” 1993).
In addition to this staple role, Hu also displayed
more dramatic talent with morally ambiguous characters (e.g., “Fire Phoenix,”
1990; “The Roar of the Vietnamese,” 1991; “Bury Me High,” 1991; “Dreaming
the Reality,” 1991; “The Mighty Gambler,” 1992). Hu was actually
at her best as an actor when the chips were down for her character.
Perhaps her best roles were in “Dreaming the Reality” and “The Mighty Gambler,”
both directed by Wong Chun-yeung.
Although capable of delivering competent screen
martial arts, Hu was most inspired when her characters became indignant
or vengeful. Her scene in “Angel Terminators II” where she threatens
the life of an informer is particularly striking. Unfortunately,
Hu’s dramatic potential was never fully realized and – perhaps alone among
HK action actors – she never played a villain. This may have represented
image management for particular markets, since Hu won acting awards in
both Korea and the Mainland.
Hui Ying-hung, Kara
It has been reported that while Kara Hui’s
siblings attended Peking Opera school, she danced to raise cash.
In 1976 she was evidently invited to join Shaws as an actor trainee, making
her movie debut the following year. After eight pictures and rigorous
martial arts training, Hui’s starring role in the classic “My Young Auntie”
(1981) gained her a Best Actor award. By the late 1980s Hui had moved
on from Shaws and period roles, appearing in contemporary action films
such as Rosa (1985) and several produced by Jackie Chan (“Naughty Boys”
1986; “The Inspector Wears Skirts,” 1988 – 1992).
Hui also co-starred in non-comic action
films such as “Widow Warriors” (1990) – directed by her former co-star
Wang Lung-wei, “Queen of Gamble” (1989) and “Burning Ambition” (1989) –
directed by Frankie Chan. Hui would also co-star with Yukari Oshima
in “Never Say Regret” (1990) and “That’s Money” (1990) – one of her most
engaging performances, directed by Wong Chun-yeung. Other action
roles included “Brave Young Girls” (1990), “The Vengeance” (1991), “Roar
of the Vietnamese” (1991), “Bloody Revenge” (1992), “Vengeance of Six Dragon”
(1992), “Madam City Hunter” (1993), and “On Parole” (1993).
Hui has continued to appear in action films (e.g., “A Story in Beijing
City, “ 1993), although lately these have tended to be cameos (e.g., “Crazy
Mission,” 1999). Hui’s filmography of more than 80 parts embraces
some of the best in HK action cinema.