# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
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A Day Without Policeman (1993) Directed by: Johnny Lee

Cheap but with no restraint whatsoever is the best way to describe this Cat III actioner/drama/occasionally sleazy rape romp. Simon Yam is Wai, a village cop with a traumatic past where he froze during a shootout. Today he indulges in drugs, booze and is on the brink of divorce from his wife. His negligence leads to a Mainland gang entering the island to take revenge for Tommy Wong's bullied character. As these things go, the gang do not only go completely ballistic on the intended victims but the entire village community as well. It'll up to Wai to face his past demons and fight back...

Director Lee takes a simple premise and thoroughly confuses for the first reel as editing is relentless and every single moment with Simon Yam completely over the top. When he's settled down and convinced himself that there's nothing of great substance to be done here, he lets it rip...big time. There's copious amounts of violence towards pretty much anyone that gets in the way and while not particularly well-choreographed, the over the top nature to the action (and everything in A Day Without Policeman) strangely entertains. The plight for Simon Yam's character is admirable on paper but without any subtlety, nothing registers. Yam does put in more of a performance yes but under the guidance of Johnny Lee, it's extreme human drama instead! I do have to say that the various detours into black comedy, as sick as it may be, becomes something akin to creative in Lee's frame. A Day Without Policeman is not good but it's certainly watchable when it really shouldn't have been.

Daze Raper (1995) Directed by: Wilson Yip

KENNETH'S REVIEW: Although it wouldn't take long until Wilson Yip flexed creative muscles and a clever mind, his debut year of 1995 didn't contain those facets. This Category III effort, similar in plot to Spike Drink Gang, concerns Correctional Officer Hung (Bobby Au) who transitions to the dark side to eventually settle on a plot of spiking lemon teas and afterwards robbing the defenseless victims. Bringing in extra help derails much of his well laid out plans though, especially since Peter (Yu Kwok-Lok) is a pervert...

Consisting of two very distinct halves, in the former Yip unleashes a stylistic package (with many tilted angles) that is more miss than hit. Never really arguing favourably why Hung turns to crime, he doesn't get audiences believing he's drawn in an abstract way to it or that it all is based on a dissatisfaction in life (be it as a gambler or boyfriend). Visions of an inmate challenging him to become a Leopard in this world (and there's a highly strange scene where the inmates watches savage nature footage) and a possible darkly comic tangent about Hung's uneasy transition represents the sole glimpses of opportunities but none are ever nailed. Then the second half rolls in, containing a little police investigation, a little exploitation and more than just a little standard direction for the genre. Wilson Yip started somewhere. he just didn't start out good. Also with Farini Cheung, Kam Hing-Yin and Gordon Lam.

The Dead And The Deadly (1983) Directed by: Wu Ma

Amusing ghost comedy from Wu Ma (also co-stars) that concentrates more on comedic hijinxs than action. The former becomes quite enjoyable thanks to Sammo Hung and Wu Ma's interaction on screen while the select few action set pieces (choreographed by Sammo, Lam Ching Ying, Yuen Biao and Billy Chan) are of top quality. Clearly, the director finds his flow during the second half and deserves kudos for giving us an unexpected and entertaining climax, featuring only Cherie Chung battling for Sammo's characters life. The usual Hong Kong cinema weirdness also reaches great heights during this finale thanks to the Ghost Guards (looking more like goofy Star Wars creatures than scary guardians ). Familiar faces from other Sammo favourites such as Choong Fat (Encounters Of The Spooky Kind) turns up as support but special mention goes out to Lam Ching Ying, playing the old, not so sturdy, Taoist priest before he made it his definite role 2 years later in Mr Vampire.

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Dead Curse (1985) Directed by: Chong Biu-Man & Gu Sam-Lam

Almost painfully low budget supernatural terror ride that only seems to possess a few lights and smoke machine, mid flick the directing duo increases the energy as the witch (Maria Yuen) Inspector Ma (Lau Dan) once killed comes back for revenge on him and his family (including his kid and a photographer played by Seung Tin-Ngo). The colored lights, smoke and frenzied assault of supernatural terror is appealing and even creepy plus the audience after an adult time gets casual nudity and characters possessed into thinking they have glorious sex with the witch. Genre fun on the minimal scale budget-wise. Also with Kwan Hoi-San, Wu Fung and Poon Jan-Wai.

Dead End (1969) Directed by: Chang Cheh

Chang Cheh's portrayal of disillusioned, angry youth set in modern day Hong Kong takes a while to get going but coming from the era where he was such a character driven storyteller, it comes as no surprise that Dead End excels in the long run. Choosing this type of vehicle (rather than a Wuxia film) to first pair up Ti Lung and David Chiang may seem odd but it’s an evolution towards more frequent collaborations (the Ti Lung/David Chiang/Chang Cheh vehicles were dubbed ‘The Iron Triangle’ eventually). David is actually not the primary focus but the movie instead rests on Ti Lung's shoulders, playing Zhang Yuan, our youth of the piece. His love for Wen Rou (Li Ching) is being hindered due to her protective family and the frail mind of Zhang's threatens to take this conflict to violent places.

