Newest Reviews
Circumstantial Pleasures
Tyger Tyger
Filmmaker's House, The
Man Standing Next, The
Rock, Paper and Scissors
Batman: The Long Halloween Part One
Salaam Bombay!
Boss Level
My Heart Can't Beat Unless You Tell It To
Edge of the World
Treasure City
Shiva Baby
Flowers of Shanghai
War and Peace
Merrily We Go to Hell
Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt)
Amusement Park, The
Hands of Orlac, The
Death has Blue Eyes
Kala Azar
After Love
Earwig and the Witch
Zebra Girl
Skull: The Mask
Bank Job
Newest Articles
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
  Pretty Woman Not the one with Julia Roberts
Year: 1991
Director: Yeung Chi-Gin
Stars: Veronica Yip, Alex Fong, Ken Tong, Charlie Cho Cha-Lee, Mondi Yau Yuet-Ching, Lee Yuet-Sin, Suen Kwok-Ming, Chang Siu-Yin, Wu Ma, Patrick Keung Hiu-Man, Lee Hin-Ming
Genre: Comedy, Sex, Thriller, Romance, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Far sleazier than the Julia Roberts rom-com from which it derives both name and certain aspects of its plot, Pretty Woman is a typical early Nineties Hong Kong Category III sex film. Working late one night at the office, Lo Yin Hsin (Veronica Yip) is raped and killed by creepy colleague, George (Ken Tong). Despite incinerating Hsin’s body in a burning car, George worries her absence will stir suspicion among his co-workers so hires look-alike hooker Mimin (Veronica Yip) to pose as the dead woman long enough to tender her resignation. However, when Mimin recognises handsome Lin Cha-Sin (Alex Fong) as the kung fu stud who saved her from a triad gang the night before, she decides to stay.

A corporate espionage subplot from the original Pretty Woman involving an estranged father and son becomes the main focus here with George out to discredit Lin in the eyes of his dad, the company president played, surprisingly, by veteran actor-director Wu Ma. He turned down A Chinese Ghost Story III for this?! The result is a distorted take on the Hollywood plot that re-imagines the Richard Gere character as a psychotic killer whilst the Alex Hyde-White character shoulders the rich playboy-falls-for-a-hooker arc! Explicit sex, some incongrous shoot-’em-up action (where George lures Mimin into the midst of a violent stand-off between cops and gangsters while on a business trip in Macao), and even elements from Working Girl (1988) are thrown into the mix, as Mimin proves more competent at her new corporate job than anyone suspected. Yet the film’s fantasy vision of the sex lives of upscale young Hong Kong go-getters is not too thematically different from the glossy though morally murky Hollywood fairytale.

Crass sex gags sit alongside lurid sexualised violence in typically tasteless and jarringly light-hearted Category III style. All the male office workers are characterised as sex starved clowns, desperate to catch a glimpse of ladies' underwear or cop a feel aboard a crowded elevator. Mimin’s experience as a nightclub hostess allows her to outmanoeuvre all these randy characters including her supervisor (Charlie Cho Cha-Lee) whom she first discovers being orally pleasured by a girl hidden under his desk. When he attempts to slip Mimin a date-rape drug, she switches cups which results in his seduction by closet nymphomaniac ice maiden Miss Ode (Mondi Yau Yuet-Ching) to the strains of the William Tell Overture after which he becomes her emasculated stooge. Aphrodisiacs also figure in another infamous scene wherein one of George’s girlfriends (Lee Yuet-Sin) slips one into the water tank that results in a mass orgy just when Lin brings some important clients into the office. Astonishingly, Mimin proves so resourceful she gets the staid old geezers to overlook all this brazen hanky-panky and sign the deal! Quite how she manages this is lost in translation.

Co-writer-director Yeung Chi-Gin, who directed only three films, peppers the plot with frequent time-outs for frontal nudity and steamy, saxophone-scored sex at the tennis court and in one hilarious scene at the gym on a weightlifting machine, and includes ample opportunity to ogle shapely Veronica Yip. Among the few sex stars gifted with genuine acting talent, Yip crossed over into the mainstream after her Category III roles, paving the way for the likes of Shu Qi and Loletta Lee to carve simultaneous sexy and serious film careers. While the psycho-killer plot is wrapped up rather abruptly via a knockabout kung fu fight, the actual climax - so to speak - involves a lingering, ten minute sequence where Yip strips off and soaps up in a bubble bath whilst fantasizing she is sharing a vast swimming pool with Lin. It is capped by a suprisingly affecting finale wherein Mimin’s kind, glamorous and surprisingly young madam (Chang Siu-Yin) orchestrates a happy reunion with Lin, while her fellow call girls cheer them on.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam


This review has been viewed 4088 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

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
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf


Last Updated: