Ng, Kar-lai, Carrie
Carrie Ng originated from Kowloon, and after
completing secondary education joined TVB’s drama school. Her screen
debut in 1987 was soon followed by a solid dramatic performance in “First
Time is the Last Time” (1989) – one of many parts in which she would be
cast as someone with a past or facing insurmountable personal difficulties.
Ng would appear in a number of Cat. III films such as “Ladies Killer” (1991),
“Naked Killer,” (1992), “Hero Dream” (1992) and “Evil Instinct” (1996)
that featured relatively graphic scenes.
In addition to appearing in a number of straight
action roles (e.g., “Hard to Die,” 1990; “Crystal Hunt,” 1991; “Mission
of Justice,” 1992; “Cheetah on Fire,” 1992; “The Armed Policewoman,” 1995),
Ng also played roles in which her character suffered at the hands of others
(e.g., “Angel Terminators,” 1990; “Candlelight’s Woman,” 1995). She
has so far appeared in more than 80 widely varying roles, picking up a
Taiwanese Best Actor’s award for “Remains of a Woman” (1993). Her
latest action film is “X-Cop Girls” (2001) in which she has a supporting
Ng Kwan-yu, Sandra
A prolific career actor with a filmography
of 80 or so appearances, Sandra Ng is best known for comic supporting roles
although she has appeared in virtually all the major genres of the HK film
industry. Ng was raised in HK and after secondary school enrolled
in the Arts training course of TVB, later appearing in TV dramas.
Her subsequent film career included prominent parts in “Operation Pink
Squad” (1988) – an early GWG action comedy, and the action drama “Thunder
Cops II” (1989). Despite a strong dramatic performance in this dark
actioner, Ng evidently found more work in action comedies (e.g., “The Inspector
Wears Skirts,” 1988 – 1992; “They Came to Rob Hong Kong,” 1989) as well
as in a series of ghost, witchcraft and relationship comedies.
During the mid to late 1990s Ng overhauled her
screen persona. A dramatic loss of weight combined with maturity
to yield a more chiseled, harsher facial appearance. With a short,
masculine haircut Ng crafted an assertively brash screen character who
appeared in offbeat relationship dramas such as “Modern Romance” (1994)
as well as in dramatic roles in the triad revival sparked by “Young and
the Dangerous.” Ng’s best performance may be as Sister Thirteen,
an aspiring triad, in “Portland Street Blues” (1998), followed by an ironic
post-modern parody in “Jiang Hu – The Triad Zone” (2000).
This three-time Japanese national bodybuilding
champion would have parts in almost two dozen Asian action films.
After appearances on Japanese television, Nishiwaki was cast in a small
supporting action role in the hugely successful Sammo Hung/Jackie Chan
film “My Lucky Stars” (1985). She would complete her best HK film
work toward the end of the decade, appearing in another physically captivating
cameo in the blockbuster success “God of Gamblers” (1989), as well as perfecting
an unconventional femme fatale supporting character in action films.
In titles such as “In the Line of Duty III”
(1988), “Princess Madam” (1989), and “Angel Terminators” (1990) Nishiwaki
combined dark passion, visual flair and strong action skills to produce
vividly memorable character parts that contributed greatly to the success
of these films.
Other action roles included parts in the superior
“Widow Warriors” (1990), “The Outlaw Brothers” (1990) and “The Mighty Gambler”
(1992), as well as the GWG title “Hard to Die” (1990). In these films
Nishiwaki appeared in supporting roles alongside most of the principal
female action actors of the day. As the market shifted, she was evidently
prepared to venture into Cat. III titles (e.g., “Hero Dream,” 1992).
By the early 1990s Nishiwaki had developed her
acting and martial arts skills to the point where she could be considered
for leading parts. Unfortunately, casting her as the hero is later
titles such as “The Real Me” (1991), “Big Circle Blues” (1992), “Passionate
Killing in the Dream” (1992) or “Whore and Policewoman” (1993) did not
present Nishiwaki’s real screen strengths. She now works as a stunt
player in Hollywood.
For more information on Michiko, please refer
to the Michiko Nishiwaki section
on this site.
Oshima, Yukari (aka Tsumura Yukari, aka Cynthia
Yukari Oshima had a combination of talents
and industry experience that is unlikely to be repeated. As a Japanese
she defied the odds against non-Chinese actors to produce perhaps the largest
filmography of pure contemporary action roles – more than 60 – of any performer
reviewed here, appearing under three screen names in three distinct film
industries (HK, Taiwan and The Philippines). As a teenager Oshima
studied judo and gymnastics, in addition to Goju ryu karate at a competitive
level. Her physical conditioning allowed greater than 180-degree
leg extensions, resulting in eye-popping high kicks. Oshima’s roundhouse
could be to the head or neck – not just the torso.
At her prime (e.g., “Funny Family,” 1986; “A Book
of Heroes,” 1986; “Close Escape,” 1989; “Outlaw Brothers,” 1990) her physical
skill was quite distinctive – and could be measured by the extensive list
of male martial arts champions or instructors she would fight in long filming
takes. It is worth noting that Oshima was one of the relatively few
prominent female action performers to actually be a martial artist.
Other attributes included a year studying at Sonny Chiba’s stunt school,
and stunt work on Japanese television before her movie debut in 1986.
Yasuaki Kurota – an acquaintance of Oshima’s sifu – was reportedly instrumental
in getting her a part in Sammo Hung’s “Millionaire’s Express” (1986).
The combination of martial arts and stunt skills were in evidence throughout
Oshima’s career. No other female action performer would equal her
falls and capacity to take – as well as give – physical punishment.
After breaking into the HK industry, Oshima’s
career took off with her performance in “Angel” (1987), to be followed
by several good action roles (e.g., “Angel’s Mission,” 1989; “Close Escape,”
1989; “Brave Young Girls,” 1990). In addition to a supporting action
role in “Final Run” (1989), Oshima was also an action co-director.
Some of her best roles were two directed by Frankie Chan (“Burning Ambition,”
1989; “The Outlaw Brothers,” 1990), and darker portrayals directed by Wong
Chun-yeung that included some of the genre’s best (e.g., “That’s Money,”
1990; “Dreaming the Reality,” 1991; “Angel Terminators II,” 1993), pairing
Oshima’s rather intense screen presence with Kara Hui, Moon Lee and Sibelle
Hu. Oshima’s other credits included running a talent business that
reportedly launched the movie career of Sophia Crawford, and being producer
of a film (“1/3 Lover,” 1993) in which she also has a cameo role as comic
With changes in the industry, Oshima relocated
to The Philippines where she appeared in work directed by Phillip Ko, before
returning to make more films on the Mainland toward the end of the decade.
Her last noteworthy appearance was in the “It Takes a Thief” (1999), and
although “Digital Warriors” was marketed under her name, her participation
was canceled and the project emerged as “Techno Warriors” without her.
She reportedly continues to appear in films produced in the Philippines.
Fans seeking recent titles should also definitely locate “Vengeance is
For more information on Yukari, please refer
to the Yukari Oshima section on
Penn, Kim Maree
This Australian martial artist has appeared
in numerous fight cameos. Her most extensive screen part appears
to have been a supporting role in “Live Hard” (1989) and Fun and Fury (1991).
As one of the screen villains destined to take a beating, Penn has nevertheless
enlivened several well-known action films, including “In The Line of Duty
5” (1990), “Queen’s High” (1991) and Police Story III (1992). She
also runs a security company in HK.