A tad overplayed at times as Chang Cheh depicts Zhang Yuan’s sensitivity whenever sensing his social status being judged, he still knows what beats to hit to make us relate. Confident in his flirting skills, Zhang faces a reality of trying to strike a career path of sorts but can in a heartbeat be discouraged about everything (even manifesting itself in the form of involuntary trembling). Young Ti Lung handles Chang's direction well and it's a tragic arc worthy of following.. His martial arts epics are obviously more bankable but it's a testament to Chang Cheh's skills that he can work wonders with less action in an unusual setting for him. Probably not as assured as his swordplay dramas as he had not worked the modern setting extensively, nevertheless we get angry WITH Zhang Yuan where we should and the ending contains some chilling violence. Chen Hung-Lieh (Come Drink With Me) and Angela Yu co-stars.

Deadend Of Besiegers (1992) Directed by: Zhang Siu-Wai

Wuwechimatao (Yu Rong-Guang) is a Japanese who jumps a boat with fellow countrymen AND pirates who are heading to China. Not wishing to take part in the greed and thirst for Chinese blood but of its martial arts heritage, his initial encounter with a little girl leads to him being a student of the Tiger Fist under the watchful eye of Cui Gu's (Cynthia Khan)...

Possessing two strong train of thoughts, starting with a pretty basic but well-made message about understanding across nations, Yu Rong-Guang's story is presumably of the one who brought Karate to Japan. There's always value in a genre vehicle that manages to speak clearly and in a valid way, hence Deadend Of Besiegers often getting good, deserved notices as an unusual 1992 entry. Unusual also in the way action directors Yu Rong-Guang and Wong Wa favours grounded martial arts of very high quality with only the odd wire-assisted gag, the mix creates a discovered gem that deserves even more discovery.

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HK Flix.com

Deadful Melody (1994) Directed by: Ng Min-Kan

As expected with Ni Kuang's name in the credits, Deadful Melody is not subtle in its portrayal of the Wuxia world. Explosive, extravagant techniques coupled with convoluted plotting and character designs truly being larger than life, this 1994 offering proves little to no skill in making the storytelling trademarks alluring. Brigitte Lin carries around her The Magic Lyre, a string instrument capable of providing pretty horrific death and wows to take revenge on the clan leaders that killed her family. Opposing her but possibly being connected to her is noble swordsman Lui Lun (Yuen Biao). ..

There's a minor attempt to speak of the cycle of meaningless violence in the Wuxia world but all director Ng Min-Kan (Spiritual Trinity) manages to offer up is bursts of colourful genre inclusions. Rest is painfully non-distinct and way too lighthearted. Although not always being able to convey the big concept of The Magic Lyre, action directors Mang Hoi and King Lee creates some big, explosive set pieces (in particular the ending) that doesn't waste opportunities to go gory routes at times as well. Highlight reel moments that doesn't come with a movie not worth going through. Also with Wu Ma, Lam Wai, Carina Lau and Elvis Tsui.

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HK Flix.com

Deadly Angels (1977, Pao Hsueh-Li)

In bursts Deadly Angels (made at Shaw Brothers) contains wicked energy, first showcasing the female squad at hand demonstrating a variety of weapons skills (belonging more to fantasy than reality) involving slingshots with exploding projectiles, spike-balls etc. No complexity occurs subsequently as targets are criminals and the movie is not afraid to punish us with violence either to emphasize that fact. The ladies of the cast are also fairly well immersed in the fight action where power and rapid intensity nicely carries a few of these scenes. But coming and going in terms of energy is not quite good enough for Deadly Angels and it ends up merely being a watchable curiosity. Starring Evelyn Kraft, Lau Wing, Dana and Nancy Yen.

The Deadly Camp (1999) Directed by: Bowie Lau

Backed by Wong Jing's Workshop, director Bowie Lau understand the slasher movie genre in and out (not that there's much to understand) but being the post-Scream era, there's not much room for throwbacks to the good ol' days of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween or the Friday The 13th films. Lau certainly opens the film strongly in that regard by featuring all of those references with a smidgen of Evil Dead creeping in via the camera work. These types of films need a template only as an excuse for vicious slaughter but also actual visual, vicious slaughter because this is certainly the majority of the time otherwise not cinema the genre offers up. Director Lau (whose next film would be Resort Massacre so it's obvious where his mind was at) however has so little means to work with (ferry ride out to the island setting probably ate up half the budget) and subsequently, the various killings don't amount to any fun gorefest at all. Crappy actors performing crappy characters under crappy direction. That would still make The Deadly Camp a gem if it had had an effects department of note. A rare excursion for Hong Kong cinema into this specific genre it is but that's where all notables end.

Anthony Wong gets top billing but only appears sporadically. Enough time to fondle his female co-star and then lend her out to the retarded son of the killing unit of the film. At least he's looking healthier by this point compared to his appearance in Beast Cops the year before. Also starring relative unknowns Samuel Leung, Lam Chi-Sin and Benny Lai. The film has a 1999 in its title and a Deadly Camp 2003 (aka Torturous Adventure 2003) also followed.

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HK Flix.com

Deadly Deal (1991) Directed by: Ken Siu

Once triad brothers, now on the roads of love and money respectively, Simon Yam and Ray Lui star in this professional but sedated effort. Director Ken Siu makes sure the film doesn't take off on wild tangents, a major positive in any Hong Kong film but story-wise we've seen it done even if Yam and Lui carry the material to solid level. Stuart Ong is suitably menacing as the big boss and Elizabeth Lee photogenic as the mistress of said boss as well as love interest for Yam's character. Conflict. Shot in synch sound. Also starring Lau Siu-Ming and Kenneth Chan.

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