# 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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Wizard's Curse (1992) Directed by: Yuen Cheung Yan

It's dependable Hong Kong horror-comedy hijinxs by Yuen Cheung Yan and starring Lam Ching Ying. The Cat III rating does allow for more outrageous imagery such as the Terrific Vampire's main weapon, easily described as some sort of supernatural glowing penis. Also, the gore level is slightly heightened compared to other horror-comedies but the brain sucking scenes obviously looks like a concept that never was able to flourish due to budget restraints. These previously mentioned points are definite merits though but the Cat III rating also makes way for even more crude so called humour, courtesy of Wong Jing's screenplay. Still, it's good fun and once again Lam Ching Ying demonstrates his flair for comedy in combination with his assured handling of the Taoist priest character.

Wolf Of Revenge (1992) Directed by: Hoh Lin-Chow

Gang war, gang war, gang war and the main character's wife appears as a ghost to sell this as a piece of family melodrama too, Wolf Of Revenge is very eager as it's almost wall to wall fights and gunplay. Some of which is poorly staged but overall energy shines through brightly and the willingness to go all out with squibs and pyrotechnics with stuntmen very much in the midst of it infectious. The fact that Hoh Lin-Chow (listed as director for 1988's Goodbye My Friend, the re-release title of an older Chow Yun-Fat movie) goes through with the supernatural angle is also very endearing and part of a free for all way of thinking that you can't help but to like. Starring Tong Chun-Chung. Dick Wei, Lam Wai and Shum Wai also appear.

The Woman Of Wrath (1986) Directed by: Zhuang Xiang-Zeng

In 1986, Pat Ha had already made a name for herself as an actress willing to go down daring roads. An Amorous Woman of Tang Dynasty and My Name Ain't Suzie, both at Shaw Brother's showcased that and this Taiwanese rural drama becomes another bold move but one deserving of acclaim. Ha is Ah-Shih who is married off to a butcher but the relationship is marred by rape and abuse. The fellow women in the village does seem like helpful support throughout all this but a chilling turn of loyalties leaves Ah-Shih all alone in her fight...

Both the original poster and title suggest a thrashy exploitation vehicle but director Zhuang Xiang-Zeng, then a new voice in Taiwanese cinema but one who didn't make anymore films, quickly sets a stage of welcome subtlety. Working from Ang Li's (not to be confused with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon director Ang Lee) novel Sha Fu (which is also the Chinese title of the film), the harsh point brought up is that of oppression moving from one force to another. The setting is during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan during World War II and being unable to vent any kind of frustration back at the larger forces, the lowly people take it out on the weak. It's a disturbing portrait but not so much because director Zhuang presents graphic violence in the obvious places (the shots inside the butchery contains the most grisly images) but because of the stance taken by Ah Shieh's fellow villagers, thinking her screams and tears echoing throughout the village are ones of joy. The spiral is obviously going downwards towards some form of violent act therefore and it's easy to understand and respect why director Zhuang chooses not to give us any answers. It's a realistic snapshot of abuse that isn't specific for its time but a valid comment nonetheless. The content is of course questionably compelling but as art, The Woman Of Wrath registers high thanks to a mesmerizing performance by Pat Ha, haunting use of score and cinematography that captures the run down village setting to the utmost effect. As hard as it is on the eyes, Zhuang Xiang-Zeng's The Woman Of Wrath I dare proclaim as some kind of small masterpiece.

Women's Prison (1988) Directed by: David Lam

Considering it owes Ringo Lam's classic Prison On Fire pretty much everything, David Lam's Women's Prison is a surprisingly passable prison drama. Everything we expect to be present is. You've got the crooked guards to the internal gang fights but thanks to the trio of leading ladies (Pat Ha, Carol Cheng and Fung Bo Bo), the film stands well on its own as a minor engaging triumph within the genre. Prison On Fire still need not to be threatened but Women's Prison has moments of such extreme gritty violence that even Ringo Lam would be impressed by. Mario Cordero co-stars and sings a Cantonese rendering of "House Of The Rising Sun" for the soundtrack. Liu Fan also adds fine support as the menace of the piece while Simon Yam, Tommy Wong and Ha Chia Ling also appear.

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Wonderful Killer (1993) Directed by: Zhang Ren-Jie

The last film from the director of The Devil is a busy mixture where a simple slasher plot involving ONE killer isn't good enough. Filler exists in spades but also low budget, laughable (the at and with kind) energy. Maria Tung takes out various victims and manages to elude the police (headed by Charlie Cho in a non Category III role) for half a movie. Then the rest of the family goes on a killing spree, including the mentally challenged brother (Shing Fui-On). Also a movie armed with ridiculous looking gangsters, gritty locations looking more embarrassingly cheap but at one point Wonderful Killer catches your approval. A couple of fight scenes involving willing stuntmen, solid gunplay (as Lam Wai logs his cameo), even the ending with a ton of deadly traps set up by an all of a sudden very smart Shing Fui-On sees Zhang Ren-Jie managing to maintain low-budget momentum. A minor surprise. Also with Dick Wei and Karel Wong.

