Luana, the Girl Tarzan

starstar
“Not the promised thrill adventure of a lifetime.”

luanaDespite a broad range of impressively kick-ass posters, in which renowned artists Frank Frazetta and Russ Manning had a hand, the heroine of the title (Chen) is much more of a supporting role than the star, and that’s a disappointment. While competently made, compared to others of the genre, its failure to deliver what the advertising promises, and indeed much jungle-girling at all, earns it a significant downgrade. The backstory is more or less the usual: a plane crash in darkest Africa leaves one survivor, the three-year-old daughter of a scientist and an Asian princess(!), who somehow survives in the rain-forest. She grows up to wander round her domain with a chimpanzee sidekick, wearing nothing but a loin-cloth and hair that magically affixes itself over her breasts, this being a firmly PG-13 rated jungle romp.

However, the real stars are the scientist’s other daughter, Isabel Donovan (Marandi), who is seeking answers to her father’s disappearance, and jungle guide George Barrett (Saxson). He knows of Luana, having been rescued by her after being attacked by savages on a previous trek into the jungle. Also along on the trip is her father’s partner, the somewhat creepy Norman (Tordi), who appears to have a more than guardian-like interest in Isabel. It soon becomes clear that “someone” – and let’s be honest, you deserve no prizes for guessing who, 30 seconds after they show up – doesn’t want the truth about the crash to be established. Meanwhile, Luana is lurking on the edge, saving her sister from a spider, stealing her clothes when Isabel takes a dip, etc.

It’s a definite shame there wasn’t more Luana, as her character possesses a sweet innocence which is quite endearing, and certainly more fun than watching the bland Isabel and George traipse through another section of faux-jungle or react to the usual stock footage [though this is integrated somewhat better than usual]. For example, witness the scene where Luana tries to figure out how to use a bra; it’s naively charming, and I’d have loved to have seen more of this angle. Indeed, the script itself is solid enough, with a number of sequences which clearly have potential. For example, there’s George arm-wrestling a tribesman, with scorpions set up on either side to greet the loser with their sting. The film also has a carnivorous plant. How can you go wrong with a carnivorous plant?

The answer appears to be director Infascelli, operating under a pseudonym, as he manages to suck the excitement out of every sequence, courtesy of pedestrian execution. But one final anecdote will sum up the overall ineptness here. When the film got US distribution, Ballantine Books commissioned Alan Dean Foster to write a novelization However, the only available copy of the script was in Italian, so Foster wrote a new novel based on the Frazetta poster. I can’t help thinking any film based on that would likely be rather better than the actual movie.

Dir: “Bob Raymond” (Roberto Infascelli)
Star: Glenn Saxson, Evi Marandi, Mei Chen, Pietro Tordi

Let There Be Zombies

starstar
“Fight off the Living Dead”

Let-There-Be-ZombiesIt’s curious to look back at the history of zombie movies, which as we know them, began with a low-budget horror film called Night of the Living Dead, in 1968. Almost fifty years later, zombies have gone utterly mainstream, giving us films such as World War Z and the most popular show on basic cable, The Walking Dead. But it has also re-spawned its own slew of low-budget genre entries, many of which prove the truth of the statement, “Just because you can make a zombie movie. doesn’t mean you should make a zombie movie.” Even as a horror fan, I will happily admit many of these should have been strangled at birth, rehashing over-familiar story-lines with poverty-row production values and inexperienced talent on both sides of the camera.

This is not quite in the same category of being irredeemable. Certainly, there’s nothing much new in the story of a handful of survivors struggling to cope in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse, and the effects are workmanlike at best. However, it managed to sustain my interest somewhat better than many of its undead siblings. The heroine is Drew (Daly), a rookie teacher painfully unable to handle disruptive pupils her class – as she’s told, “Control the situation, don’t let the situation control you.” Before she can do that though, the apocalypse strikes and in trying to flee, her car runs out of gas in the middle of the countryside. She meets another lost soul, computer programmer Jeff (Lowe) and they try to find safety, eventually ending up on the farm run by Red (Monsante) – but it’s only a brief respite before the hordes track them down there, and Drew is going to need to transform from her milquetoast personality, if she’s to have any hope of surviving.

