Somebody in HK should get a bonus for coming up
with the cover for this film. Two slender naked women – back to back –
one holding a gun and the other a long blade – what man could possibly
resist! That one image drives a stake right into the heart of the male
psyche - sex, style and violence. The film needless to say doesn’t even
come within a flicker of living up to this image – very little style, no
nudity and only a modicum of violence. I am always in hope of discovering
another "Naked Killer", but this is most definitely not it.
It does of course have the snub nosed beauty of
Sophie Ngan. Sophie has become the queen of tease when it comes to film
covers. The covers of Horoscope II, Resort Massacre and this film all had
hopes raised by the prospect of something equally interesting within –
all to be dashed upon the rocks of a Category II rating! One would have
to be a bit of an idiot to be fooled three times of course. Oops.
Sophie has the potential to be one of the better evil beauties in HK film
since Pauline Wong. Or as Mae West once said “When I’m good I’m good, but
when I’m bad I’m even better”. Sophie does “bad” very well bringing a lovely
and enticing sexy twist to her characters. When she played a good girl
in Resort Massacre, her performance lacked any energy – but here she is
back on her game. An intense stare and a wicked smile are enough to create
a freeze frame cinematic moment.
There is regrettably not enough Sophie in this
film. Instead the main focus is on Bessie Chan who gets caught up in the
middle of some mysterious events. She goes to pick up her husband, Michael
Tse, at the airport after he returns from a trip to Thailand. A trip to
Thailand always signifies trouble in a HK film and there is plenty of that
ahead for this couple. As she spots him at the airport, she sees Sophie
come over to him, whisper seductively in his ear and drop some keys into
his pocket. Not good signs.
Michael Tse – in a bit of a bug eyed performance
– seems to be under tremendous stress and goes into momentary furies on
occasion – but won’t tell Bessie what the problem is. She begins suspecting
he is having an affair and the worry causes her to begin sleepwalking in
the neighborhood. Apparently her brother had the same problem - and
it led to insanity and murder!
Co-incidentally (or not?) at the same time
there are some horrible murders occurring – and the police begin to suspect
that Bessie is doing it while sleepwalking. The fact that the murders took
place miles away and a car was stolen to help commit the murders doesn’t
seem to faze them! That would be a hell of a sleepwalking session. Sophie
pops in from time to time – smiles enigmatically – and moves on. As the
conspiracy begins to come out from the shadows though – Sophie takes on
a bigger role. Simon Lui has a small role as a corrupt politician.
Though there is a smidgen of an alluring mystery
here, not a lot of it is particularly engaging and Bessie’s performance
is extremely whiny and annoying. Still Sophie somehow manages to rise above
this so-so mediocrity and make her screen time memorable.
My rating for this film: 5.0