Working Class (1985) Directed by: Tsui Hark

Tsui Hark depicts the struggles between the workers and the employers rather simplistically (work together is the complex moral of the story here) but at a time where Tsui was on a creative roll, Working Class expectedly succeeds as a pleasant product of the era that simply wouldn't have worked as well today. The social commentary on display never goes mature places as such and relies more on wacky comedy but truth of the matter is that most of what we see is very amusing. The acting team of Sam Hui, Teddy Robin and Tsui Hark himself bounce well off each other and Working Class becomes a genuine harmless time. It doesn't attempt to be polished but really doesn't have to. Too bad it's somewhat hidden away in Tsui Hark's filmography. Joey Wong, Kwan Hoi-San, Ng Man Tat, Shum Wai, Bolo Yeung and Ken Lo also appear.

Sam Hui's requisite ditty for the film (English title of the song is "The Most Important Thing Is To Have Fun") was nominated at the Hong Kong film awards.

The World Of Drunken Master (1979) Directed by: Joseph Kuo

With the beggar Su character established firmly via Simon Yuen's performance in Drunken Master, to dig deeper into the past of this drunken boxer ain't a bad idea. So Joseph Kuo actually enlisted the services of Yuen... but only for an opening demo cameo that doesn't translate drunken boxing into fine movie entertainment. No, we quickly cut to Kuo regular Jack Long and a welcome, more wildly acrobatic side is injected into the film as he plays one of the famed students of the art, Fan Ta-Pei. Meeting up with his old friend Beggar Su (also known as Su Hua-Tzu), they start to recap their young days (where Su is played by another Kuo regular, Lee I-Min) going from rival sellers to united kung fu brothers...

Not very ambitious filmmaking though, director Kuo gets the side effect of viewer disinterest when changing up his cast. In classics such as The 7 Grandmasters and Mystery Of Chess Boxing, it was the literal shared frame of the likes of Jack Long and Lee I-Min that made those movies more inspired. Here Kuo can't bring out that inspiration despite loads of fight scenes with the very acrobatic and able cast. The almost adlibbed storytelling when cutting back to the old drunken boxers towards the end serves as an excuse to get a few more fights in but even here with Jack Long and Mark Long the lack of inspiration to provide kung fu translated into movie entertainment is seriously lacking. Also with Lung Fei, Mark Long, Lung Tien-Hsiang and Chan Wai-Lau. Also knows as Drunken Dragon.

Wrath Of The Sword (1970) Directed by: Wu Ma

Wu Ma's debut as director is a Wuxia pian and common revenge storyline without any revolutionary tactics but a desire to deliver in the genre the likes of Come Drink With Me built. You can swallow it's very much like King Hu's classics in the inn confrontation early on in the film as there is a certain cool here. Losing interest through its primitive swordplay and as the (short) running time moves on, Wu Ma scores points for the bursts of interest merely.

The Wrong Couples (1987) Directed by: David Chiang

John Chan's script has developments that can be spotted a mile away but David Chiang's adept handling of potentially sappy material and his perfect direction in both comedic- and drama territories for leads Josephine Siao and Richard Ng, results in a very sweet film. Tackling issues of parental responsibility, Chiang keeps his frame real and never gets either mood go overboard. There's slapstick inherent yes but it makes sense to have early on as Siao and Ng's characters go through the hatred toward each other only to gradually fall in love. Add a few fun fantasy sequences into the mix and you have another skillfully executed piece from underrated director David Chiang. Paul Chun, Ku Feng, Dennis Chan, Maggie Lee, Chiao Chiao also appear. Director Chiang swings by in a cameo towards the end.

Wuinu (Dancing Bull) (1990) Directed by: Allen Fong

A sensitive script by Cheung Chi-Sing (director of Love & Sex Among The Ruins) and Allen Fong's (Ah Ying, Just Like Weather) low-key direction merges into a quiet but rewarding drama that doesn't quite settle on being one thing. At center we find Lisa (Cora Miao) and her boyfriend Ben (Anthony Wong). Both are looking for a break in the business of modern and experimental dance so breaking free by opening their own studio, the duo set out on their mission to succeed. Ben works hard to fine tune the performances and Lisa campaigns to arise interest and funds. The determination begins to take its toll though as Lisa has to compromise and sell out while Ben's inner feeling boils so much that he's on the verge of burning out...

Fong places his camera in situations that literally is documenting the minutia of happy relationships, within the reality of the middle class. As much as the characters go about their business in a noble and valid way, the structure of Cheung's script allows for a collision that feels very much real. Even to the point of being unfair but seeing the determination of main characters not making it because there's only so much hours of the day and energy, is in a low-key way distressing. There's two extraordinary scenes representing this. One where we witness a drunk Lisa admitting she's had an abortion but wants the marriage bliss anyway. The other where Anthony the actor comes into his own as he explains the jobs he can take besides his current one and they depressingly enough only relate to dancing. It's a lethal combo that has the film taking unexpected turns where there's suitably no blame game involved, just natural turns for the characters to find choices and balance in their respective way. Then the superbly reserved Fong makes yet another turn towards the end, pushing for the theme of working out your future not for yourself but for your people. A theme that fits in the timeline without spoiling anything. Wuinu (Dancing Bull) is a work that on the surface is a triangle drama and a soap opera but Fong's always captivating style that isn't stylish never threatens to make the drama clichéd. He just asks for viewer investment because he's not going to provide an answer sheet for all events in the film. It's always a pleasure to announce that the investment is well worth it.

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