It’s this character arc which qualifies it for inclusion here, though it’s less of an arc than the flicking-on of a psychological switch. One second, she’s afraid of her own shadow; the next, having found a gun, she’s blasting away at the undead like they were a fairground attraction. This could be sloppy writing, or it could be a deliberate statement on the immediate empowerment obtained by possession of a firearm. Certainly, she’s a good deal more interesting once she’s in bad-ass mode, and by the time of the film’s coda, she has more or less turned into Alice from Resident Evil – albeit, without any of the cool moves. The script, however, is extremely hit-or-miss: if there were a couple of moments, where I’ll confess I did laugh, there are just as many where poor delivery killed any potential. Patterson and the rest of his cast and crew clearly have a deep love for the genre. That can only take a film so far, and unless you have a similar affection, there’s only so much entertainment to be found in watching the walking dead get prodded with bits of wood.

Dir: Andrew Patterson
Star: Sydney Daly, Manuel Monsante, Doug Lowe, Enrique Arellano

The Leopard’s Prey, by Suzanne Arruda

Literary rating: starstarstarstarstar
Kick-butt quotient: action2

leopardsThis fourth installment of the Jade del Cameron series has much the same strengths and general style of the previous books. We find Jade back in British East Africa, a few months after the events of the third book, The Serpent’s Daughter, and again encounter our old friends from the first two books. She’s supplementing her writing income by using her lariat and photography skills to help Perkins and Daley, the two partners in a small company that secures African animals for U.S. zoos. But we sense early on that her sleuthing skills may also be called on again, with the discovery of the dead body of a merchant from Nairobi (1920 population, ca. 11,000 –white population, ca. 3,000). Is his death, as the authorities initially suppose, suicide –or murder? And where is his unhappy wife? And did she or didn’t she have a recent unreported, unattended childbirth? Inquiring minds want to know; and Jade has an inquiring mind, soon made more so by the fact that the lead investigator seems to consider her beau, Sam Featherstone, a prime suspect.

The mystery (or mysteries) here was more challenging than in the previous books; I was able to figure out the basic solution about the same time that Jade did, but not before. Jade will face life-threatening jeopardies, and get to display her action-heroine credentials before the book is over; she’s also learning to fly Sam’s biplane, to add to her accomplishments (and yes, she’ll get to fly solo here). Arruda isn’t simply marking time with this installment; there are significant developments in store for some of the secondary characters, and one for Jade herself.

In a couple of areas, Arruda touches on serious issues in this book, issues from a 1920 context, but which have continuing relevance. By 1920, wildlife in parts of Africa was already coming under pressure from the great influx of European settlement and urbanization, as well as the spread of European-style agriculture. This brought habitat destruction, and the killing of predators to protect livestock –the old Africa already at war with the new. For Jade, taking individual animals to safety in a zoo is a way to help protect their species from extinction. But she’s also painfully aware that from the standpoint of the animal, life in a zoo isn’t the same thing as freedom; something important is lost. This is a quandary the morality of which is still being debated, nearly a century later. And much more so than in the previous books, we’re brought face to face with the ugly injustices of British treatment of native Africans: subjected to arbitrary taxation without representation, payable only in British money, and solely designed to force the males over 13 into oppressive labor contracts with white employers; subjected as well to travel restrictions (in their own country), that leave them virtual wards of the British and bind the males to their jobs.

This has always been, and continues to be, a seriously researched series, in which the results of the author’s research are blended seamlessly into the narrative, creating a strong sense of place. Here, we have a close look at traditional Masai culture –not as immersive and detailed a literary experience as the exploration of Amazigh (Berber) culture in the previous book, but still fascinating to me. Arruda’s treatment of non-European cultures is realistic but respectful. As always, her concluding Author’s Note here is mainly an annotated description of the source material she used in writing the novel, which would be valuable to readers who want to learn more about Africa (and post-World War I Africa in particular).

Author: Suzanne Arruda
Publisher: New American Library, available through Amazon, both for Kindle and as a printed book.

A version of this review previously appeared on Goodreads.

Lady Ninja Kaede 2

starstarhalf
“Secret technique, reverse dildo return!”

ladyninja2I am uncertain whether this is related to the other Lady Ninja series, or if it’s an entirely separate series. I’m leaning towards it being independent, as there appear to be magical overtones here, that weren’t present elsewhere. But just to confuse matters further,while this is on Netflix at the time of writing, there’s no sign of part one. Perhaps, if I’d seen that, this would suddenly become entertaining? Nah. Pretty sure it wouldn’t make a difference. This is slightly elevated over its predecessor by not being a po-faced ninja story with soft-porn sex scenes. It is, in fact, a barking mad ninja story with soft-porn sex scenes. What? You want specifics?

