HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Lu Over the Wall
She's Funny That Way
Vox Lux
Aftermath, The
Five Fingers for Marseilles
Jupiter's Moon
Favourite, The
Mysteries of the Gods
Coming Home
De Sade
Patti Cake$
Hellbound
Final Destination 2
Romance
Bros: After the Screaming Stops
Cockleshell Heroes, The
Mule, The
Sunday in the Country
Nutcracker Fantasy
Spellcaster
Hipsters
Executive Action
Captain Marvel
Zombie Girl
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Rhinoceros
Monkey King 3, The
Adventurers, The
Stripped to Kill
Daughter of Dr. Jekyll
Aladdin's Magic Lamp
Christopher Robin
Hole in the Ground, The
Daniel
Blue Christmas
Death Trip
She's Missing
Return of the Soldier
Shaft
Summer Lovers
   
 
Newest Articles
The Hole in the Ground: Director Lee Cronin Interview
She's Missing: Director Alexandra McGuinness Interview
Woo's the Boss: Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death on Blu-ray
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
Locomotion Pictures: The Best of British Transport Films on Blu-ray
Roman Scandals: Extreme Visions from Ancient Rome
Spider-Wrong and Spider-Right: The Dragon's Challenge and Into the Spider-Verse
Monster Dog: Cujo on Blu-ray
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
Hard Luck Story: Detour on Blu-ray
   
 
  Angel with the Iron Fists deadlier than the maleBuy this film here.
Year: 1967
Director: Lo Wei
Stars: Lily Ho Li, Tang Ching, Fanny Fan, Lo Wei, Tina Chin Fei
Genre: Action, Thriller, Martial Arts, Science Fiction
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Girls, guns and gadgets grace this Shaw Bros. spy caper. Hong Kong is being terrorized by the insidious Devil Girl’s Gang, who rub out a top Interpol agent in the opening scene. A beautiful, mysterious girl (Lily Ho Li) comes to town, carrying a cache of diamonds, on the run from a mobster nicknamed Bald Head. Suave jewel-dealer Cheng Tiehu (Tang Ching) comes to her aid when she is targeted by hired killers, much to the annoyance of his girlfriend, nightclub chanteuse Miss Dolly (Fanny Fan). Both work secretly for the Devil Girl’s Gang, into which they soon enlist their protégé. Proving a dab hand at espionage and assassinations, she wins the trust of the Chief (Tina Chin Fei) who assigns her a key role in their plot to take over the world with a new wonder drug. But is there more to the doe-eyed, gadget-girl than meets the eye?

In the Sixties Hong Kong cinema was dominated by female stars. This coupled with the international vogue for spy movies gave birth to the so-called “Jane Bond” craze. Almost every major Chinese actress headlined their own spy thriller: Jeanette Lin Tsui in The Golden Buddha (1966), Cheng Pei Pei in Operation Lipstick (1968), Tina Chin Fei in Summons to Death (1967), and many more. But it was multi-talented Lily Ho Li who really took to the genre, carving a niche as the “Jane Bond” par excellence in films like this, The Brain Stealers (1968), and The Lady Professional (1971). While her award winning career highs were yet to come, Angel with the Iron Fists presents Lily at the height of Sixties glamour, cover girl gorgeous in an array of stylish mod outfits, but performing with subtlety and hints of steel.

Although it suffers from Lo Wei’s usual inattention to pace (his cameo as a bumptious police chief doesn’t add up to much either), the film crafts a solid, involving story that unfolds with some gripping twists and turns. It plays up the mystery of who our heroine is and what she really wants and, with spy film regulars Tang Ching and Tina Chin Fei cast against type, keeps us guessing who is good and bad. Our chief villain doesn’t even turn up until halfway through, but crafty storytelling holds our attention with some witty set-pieces: an agent pretends to be a lecherous drunk while leaving coded messages for our heroine; an ingenious fake assassination; and a shootout in a hair salon where Lily makes lethal use of assorted beauty products. Connoisseurs will also relish a great catfight between Lily and Fanny Fan.

Once Tina Chin Fei arrives on the scene, resplendent in her white catsuit and gold go-go boots, the film takes off into sci-fi territory. Production values are noticeably more sumptuous compared to other HK spy movies resulting in lavish, Ken Adam-style space-age sets, better choreographed fights (Lily takes them on three at a time in her chic ninja gear), and panoramic scenery. Of course no self-respecting super-spy would be complete without their crazy gadgets. Lily is outfitted with infrared sunglasses, perfume that sprays knockout gas, a machinegun purse, an exploding wristwatch, and hair-band radio. Not to be outdone the bad guys wield cigarette lighters that shoot poison gas, your standard trick laden cars with hidden machine guns, and the fearsome Tunnel of Fatal Light that disintegrates all who pass through without protective gear. The filmmakers don’t stint on the eye-candy either with lovely Tina commanding a bevy of international beauties and an undercover assignment at a swimsuit show providing a shameless excuse to ogle Lily in a bikini. Like the best Sixties spy movies, it’s a sunny confection that harks back to more innocent times.
Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 8648 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Darren Jones
   

 

Last Updated: