Twist


Danny Lee has seemingly taken two of his most renowned films  - Dr. Lamb (1992) and Organized Crime and Triad Bureau (1994) – and combined them in this 1995 offering. From OCTB he takes the procedural aspects of cops capturing crooks and from Dr. Lamb he expands on the theme of police forcing suspects to talk (i.e. torture). Though I have seen other reviews that find the film so over the top that it enters into the realms of absurdity for them, I have to admit to finding its message and actions fairly reprehensible and shower inducing – it feels as if we are on some sexually S&M fascist fantasy journey from the dark mind of Danny Lee. It is not so much the things that take place (though they are fairly nasty) – but the sense that Lee endorses it and nearly salivates over it. Most films that portray police brutality to this extent do it with a disapproving eye or at least one that paints shades of gray around it – sure they are brutal but it’s a brutal world kind of thing – but here there is no societal eye raising, only cops who seem to have taken a primer from the Marquis De Sade and never even question whether what they are doing is right or wrong or out of proportion – and neither does the director. What is amusing in hindsight is a scene in which the cops go to the Mainland to pick up two suspects only to find them totally battered by the Mainland police – and Lee seems to be almost saying “look how civilized we are in comparison” – yet they are just different sides of the same coin.
Suki Kwan, Simon Yam and Danny Lee and his perm
In fact the brutality seems so out of proportion to the crime – a robbery in which no one is hurt – that you have to wonder whether Lee is striking against criminals or more so against a life style that he clearly finds offensive. The suspect  – the always flamboyant Simon Yam – flaunts his wealth, his fashion sense, his elitism and his sexuality – and the nose to the grind stone boring suit guy that Lee is seems to hate this flash. So he needs to humiliate him – simply being brutal in your basic cop torture scene isn’t enough and so Lee concocts a scenario in which he has to shame and emotionally and physically rape the suspect and his girlfriend. Clearly by the end the viewer’s sympathies (unless he is a card carrying member of the John Ashcroft fan club) are with the victims and you want them to hold up to the tortures of the cops and spit in their faces – but that would not be a Danny Lee movie.
Yam. Tommy Wong, Shing Fui-on, Parkman Wong and Fan Siu Wong
Simon Yam and his two accomplices (Tommy Wong and Shing Fui-On) with the inside help of Yam’s girlfriend Suki Kwan hold up an armored car and make off with millions. Yam allows no violence to take place – his motto being “violence is for sex” – and they just tie up the guards and go their ways. The OTCB is brought in with Lee in charge (and affixed with a curly perm that distracts me throughout!) – and many of the same actors that were in OTCB or Dr. Lamb (Parkman Wong, Emily Kwan, Fan Siu Wong, Eric Kei) play his subordinates along with Michael Chow. They soon suspect that Suki is the leak and track her to Simon – and put them under full surveillance – even to the extent of peeping on their torrid love making. A game of cat and mouse plays out with Yam doing his best to make fools of the cops – but eventually the OTCB feels they have enough to bring him in for “questioning”.
Lee, Michael Chow, Suki, Yam, Emily Kwan and Suki
They have 48 hours to question Yam and Suki before either having to charge them or letting them go. Yam’s lawyer (Melvin Wong) takes pictures of Yam before he is incarcerated and tells the cops that his client better not have a mark on him in 48 hours. When intense interrogation doesn’t get the cops anywhere and with time running out they turn to other methods – ones that won’t show a mark on the outside but will cause enormous pain. Without going into too much detail they involve a water hose and a condom filled with ice. It is not pretty to watch.
Yam, Eric Kei and the water hose
Being a bit of a fan of the much underutilized Suki Kwan in films such as Century of the Dragon, Gigolo of Chinese Hollywood, The Blood Rules, A Gamblers Story and Your Place or Mine – I must say I was more than taken aback by her very steamy performance here. Most films I have seen her in she always plays the faithful wife/girlfriend, the best friend, the loyal worker – but she just blisters her sexuality across the screen in a number of scenes – and it’s a surprise (and a shame) that she hasn’t made more – or any? – films that show this side of her acting – and body! Suki rocks!
Suki, Suki Suki!!!

My rating for this film: 5.5