Murders Made to Order

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“Leading contender for least helpful DVD sleeve of all time, for a reason.”

Look at the picture. Note the complete lack of an English language title; I’ve heard of directors taking their name off a movie, but never the film’s name. Also notice the undeniable presence of Cynthia Khan: she is in the film for the first three minutes (in a scene lifted from Nikita), then vanishes without plausible explanation. It’s almost as if she quit the movie after one day, being replaced by Shaw, but they kept the footage shot of her.

There’s a lot going on that makes no sense, but it’s forgivable since we only discovered later that this is a sequel to Sting of the Scorpion, which we hadn’t seen*. The heroine is Maggie, a cop released after two years in psychiatric care because she shot her boss, blaming him for the death of her boyfriend. He sends her undercover to infiltrate a gang responsible for a string of mob-related murders, a task which includes shooting herself up with drugs. Then, as revenge for Maggie’s attack, he hangs her out to dry.

A lot of this is wildly incoherent, badly-staged or just plain dull. However, Shaw provides a cold-hearted performance that is occasionally very effective, in a Jade Leung kinda way, and there are some moments which border on genius. For example, as Maggie comes off the drugs, a fanlight casts spinning shadows on her body, to fabulous effect; once she’s down, the fan spins slower. Shame the scriptwriter, director and voice actresses doing the post-synching were nowhere near as talented as the DP.

* – We did have it on DVD, but on sitting down to watch it, found the box actually contained the wrong film! Wouldn’t mind, except we already had a copy of Mission of Justice

Dir: Lee Kwok-Lap
Star: Maggie Shaw, Waise Lee, Lester Chan, Fennie Yuen

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