The heroine, Kaede (Akatsuki), is basically a member of the sex police, punishing those who are too lustful. There’s a religious sex cult who have combined the penises of three men into one supercharged dildo, leaving them with an apparent gaping void at the crotch. After fulfilling her first task, or retrieving the hyper-dildo, it’s up to Kaede to fix things, by finding the three donors and having sex with them, which restores their genitals. She is accompanied on her quest by a gay samurai.

Not included in this film. Any significant ninja-ing by Kaede; what action there is, is more carried out by the samurai. And, contrary to the sleeve, nor is she tied up at any point, so any bondage fans will be particularly disappointed. There is, of course, plenty of aardvarking, as Joe-Bob Briggs used to put it, and actually, I can’t say I minded the performances too much. The division of the population into those for whom sex is positive and those for whom it’s negative, reminded me (bizarrely!) of a Japanese medieval take on Cafe Flesh, Kaeda supposedly being on the anti-sex side, but in reality being the most active of anyone.

There are moments of twisted creativity that made this not unwatchable, and there’s a mad aesthetic here that could be appealing if you’re in an undiscerning mood. But if you’re looking for any kind of action beside the horizontal variety, you are going to be extremely disappointed. Finally, I did have to snort derisively at subtitles during the magic ceremony which referred to “Casper Howser”, who is presumably Doogie’s occult-inclined brother. I imagine that should instead have been “Kaspar Hauser”, a 19th-century German figure with mystical significance, about whom Werner Herzog once made a movie. Bit of a toss-up whether distributors Tokyo Shock did not know, or just did not care.

Dir: Takayuki Kagawa
Star: Luna Akatsuki, Kazu Itsuki, Yuka Sakagami

L.A. Bounty

starstarstar
“Deeds, not words.”

labountyI’ve been doing this site for 13 years, and it’s amazing that this is the first “real” Sybil Danning movie I’ve covered (save her appearances in Malibu Express and Grindhouse), For she was one of the first action heroines I ever noticed, back in the golden era of VHS which was the eighties, when I was at college. Battle Beyond the Stars, Phantom Empire, Reform School Girls…. While I’d be hard pushed to call many of them cinematic classics – or even good, by normal standards – Danning, whose picture can be found in the dictionary beside the word “statuesque”, made an impact in them all. She seemed to be on the verge of a breakthrough, when an accident during rehearsal effectively ended her action career, leaving her with severely herniated discs in her back, and LA Bounty as her swansong.

She plays bounty hunter of few words, Ruger, an ex-cop who has been holding a grudge against those who killed her partner and got away with it. In particular,. that’s Cavanaugh (Hauser), an import-export businessman who has a number of other, shadier sidelines. His latest involves kidnapping a candidate for mayor of LA, only for Ruger to interrupt the process. As a result, the victim’s wife could identify the perps, so must be disposed of, only for Ruger to come to the rescue once again, intent on being the heavily-armed fly in the ointment, as she works her way up the chain of lowlife scum, towards Cavanaugh.

It is a bog-standard actioner from the period, with eighties hair, eighties fashion, an eighties soundtrack, and lots of bloodless gunplay. But two things salvage it from absolutely forgettability. And, no, that isn’t a set-up for a reference to Sybil’s breasts [impressive though they are; as a teenager, I must have worn out my copy of The Howling II…], for I mean Danning and Hauser, who are nicely constructed as polar opposites. Ruger is a women of very few words; the IMDb says it’s a a total of 31 during the entire film, but that doesn’t diminish much from the badassery of her character. At the other extreme, Cavanaugh runs his mouth at hypersonic velocity, and you get the sense he is capable of going from playful puppiness to psychotic rage in the blink of an eye. The contrast is well-conceived and nicely-executed, building to an extended finale around the villain’s warehouse where Ruger has to fend off everything from clockwork explosive birds to a giant, stuffed polar-bear.

As mentioned, while you’d be hard pushed to argue this was unjustly overlooked at the Oscars or whatever, it’s workmanlike enough. If the material has seen better days and the budget seems to be missing a zero, it’s improved enough by the two leads to leave you wondering where Danning’s career might have gone, if fate hadn’t dealt her such a crappy hand.

Dir: Worth Keeter
Star: Sybil Danning, Wings Hauser, Blackie Dammett, Henry Darrow

Lady Ramboh – Kill You! In My Justice

starstarstar
“Coherence sold separately. And in another language.”

ladyrambohI have literally been staring at the monitor for five minutes now, and still don’t have any idea of where to start. I’m tempted just to leave you to figure it out, based purely on the Japlish title and the cover. The truth is, you would probably end up with as much of a credible feel for what this entails, as from any, technically more coherent explanation I can provide. My understanding was somewhat hampered by the fact that this was mostly in Japanese, though helpfully, the international cartel of villains did appear to use English as their official language. It appears to concern a group of Japanese “G-men” – a term I thought was repealed along with prohibition – investigating and disrupting the Philippine operations of said cartel. Of course, there is also one G-woman, Miki (Takaki), who has an epic sense of haute couture, entirely befitting the lethal killing machine which she is.

The cartel, fed up with having their evil plans thwarted, decide to stop Miki by kidnapping a couple of her friends. Unfortunately for all parties, the rescue operation ends with rather more corpses than survivors, which sets Miki on an implacable course for a head-on collision, in which she will strap on her battle suspenders (I am so not making this shit up) and stage a one-woman assault on the cartel’s compound. Meanwhile, the cartel, having realized the ineptness of their own staff, who could take marksmanship lessons from stormtroopers, bring in an external consultant, in the form of a female counter-assassin. She is, similarly, strapping on her battle hot-pants (camo, naturally), and is ready to face Miki. Though sadly, it turns out she has some kind of history with another of the G-men, and we are thus robbed of any high-fashion cat-fight, which would surely have been a high point of the cinematic artform.

You may, marginally, be detecting faint notes of sarcasm here. Yet, I have to say, the budget here is all up on the screen, mostly in the form of giant fireballs. It’s clearly not just Roger Corman who made films in the Philippines, to get the most bang (literally, in this case) for his money. There is a cast of… well, if not thousands, at least several dozen, as well as helicopter shots, and in technical terms, it is certainly no less competent than a straight-to-video actioner made in the West around the same time (1994). What it possesses in energy, however, is severely negated by the horrific English dialogue and acting; while I appreciate that this did allow me to follow what was going on, it was mind-numbingly bad. The title gives you a good idea of the level we’re at, though is likely not the weirdest in Ms. Takaki’s career, which (per the IMDb) also includes TV show, Funny or Spank: Airport for 24 Hours.

The film begins with a two-minute montage, which made me wonder if I had been thrown into the middle of some ongoing series. It is, in fact, clips from later in the movie, effectively opening with a trailer for itself. Like so much here, this is likely lost in translation, but here’s the section in question. It probably renders the preceding 500 words, more or less superfluous.

Dir: Suzuki Ippei
Star: Mio Takaki

The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne

starstarstarstarhalf
“Who said crime doesn’t pay?”

the_life_and_crimes_of_doris_payne_3By the time I reach the age of 80, I think I’m probably going to be content simply to be waking up each morning. Not so for Doris Payne, a woman whose first conviction for jewel theft came in 1952 and her last – or at least, her most recent, for I think we’ll only be sure she’s done when she’s six foot under – came sixty-two years later, at the age of 83. She’s the charming topic of this documentary, which both looks back over her criminal career as an expert international purloiners of diamonds, and at her then-current legal troubles. Was she still actually at it, almost two decades after normal retirement age? Or is this simply a case of her reputation preceding her, and causing a heinous case of mistaken identity?

It’s a wild tale, which would likely be rejected by Hollywood as implausible [there’s vague mentions of a movie version of Payne’s life, starring Halle Berry, though exactly how far that has got is left annoyingly vague]. According to Doris, She got her start when she was hustled out of a watch store by the owner, when a richer, less black customer came in, and he didn’t realize she still had the watch. Her adoption of a life of crime, using sleight of hand and distraction to confuse sales assistants, was in part a reaction to this – but it also opened the door to a life likely unobtainable to a poor, half-black half-Cherokee girl from West Virginia.

Her career likely peaked with a seventies theft of a 10-carat diamond ring in Monte Carlo, valued at over half a million dollars. Though arrested, she managed to hide the loot by sewing it inside her girdle. On another occasion, she jumped from a moving train in Switzerland to evade the authorities. But it’s the fact that she never stopped which makes for such an intriguing character. It may be a case of rampant kleptomania at work, with her skills now no match for technology, such as the unblinking eye of closed-circuit television, but it comes embodied in the adorable form of someone who you feel should be baking cookies for her grandkids. Which may, of course, be how she (more or less) got away with it for six decades, for the first rule of successful thievery is, don’t look like a successful thief. It’s that contradiction which powers the film, and you keep watching to find out whether she will be found guilty of the crime with which she has been charged. She certainly seems credible enough in her testimony – but, again, credibility is probably the second rule of successful thievery.

Mixing interviews, re-enactments and footage of her ongoing legal issues, the film probably errs too much on the side of falling in love with its subject, never probing beyond her surface or seeking to establish the validity when Doris provides her version of events. While they may have said in The Man Who Shot Liberty Vallance, “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend,” a documentary is likely not the best format for such a collection of questionable tales, regardless of how appealing the teller may be.

Dir: Kirk Marcolina, Matthew Pond

Last Shift

starstarstarhalf
“Bit of a cop-out.”

last shiftA strong start fails to be sustained, as it becomes increasingly apparent that the director here has a very limited selection of weapons in his cinematic arsenal. Jessica Loren (Harkavy) is a rookie cop, following in the footsteps of her late father. Her first assignment is the last (wo)man standing, on the final night before all duties at a police station are transferred to a new building. She’s supposed to be little more than a caretaker, waiting for the final clean-up crew to arrive, but virtually as soon as she is left alone, weirdness starts happening. She gets increasingly frantic calls from a woman who says she has been abducted, then a vagrant appears, first outside and then inside the facility. Furniture moves. Ghostly singing is heard. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, before a conveniently-passing bystander informs Jessica that tonight marks the year to the day that a notorious cult of serial killers were caught and brought to the station, where they all committed suicide.

Despite moments that are unquestionably effective, DiBiasi uses the jump scare far too often, beyond where it becomes not just ineffective, and instead a joke. I lost count of the number of times that the heroine saw something, heard a noise that made her look in another direction, and when she turned back, whatever had been there was gone. I did like the way you were never quite sure whether what you were seeing had any objective reality – perhaps a prank by her fellow officers on a new recruit – or if it was entirely in Jessica’s head. And while she stays around well past the point at which any rational person would have legged it out of there, the backstory gives a plausible explanation, in terms of her desire to make a good first impression, and live up to her father’s legacy. However, given that, her apparent complete ignorance of (or amnesia about) previous events doesn’t make sense, especially since her father died apprehending the cult in question.

Things ramp up in the final reel, with the station under siege by other members of the cult, but I have to confess, my attention had not been adequately sustained through the middle portion. Harkavy gives her best shot, and is decent, but this performance isn’t so much acting as reacting, and given she is alone for much more of the film than you’d expect, it needs a good deal more. I couldn’t help comparing this with another take with a not dissimilar theme and location, Let Us Prey. That succeeds a great deal better, not least because it provided a solid antagonist against whom the heroine must battle, rather than an apparently endless line of ghosts and cheap (if, it must be admitted, sometimes successful) shocks, as provided here.

Dir: Anthony DiBlasi
Star: Juliana Harkavy, Joshua Mikel, Hank Stone, Mary Lankford

Lila & Eve

starstarstarstar
“Loss + mother love = vengeance.”

lilaandeveDriven by a strong and intense performance from Davis, as Lila, a mother who has lost her son to a drive-by shooting in Atlanta, this offers a more thoughtful take on the “vigilante vengeance” genre. Feeling abandoned by the authorities, and not impressed with the forgiving approach of a support group, she finds companionship in another grieving parent there who feels the same way. Eve (Lopez) urges Lila to take action against those responsible, and together, they work their way up the chain of pushers and street-dealers, to find the man behind it all. However, their actions bring them unwanted attention, both from the detective investigating the resulting murders (Whigham) and the boss at the top of the ladder. It’s entirely possible that Lila’s thirst for revenge could cost her everything, not least her other son, Justin (Caldwell).

