Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Imperial Swordsman
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
  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 6116 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
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M


Last Updated: