ASIAN VALUES DVD REVIEW
Shaw sex symbol Chen Ping was starting out in Kiss Of Death (1973),
she already had a matured look that sort of rules her out of fresh,
school-girl roles. She would later appear in more sedentary mamasan-type
of roles but it is her feisty characters in Kiss Of Death and
Big Bad Sis (1976) that stand out.
factory worker Yong (Chong Lee) is accosted in the toilet by the
butch Lin. But the meeting is interrupted by another factory worker,
Hsiao-chu (Shaw Yin-Yin), who has an inkling that Yong was being
molested. Hsiao-chu tries to take on Lin but gets beaten up herself
and has to endure watching Lin putting her hand into Yong's blouse
and planting a kiss on Yong's lips.
the juices going faster than a touch of lesbianism right at the
beginning but that's not all. Enters Feng Ying (Chen Ping), who
tells Lin that she'll agree to be her "friend" if she lets Chong
her skills, both Yong and Hsiao-chu try to befriend the slightly
distant Ying and eventually manage to win her over.
As the two are now alone in the toilet, Ying tells Lin to remove
her clothes. But
before you can expect some unexpected hanky panky, Ying pulls
at Lin's bra and gives her a good whacking. The
vicious action sequence that follows is certainly a good way to
show how a fight scene involving a topless woman (or at least
someone with her breasts hanging out) should be shot - the nudity
is not gratuitous, the movements fluid, there's nothing awkward
here and whatever modesty there is, quickly goes out the window.
The scene ends with Lin having her head dunked and repeatedly
flushed in the toilet bowl.
is that maudlin flashback sequence. As the friendship between the
three deepens, Yong talks about how her stepfather tries to rape
her one night while Hsiao-chu talks about how, while hanging out
with some guys, one of them tries to rape her cousin and she struck
out by stabbing him.
While the exposition
is melodramatic, it is an opportunity for the film to show some
more nudity - for example, Yong's breasts get full exposure when
her stepfather rips open her blouse. But it is Hsiao-chu's story
that is eye-opening. Her flashback sequence involves her and her
female friends riding their bicycles in the nude with the viewer
kind of expecting BJ Thomas's Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head
to make an appearance on the soundtrack!
the three become sworn sisters and Ying finally reveals her past
- and her big moment - to the two girls, by showing a rose tattoo
that covers her entire chest. She was brought up by Big Brother
(Wang Hsia) as a triad member. She was a dealer in the gambling
den and had helped Big Brother cheat many people out of their money
(and possibly lives) until one day she meets a gambler with a young
daughter. She tried to help the two by allowing them to win but
their getaway was stopped by Big Brother. Ying almost loses her
life in the ensuing fight but was saved in the last minute by Brother
Shing (Chen Kuan-tai).
an erotic interlude when a rich playboy picks up one of the factory
girls. The two have sex in an apartment with see-through floors
and the scene might have influenced Kuei Chih-hung who had one
of his female actresses press her bare body against the French
window during sex in The Boxer's Omen (1983).
In the meantime,
the factory owner (veteran Shaw actor, Yeung Chi Hing) is running
up his debts to Big Brother and the triad wants its due.
Ying goes to Big Brother's gambling den and manages to retrieve
Yeung's promissory notes before torching up the place. In retaliation,
Big Brother captures Ying with the intention of burning her alive
but she is rescued by her former boyfriend, Wai (Wang Chung).
Outnumbered by the triad members, Ying is seriously injured before
Brother Shing shows up with Yong, Hsiao-chu and the rest of the
a certain by-the-numbers method to this movie but because of its
pacing and crisp photography, time and events whiz past quickly.
The action in this movie is choreographed by Tang Chia, who is
actually better coming up with unique weapons than close-quarters
combat. But his efforts here are flawless and, thanks to Sun Chang's
(Sexy Killer, Human Lanterns) superb direction, the action is
really first class.
also a certain attention to detail that might be given a miss
by other directors. For instance, no one but the resourceful Chen
Ping would tear her skirt to give herself more leg room in her
fight and flight from the triad members. Of course, the resulting
sequence shows her in her panties too!
and sex make good bedfellows (at least for cinema-goers) and,
in the light of Johnny To's Election movies and reports of the
workings of the triads in Hong Kong, today's film viewers might
balk at the way the triad is portrayed here - with Wang Hsia's
people coming across more as a bunch of ruffians than actual ruthless
But as adult
entertainment, Big Bad Sis certainly outshines all the Cleopatra
Jones and Pam Griers of the world and is one exploitation movie
that is a cut above the rest.
The Big Bad Sis DVD (Celestial/IVL) is banned in $ingapore.