HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
Shaolin vs. Wu Tang
Fatman
Butt Boy
Dog of Flanders, The
Bushido Blade, The
Jiu Jitsu
Blind
Space Sheriff Gavan: The Movie
Fireworks, Should We See It from the Side or the Bottom?
   
 
Newest Articles
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
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
   
 
  Beauty Investigator Pretty deadly
Year: 1993
Director: Lee Tso Nam
Stars: Moon Lee, Yukari Oshima, Gam Chi-Gei, Chui Jing-Yat, Sophia Crawford, Melvin Wong, Billy Ching Sau-Yat, Peter Yang Kwan, Billy Chow, Shum Wai, Shum Wai, Chung Faat, Tai Bo, Jackson Ng Yuk-Sue
Genre: Comedy, Sex, Action, Thriller, Martial ArtsBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Back in the glory days of Hong Kong cinema, the “girls with guns” subgenre crowned an array of kung fu queens who amassed a fervent fanbase in the west. Among the most popular and prolific were Moon Lee and Japanese starlet Yukari Oshima. Both beautiful, both amazing martial artists, both willing to risk life and limb performing outrageous stunts. Moon began her career in cult classics Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain (1983) and Mr. Vampire (1985) while Yukari shot to stardom with the tokusatsu favourite Space Sheriff Gavan (1984). But it was the teaming of both these deadly divas in Angel (1987) that really got pulses racing and producers repeatedly paired them together throughout a string of action vehicles.

Which brings us to Beauty Investigator, wherein bumbling policewomen Feng (Moon Lee) and Grace (Gam Chi-Gei) discover a dead woman in a dumpster, the latest victim of a serial killer who has been raping and killing nightclub girls across Hong Kong. Sexist Chief Inspector Wong (Melvin Wong) assigns the less-than-dynamic duo, who dress like Nineties rap starlets Salt and Pepa, to go undercover as “club hostesses”, hoping to lure out the psycho, although the girls spend more time fending off middle-aged gropers at Club Volvo. There they discover club boss Bill (Chui Jing-Yat) is a gangster. Along with his English girlfriend-cum-bodyguard Lisa (Sophia Crawford), Bill is trying to instigate a war between his triad bosses and the Japanese yakuza, so he can emerge as top dog. To that end he hires one-woman army Yamamoto (Yukari Oshima), who lays waste to the competition using her favourite killing method: a blowdart to the head.

Hong Kong action movies typically try to be all things to all people, so it is no surprise the tone veers all over the place. In fact the film downplays the whole psycho-killer angle for the most part while it leap-frogs from Miss Congeniality style chick flick comedy to serious crime thriller about the power struggles in the underworld and the kind of madcap kung fu caper for which Moon and Yukari were justly famed. Perhaps it is just as well the crazed killer is absent for for so long, because when finally does appear, bare-chested save for a leopard print tie, tiger skin shorts and matching headband, he proves impossible to take seriously. Surprisingly, it is assassin Yamamoto who intercepts the murderer, precipitating a plot twist that while amusing, proves ludicrous in hindsight. At least scrappy Feng has awesome kung fu skills, but Grace is so whiny and inept even her best friend can’t work out how she passed the police entrance exam. She actually vomits in disgust at the first dumpster corpse, after which the C.S.I. unit mistakenly analyse her phlegm as evidence. At one point the squabbling girls recreate an episode of I Love Lucy as they divide their apartment and all their possessions with red tape, preventing each from crossing over to the other side.

Lee Tso Nam was an old hand at this sort of schizophrenic nonsense, having helmed the ninja girl/Second World War/sexploitation/fantasy Challenge of the Lady Ninja (1984) and the crazed children’s film Kung Fu Wonderchild (1986) which also starred Yukari Oshima. So while the plot grinds laboriously and the comedy is sub-sitcom level, the action remains outstanding, choreographed by Jackson Ng Yuk-Sue who also co-stars as a disposable villain. Moon and Yukari were solid pros and their fight scenes crackle with crazed intensity, as does a brisk car chase wherein a shotgun wielding Feng pursues a bike-riding Yamamoto. The film’s Category III rating in Hong Kong (which signifies adult content and became a badge of honour for any exploitation movie trading in sleaze and gore) had some fans hoping for some racy scenes with Moon and Yukari, but neither was likely to sully their image. In fact it is British stuntwoman and martial artist Sophia Crawford who disrobes for a silly shower scene. Crawford carved a solid niche for herself in Hong Kong exploitation, notably with her infamous naked kung fu fight in Escape from Brothel (1992). She later went stateside as a stunt double for Sarah Michelle Gellar on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

After an unexpected death, Beauty Investigator turns deadly serious as Moon and Yukari team up for revenge and try to, you guessed it, kill Bill. The frenzied finale is incredibly entertaining, particularly Moon wielding a very cool (if out of leftfield) missile-shooting sci-fi glove. Dumb, but fun.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 3146 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 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
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: