HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
We Summon the Darkness
Call Northside 777
Cup of Cheer
Lost at Christmas
Super Robot Mach Baron
Battle of Jangsari, The
Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan
Safe Spaces
Stanford Prison Experiment, The
Assassination in Rome
Castle Freak
Pinocchio
Brother Bear
Raiders of Buddhist Kung Fu
County Lines
Polytechnique
We Have Always Lived in the Castle
Covert Action
Strangler's Web
Host
Nimic
House of Bamboo
Murder Me, Monster
Hell and High Water
Possessor
Flint
Miserables, Les
Ritz, The
Patrick
Cemetery
Girls of the Sun
Princess and the Goblin, The
Skyfire
Upright
Incredible Kung Fu Mission
Dirty Cops
You Cannot Kill David Arquette
Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist
Son's Room, The
Evil Hits Evil
   
 
Newest Articles
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
   
 
  Pink Thief Hell up in Hong Kong
Year: 1982
Director: Yueh Chieh-Feng
Stars: Lu Hsiao-Fen, Richard Cui Shou-Ping, Tsai Hung, Gam Sap-Yee, Lin Li-Jung, Lui Ming, Chan Wai-Lau, Tien Feng, Miao Tan, Wang Sun, Chin Yung-Hsiang, Wong Chi-Sang
Genre: Drama, Sex, Action, Thriller, Martial ArtsBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Smuggled into Hong Kong and held captive alongside other poor migrants by Triad traffickers, pretty Lan Hsiao-Tieh (Lu Hsiao-Fen) is beaten and sexually assaulted by brutal gang boss Hu Chi (Miao Tan). Using her kung fu skills Hsiao-Tieh turns the tables, take out most of the gang and escapes along with fellow captives Fang (Richard Cui Shou-Ping), Cha Lung (Tsai Hung) and Pao-Liang (Gam Sap-Yee). Sometime later Hsiao-Tieh's crew eke a meager living on the mean streets of Hong Kong, doing whatever they can to survive. They move from stealing groceries and picking pockets to jewel theft and more audacious crimes. When Hsiao-Tieh unwittingly steals a wallet belonging to Chief Detective Lu (Lui Ming) she and her gang fall into a police ambush. However Lu takes note of Hsiao-Tieh's cunning, resourcefulness and skill and makes her an offer.

'Black Movies' were a sub-genre of violent, neo-noir style female-driven crime thrillers that blossomed in Taiwan in the early Eighties although critics and filmmakers at the time preferred the term "social-realist crime films." However it was the alternate that became the definitive label. Especially in the wake of Hou Chi-Jan's 2005 documentary Taiwanese Black Movies that sparked a reappraisal of films hitherto dismissed as exploitation schlock. While commonly thought to have begun with Ulysses Au-Yeung Jun's true crime story The First Error Step (1979), the genre's biggest hits were headlined actress Lu Hsiao-Fen. On the Society File of Shanghai (1981) and The Lady Avenger (1981) made Hsiao-Fen an immediate star and Pink Thief sees the sultry star uphold her image as a fierce yet sultry avenging angel.

While Taiwanese black movies operate within established traditions of exploitation cinema, spotlighting sleaze, violence and nudity, they also foreground a strain of strident social commentary that resonated with critics and audiences alike. In Pink Thief director Yueh Chieh-Feng interweaves lurid thrills with evidently sincere empathy for the plight of migrant workers. The film's first half follows Hsiao-Tieh and friends as the most extreme example of the capitalist machine (crooked businessmen, triad thugs) leave them downtrodden, brutalized and exploited. "Hong Kong is no place for human beings" laments Cha Lung. Indeed Pink Thief's portrayal of Hong Kong as a place obsessed with fast money and designer goods while all but indifferent to the pain of its workers is so bleak some hold the film up as communist propaganda. Nevertheless it weaves a compelling tale of desperate downtrodden folk surviving by their wits as Lan Hsiao-Tieh and Detective Lu enter into a game of cat and mouse.

Thereafter the plot takes an interesting twist. Detective Lu offers Hsiao-Tieh and her crew amnesty if she infiltrates a far deadlier crime ring run by the evil Hao (ever-oily Tien Feng). When Hsiao-Tieh recognizes Hao's right-hand man as dastardly rapist Hu Chi she readily agrees. Even though it means prostituting herself as greasy old Hao's mistress. From here on Pink Thief unexpectedly becomes a more lighthearted affair, losing some of its edge. Instead Chieh-Feng amps up his more crowd-pleasing exploitation tactics. Set to an interesting score that alternates broody electro-rock not far removed from a Michael Mann thriller and excerpts from the soundtrack to Planet of the Apes, subsequent antics throw in a fun kung fu-style training montage as hitherto mooching hobo Old Lai (Chan Wai-Lau) reveals himself to be a master thief passing on his skills to Hsiao-Tieh's crew. That is followed by an outrageous cat-fight in a jacuzzi pitting Hsiao-Tieh against Hao's leopardskin-clad ex-girlfriend and two sidekicks adorned in fetching black capes and red lingerie. A sequence clearly contrived solely as an excuse to get our heroine soaking wet in her underwear. Through it all beautiful Lu Hsiao-Fen makes for an excellent scowling badass lead and somehow remains glamourous no matter what drudgery the plot slings her way.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 443 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 is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
  Geraint Morgan
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
   

 

Last Updated: