HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
1 chance sur 2
Betterman
Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra-Doo
Yin Yang Master, The
Hail, Mafia!
Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase
Mirai
Strange House, The
Morfalous, Les
Dreambuilders
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Scoob!
Earwig
Offseason
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Buffaloed
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Abominable
Funeral, The
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  China Girl Doomed Love
Year: 1987
Director: Abel Ferrara
Stars: James Russo, Richard Panebianco, Sari Chang, David Caruso, Russell Wong, Joey Chin, Judith Malina, James Hong, Robert Miano, Paul Hipp, Doreen Chan, Randy Sabusawa, Keenan Leung, Lum Chang Pan, Sammy Lee
Genre: Drama, Thriller, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: The worlds of New York's Chinatown and Little Italy don't have much to do with each other, though there is a rivalry between the two districts' younger members that is not exactly discouraged by the older generations. However, tonight will spark a conflict that will have tragic and violent repercussions, simply because two teenagers fall in love. They are Tony (Richard Panebianco) from the Italian-American side and Tye (Sari Chang) from the Chinese-American side, and they happen to catch sight of each other across a crowded dancefloor: it's love at first sight...

This was yet another version of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet updated to appeal to a modern audience, though failed to do for the eighties what West Side Story did for the sixties, even if it sounds and looks just as dated. It was brought to the screen by cult director Abel Ferrara, returning to movies after a spell on television productions and supposedly making the film he was most proud of. You can certainly see that its heart was in the right place as an anti-racist theme was very prominent, but the prejudice displayed by most of the characters tended to swamp what was a rather anaemic romance.

Tony and Tye were a sweet couple, but theirs was not a love story for the ages, and the lack of passion conveyed made you think they would have got over each other pretty quickly had other events not intervened. With the less salubrious personalities dominating, therefore, China Girl did end up more of a gangster yarn than a plea for tolerance, and Ferrara employed much tough guy (and tough girl, to an extent) posturing to dress up what resembled a ticking time bomb of poor race relations. Actually what causes the trouble at first is the arrival in Little Italy of a Chinese restaurant which the Triads want protection money from and the Mafia want to turn into a pizza restaurant.

If you didn't recognise the two young lovers (both performers had shortlived careers in their briefly chosen field), then the actors around them might ring a few more bells. James Russo appeared as Tony's brother Alberto, and Russell Wong played his counterpart as Tye's older sibling, and they waver between trying to talk their own brand of sense to them, bascially stay away from their newfound love, and being set up as the reason the gang war escalates. Except you rarely get the feeling that things are truly spiralling out of control between the two factions as what we see are more unpleasant scuffles, though the bomb in the restaurant ups the ante somewhat.

The film benefited from Ferrara's insistence on having this look as authentic as possible, so genuine locations from around New York were employed, even if most of it looked to consist of back alleys and chain link fences, although the traditional balcony scene was included, which was nice. On the other hand, the synthesiser-based eighties soundtrack by Joe Delia now renders this a lot more cheesy that was originally intended, so even the most solemn scenes have been lent an air of artificiality, not through any fault of the film, but more the passage of time. That said, our starcrossed lovers were probably none too convincing even in 1987, but in their favour they had an innocence about them that contrasts their idealism with the hatred dragging the antagonists down. It's just that you don't learn much other than the obvious "racism is bad", and even that was thuddingly unsubtle. And where was the David Bowie song we were expecting?
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 5119 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Abel Ferrara  (1952 - )

Controversial New York director whose films frequently centre around sex, violence and moral redemption, and often feature Harvey Keitel, Christopher Walken or Willem Dafoe. Debuted in 1979 with the infamous Driller Killer, in which he also starred, followed by rape-revenge thriller Ms. 45/Angel of Vengeance. Several slick, less distinctive movies followed - Fear City, China Girl and Cat Chaser, as well as work on TV shows Miami Vice and Crime Story.

1990's King of New York was a return to form, while the searing Bad Lieutenant quickly became the most notorious, and perhaps best, film of Ferrara's career. The nineties proved to be the director's busiest decade, as he dabbled in intense psycho-drama (Dangerous Game, The Blackout), gangster movies (The Funeral), sci-fi (Body Snatchers, New Rose Hotel) and horror (The Addiction). He continued to turn in little-seen but interesting work, such as the urban drug drama 'R Xmas and the religious allegory Mary until his higher profile returned with the likes of Welcome to New York and Pasolini.

 
Review Comments (1)


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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Enoch Sneed
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: