“One title for each heroine. And each plot element too, probably.”
I’m going with the title on the print – your opinion may differ. As it likely will for this insane distillation of The Magnificent Seven and The Dirty Dozen, complete with music lifted from both Western and War genres. It certainly isn’t dull: incoherent and dumb, maybe, but you expect that in an early work from the director of Flying Dagger, one of the maddest Asian movies ever. Lin, credited as “Venus”, plays the fetchingly eyepatched Black Fox, who breaks out of jail with six associates, and convinces them to help destroy a chemical weapons plant in occupied Manchuria.
This task occupies only the last ten minutes of the film: the rest covers life in prison, how the women got there, a dumb subplot where the ladies get captured and take part in goofy contests (such as spaghetti-eating) to win their freedom, etc. Calling these “of variable interest” is being very kind, yet when not diverted, the film works well; the heroines, each with different skills, are strong and well-defined. I was able to recount their individual fates the next day to Chris, who’d fallen asleep – in defense, she’d been sinusy and on the Robitussin. But without saying too much, the heroic mortality rate here is higher than in either Magnificent or Dirty…
Shame the print is badly cropped: a caption reading “tan Plate” is presumably “Tibetan Plateau”. While the production is often as clumsy as the presentation, it’s one of the first girls-with-guns films to come from Hong Kong, so respect is due. And given sufficient leeway and appropriate expectations, this is stupid fun on its own terms.
Dir: Chu Yin-Ping
Star: Brigitte Lin, Elsa Yeung, Sally Yeh, Sylvia Pang
a.k.a. Amazon Commandos [BRNS.com]
a.k.a. Golden Queen Commando [Alex-in-Wonderland.com]
a.k.a. Golden Queen’s Commando [IMDB.com]
a.k.a. Golden Queen’s Commandos [HKMDB.com]
a.k.a. Jackie Chan’s Crime Force [Arena Video title]
a.k.a. Seven Black Heroines [BrigitteLin.com]