HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Country
Absolution
Rough Draft, A
Battle of the Godfathers
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
   
 
Newest Articles
Things Have Changed: Films You'd Be Insane to Make Now
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
   
 
  Amsterdam Kill, The No time for tulipsBuy this film here.
Year: 1977
Director: Robert Clouse
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Richard Egan, Leslie Nielsen, Bradford Dillman, Keye Luke, George Cheung, Sing Chen, Stephen Leung, Mars, Lam Ching Ying, Yuen Biao, Yuen Wah
Genre: Action, Thriller
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Hong Kong drug traffickers are found dead at random sites around Amsterdam, leading aging heroin baron Chung Wei (Keye Luke) to contact ex-DEA agent Quinlan (Robert Mitchum) with an offer to inform on the international cartel in exchange for amnesty. Quinlan was removed from his job for stealing drug money, so is looking to redeem himself in the eyes of his colleagues Odums (Bradford Dillman) and Ridgeway (Richard Egan) and show-up pompous DEA chief Riley Knight (Leslie Nielsen). Using Chung’s information, Quinlan tips DEA agents to drug busts, but when the first two of these go awry resulting in dead officers, the cops question whether he should be trusted.

The Amsterdam Kill was among Golden Harvest’s sporadic attempts to crack the American market. It is supposedly a remake of Jumping Ash (1976) which is considered the first film of the Hong Kong New Wave and was a breakthrough for director Ronny Yu. In spite of an A-list leading man, this has the grainy visuals and choppy editing of a kung fu quickie (editor Allan Holtzman later directed cheapo Alien rip-off Forbidden World (1982)) but is murky, lethargic and at times borderline incoherent. Robert Clouse may have made Enter the Dragon (1973) but was never really the action maestro his reputation suggested. Bruce Lee and Sammo Hung were long rumoured to have been the real force behind that film’s classic fight scenes and in fact Hung choreographed the action here, although it is far from impressive, largely scenes with Mitchum piled under hordes of screaming Chinese stuntmen.

Sold with the tagline: “the meanest Mitchum movie yet”, fans hoping to see the iconic star bust triad skulls the way he battled Japanese gangsters in The Yakuza (1975) may be disappointed. The aging actor was none too keen about throwing himself into exhausting action sequences and chose to leave them to other actors like George Cheung, a prolific film and television actor active to this day, as Chinese agent Jimmy Wong who safeguards the annoyingly quixotic Chung Wei. At least Mitchum goes wild with a bulldozer during the lively climax, but the film throws repetive scenes where he keeps being captured, bound and gagged then inexplicably released. He allegedly hated making the movie - and the Hong Kong crew weren’t crazy about him either - but delivers his usual professional, laconically charismatic performance. Of the supporting players, Bradford Dillman recycles his irate police chief act from the Dirty Harry sequels whilst viewers more familiar with Leslie Nielsen’s spoof roles will struggle to take him seriously.

Although the film takes a more sober view of the drugs trade than Golden Harvest’s outrageous Stoner (1974), Clouse blunders through the globetrotting action without clarifying the increasingly nebulous plot. We never learn whether Quinlan really did steal that drug money nor why Chung Wei keeps escaping from Jimmy when he is supposed to be his bodyguard. By far the most interesting aspect for Hong Kong film fans is spotting several soon-to-be-big stars among the supporting cast. Mr. Vampire himself, Lam Ching Ying appears as a Hong Kong cop unimpressed with Quinlan’s maverick ways and look out for a young Yuen Wah and Yuen Biao killed by stampeding horses in slow-motion.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 3057 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Robert Clouse  (1928 - 1997)

American director who, after directing Darker Than Amber, settled into a string of martial arts thrillers starting with the Bruce Lee favourite Enter the Dragon. His other films include Golden Needles, Black Belt Jones, The Ultimate Warrior, Game of Death, The London Connection, The Big Brawl, camp classic Gymkata, China O'Brien and its first sequel.

 
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
  Desbris M
Paul Shrimpton
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Darren Jones
   

 

Last Updated: