HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Traffik
Pitch Perfect 3
Insidious: The Last Key
Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, The
Dirty Carnival, A
King of Hearts
Crowhurst
And the Same to You
Racer and the Jailbird
Superman and the Mole-Men
Phantom Thread
Sweet Country
Loophole
Irma La Douce
Brigsby Bear
Wish Upon
Gringo
Finding Vivian Maier
Shape of Water, The
Lady Bird
Endless, The
Universal Soldier: The Return
Lean on Pete
Carnival in Flanders
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
It Came from the Desert
Lodgers, The
Eagle vs Shark
American Assassin
Die, Mommie, Die!
   
 
Newest Articles
And It Was the Dirtiest Harry We'd Seen in a Very Long Time: The Dirty Harry Series
Manor On Movies: The Astounding She Monster
Manor On Movies: Don't be a dolt. That's not a cult (movie)
Wes Anderson's Big Daddies: Steve Zissou and Others
Bad Taste from Outer Space: Galaxy of Terror and Xtro
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
80s Dance-Off: Staying Alive vs Murder-Rock vs Breakin'
   
 
  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 7866 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 film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Stately Wayne Manor
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
   

 

Last Updated: