My rating for this film: 7.5
The following is (part of) what Thomas Weisser
wrote about HER VENGEANCE in his “Asian Cult Cinema”:-
“Fong Chieh-Ying (Wang Hsia-Feng) is brutally attacked and violated by five ruffians (including perennial HK villain Shing Fui On) after she rejects their crude advances. The gang rape leaves her severely injured, suffering from an incurable venereal disease. Ying’s sister encourages her to seek help from their uncle, Hsiung (Mr. Vampire’s Lam Ching Ying), a former triad boss now confined to a wheel chair. Initially, he refuses to assist Ying in her mania for retribution, but he does give her a job in his nightclub. She uses the hostess position to lure the low-life attackers into a vengeful web...” (1997:97-98).
The following are details of -- and corrections
to -- what was incorrectly reported above:-
1) Fong Chieh-Ying (played by the actress who is better known to English language readers as Pauline Wong) did not (have a chance to) reject any advances by the five ruffians since they didn’t exactly make any moves to woo her. Instead, they -- who happened to have previously killed her father and made her brother-in-law into a paraplegic -- gang raped her as “punishment” for her having stood up to their boorishness at a show and having gotten them ejected from the place where she worked as a manager.
2) After her sister learns of the brutal attack and violation, she encourages Ying to go to seek help from the former’s estranged husband, Hsiung.
3) Initially, he refuses to assist Ying with her quest for revenge, but he does find the Macau resident a place to stay in Hong Kong and also a non-hostess job in his nightclub.
Some people might excuse Weisser’s inaccurate reportage by saying that he at least got the basic plot details right (I.e., a woman gets gang raped and decides to actively seek retribution). Some others will probably say: What did you expect? After all, this is the man who -- in the previously cited publication -- furnished evidence of his not being able to tell apart Brigitte Lin from Gong Li, and Yukari Oshima from Michelle Yeoh (See the captions for the photos that accompany the “The Dragon Chronicles” and “Project S” entries in the book). Still others might ask: Why care so much about the accurate reporting of the details of a rape revenge movie?
To those who make the latter enquiry, here
are my two main reasons for wanting to point out Weisser’s lack of reliability
with regard to HER VENGEANCE:-
1) If he is not to be trusted to get right the details of the kind of movie one might expect him to have really viewed, then surely this is saying that he should pretty much never be trusted.
2) The kind of details that he got wrong are precisely those that give greater depth of cultural and psychological meaning and emotion to much of what is seen to transpire in the film. Put another way: I’d submit that they are what can make proceedings have a better resonance and show this gripping production to be a better work than people might otherwise think it was/is. And what use is a movie reviewer if he cannot help his readers gain a better appreciation of that whose merits he was actually extolling (For the record: Weisser awarded HER VENGEANCE a 3 star rating using a 4 star scale)?
My own rating for the film: 8.0