People have pointed out that the opening scene seems very much influenced by the Italian slasher films of the time – bloody, brutal, stylish – as a woman is butchered by an unseen (but known to the victim) assailant. This is all witnessed by the woman’s young daughter who hides in the closet stricken with fear. Her doll though begins talking and the killer realizes that someone else is there. The killer starts thrusting the blade through the closet panels in search of the little girl. So begins this little thriller.
It switches gears though as three cops are assigned to run the killer down. Phillip Chan and Melvin Wong are partners and Pat Ha is a new cop on the force just learning the ropes. Chan is a revelation here as he gives a charismatic portrayal as a tough as nails cop with a strong sense of justice. Wong is also terrific as a slightly mellower cop with a beautiful wife waiting for him at home.
There are a few funny little quirky scenes that lighten the mood a bit and add coloring to the film. Such as the coroner pulling out a drawer with a corpse and reaching for a cold beer inside or the killer’s freaky accomplice who’s name is Mickey breaking into a perverse dance and singing ”Hey Mickey you’re so fine. Blow my mind. Hey Mickey” to a tied up Wong.
One of the main reasons I wanted to see this besides it’s fine reputation was to see Pat Ha in a film. She gained immortality in my eyes with her brilliantly cool performance as the efficient assassin in Yuen Biao’s 1988 film On the Run. Her career spanned only ten years from 1982 - 1992 and she made far too few films in that time. Here regretfully she really doesn’t have much to do but tag after Chan – though she does have a lovely On the Run moment near the end.
My rating for this film: 7.5