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  Naked Killer Kitty has claws
Year: 1992
Director: Clarence Fok, Wong Jing
Stars: Chingamy Yau, Carrie Ng, Simon Yam, Svenwara Madoka, Kelly, Johnny Lo
Genre: Horror, Sex, Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 3 votes)
Review: This is the story of Kitty (Chingamy Yau), a drop-dead beautiful, young anti-heroine who can’t stand abusive men. When her two-timing hairdresser boyfriend dropkicks his pregnant girlfriend in the stomach, Kitty stabs a pair of scissors into his crotch. Ouch!! “I lost one ball of mine!” squeals the newfound eunuch. Top cop, Tinam (Simon Yam) corners Kitty but, traumatised since his partners death, he vomits when he pulls his gun. Taking a liking to the handsome detective, Kitty toys with him seductively over the coming weeks, but when her deadbeat dad is killed by his new wife’s lover, she goes kill-crazy.

Rage makes Kitty super-strong, with sharp-shooting skills to rival Chow Yun-Fat. After gunning down the leery lothario and his gangland cronies, Kitty is rescued and mentored by Sister Cindy (Svenwara Madoka). The enigmatic lady assassin gives her a new identity. She trains her in martial arts, flying daggers and other lethal killing techniques, which Kitty practices on the drooling, mad rapists kept chained in Cindy’s basement. Pretty soon, they’re the top assassins in Hong Kong, living a jet-set, millionaire lifestyle by day, seducing and garrotting triad sleazebags on the disco dance floor by night. But Kitty’s growing affection for Tinam starts to cramp their style.

Meanwhile, the cops investigate a series of serial killings committed by Sister Cindy’s former protégé, Princess (Carrie Ng), a cigar-chomping lesbian hit-woman who flings her male victims across the room before blasting their privates to shreds. When Princess gets an eyeful of comely Kitty, she is crazed with a lust her plaything, Baby (Kelly) cannot satisfy. She sets out to make Kitty hers, by any means necessary…

Hong Kong’s legendary schlock merchant, Wong Jing wrote and produced what is arguably one of the greatest exploitation movies of the 1990s. Jing may have conceived this as a sleazy, softcore-crime-action-horror movie, but his collaborator Clarence Fok draws from a rich vein of Chinese pulp erotica and surrealism. The lesbian love triangle and death by poison lipstick are lifted from the Shaw Brothers classic, Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan (1972), while the master-student relationship, ninja gadgetry and fantastical headquarters reference The Black Rose (1965), a hugely popular and influential superheroine series.

While sex permeates proceedings, Fok translates it into pure cinematic style. Drenched in oversaturated colours, flowing silks, and camera trickery caressing lithe, undraped beauties, this manages to be seriously sexy, without being all that explicit. Two swimming pool sex-murders are carried off with tremendous flair. The raunchiest scene on offer crosscuts from Kitty and Tinam’s fevered lovemaking to Princess and Baby’s lingering liaison, yet emerges as baroque and romantic instead of simplistic sleaze. Elegant surroundings mingle with tawdry thrills, high camp gloss with surreal nastiness, while Fok doesn’t stint on the balletic gunplay, wire-fu and hyperkinetic action that distinguish a product of Hong Kong’s most fertile filmmaking period.

Most critics heap praise upon Carrie Ng’s take-no-prisoners performance as the unhinged lesbian assassin. She certainly deserves it and later reunited with Clarence Fok for his far darker, sadistic melodrama, Remains of a Woman (1993). But often overlooked is Chingamy Yau’s outstanding turn as feisty, anti-heroine Kitty. At heart this is a juvenile delinquent tale and Yau’s sly humour and sassiness (who doesn’t love the scene where she taunts chained rapists in her underwear?) carry the film from one off-kilter set-piece to another. One of the more talented actresses to emerge from the nineties’ Category III phenomenon (a distant memory now thanks to Mainland censorship), fans should check out her scene-stealing antics in City Hunter (1992) and Kung Fu Cult Master (1993), plus vehicles like 1941: Hong Kong on Fire (1994), Lover of the Last Empress (1995) and Satan Returns (1996). Raped by an Angel (1993) - sometimes called Naked Killer 2 - is best avoided. All were directed by boyfriend, Wong Jing of course.

No Wong Jing production would be complete without spurts of tasteless comedy. The man himself cameos as a clueless cop named Shit Head, who inadvertently eats a murder victim’s severed genitals. Pure class.
Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

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