It’s a little hard to discuss this, since there’s one aspect which talking about would require a major spoiler, though it’s something I figured out early on: the clues are there, if you look for them. While important, it’s not something on which the film stands or falls, however, and I don’t think figuring it out early hurt my appreciation of this. I was a little concerned early that this was going to be sappy and sentimental, not least because of the presence of Lifetime Films as one of the producers. However, it isn’t that way at all: instead, this is a gritty and entirely credible look at deep personal tragedy, and the reaction to it, even if the final act topples over the edge into implausibility. Davis is key, and is particularly impressive: you can see the pain in her eyes, and how that motivates her to engage in violence which, in some ways, is arguably as senseless as the slaying of her son.

However, the other aspects are mostly solid as well. Lopez provides feisty back-up, egging Lila on whenever her drive falters, and even the cops are portrayed as credible characters, who behave intelligently, as far as their limitations allow them. This makes for a sharp contrast to some similar films I’ve seen, most recently Eye for an Eye, which were little more than a hymn to the joys of vigilante action. Here, you get the negative aspects as well, such as when the mother of one of Lila’s victims turns up to the support group, only to receive a rather mixed reaction. This moral muddying of the water shifts the tone into trickier waters, and as mentioned, I’m not sure Stone negotiates through these successfully to the end credits. However, Davis’s performance is damn near impeccable, and is mesmerizing throughout. If there were any fairness in Hollywood, this would be among the Oscar nominated performances for 2015; if I’m not holding my breath there, you still won’t see much better this year.

Dir: Charles Stone III
Star: Viola Davis, Jennifer Lopez, Ron Caldwell, Shea Whigham

The Lady Assassin (1983)

starstarstarhalf
“Fairly whizzes past – though not necessarily in a good way.”

lassThe running time here is 86 minutes, but would probably be closer to two hours if they’d filmed the fights at normal speed. Because the undercranking – filming at a slower than normal frame-rate, so action looks quicker when played back at the normal speed – in this one is both copious in volume and excessive to its degree; I kept hearing the Benny Hill theme in my mind during the fight sequences. That’s a shame, because the performers here are talented enough they don’t need it, and the technique detracts from, rather than enhances, their skills. On the other hand, perhaps they needed to hurry things up to make room for the plot, because there’s quite a lot of that to fit into the film too. Let me try to summarize it.

There are two heirs vying for the imperial throne, Fourth Prince (Tony Lui) and Fourteenth Prince (fortunately, princes #1-3, 5-13 and 15+ are not apparently interested). To tip the balance his way, Fourth gets the assistance of dissident Lui Liu Liang (Ku), whose niece Si Niang (Leanne Liu) helps retrieve the emperor’s will, so #4 can doctor it and make himself the heir instead of #14. After taking over, Fourth exiles Fourteenth and “forgets” all his promises to Lui about not being so harsh an overlord. When Lui keeps showing up at court to remind Fourth of his broken oath, Fourth opts to silence his former ally permanently. But in so doing, he makes a mortal enemy of Si Niang, who joins forces with Fourteenth’s bodyguard, Tsang Jing (Chu) to take care of the usurper, who has hired some additional help of his own, in the form of a Japanese martial-arts master.

Despite the title, this is probably more of an ensemble piece, with Si Niang just one of many pieces to the jigsaw puzzle which is the plot, albeit one pivotal to proceedings. In particular, she’s the one who breaks into the Imperial Palace, locates the will’s secret hiding-place, and extracts it so Fourth can make himself the declared heir to the throne, thereby kicking off the events that follow. However, she is among a number of interesting female characters, also including Jade and Pearl, who assist Tsang Jing, and Lui’s daughter. While I have my previously-noted and significant qualms about the style of filming, which feels a good 15 years older than its actual 1983 date, I certainly cannot complain about the quantity of action, which is copious, and the people involved clearly know what they’re doing. The script is a bit of a mess though, with elements that just peter out, such as Fourteenth Prince, who must have had another engagement elsewhere. And the ending has to be among the most abrupt of all time, coming, literally, before the final body has even hit the floor. It occupies an uncomfortable position between old- and new-school Hong Kong cinema, and you can understand why the Shaw Brothers’ star was on the wane, and increasingly eclipsed by Golden Harvest.

Dir: Chin-Ku Lu
Star: Leanne Liu, Norman Chu, Tony Liu, Ku Feng