"A testament to HK film efficiency ripped from the headlines."
Bloody Friday (1996)
Director: Danny Ko
Cast: Simon Yam, Loletta Lee, Ada Choi, Emily Kwan
Running Time: 90 min.
Plot: In Hong Kong, someone is murdering call girls every Friday night. Supercop Ko (Simon Yam) goes into action when the murderer kills another cop's girlfriend during a stakeout. Ko also must protect Maggie (Lolitta Lee), a lively prostitute who survives one assault and whom the murderer has promised to kill. The murderer teases Ko, announces his murders ahead of time, and threatens his family. He must now protect his family, save Maggie, catch the killer, and avoid internal police strife.
GWAILO'S REVIEW: Director Danny Go Lam Paau (Crucifiction, Day That Don't Exist) nicely passes 90 minutes with a swift cat-n-mouse, killer on the loose pic. Derivative of it's tired genre (along with my opening sentence) though thoroughly entertaining, the films action is intense; photography and suspenseful atmosphere at the core of it's merit. sSimon Yam plays officer Chung, head detective on the trail of a serial killer dubbed "Friday Killer". The villains M.O. is zig-zagging through the streets of Tsimshatsui on his bad ass motorbike wielding an aluminum bat, swinging at any prostitute near the strike zone. But only on Friday nights(must be nice to only work one night a week). Loletta lee lends her assets as Maggie, a happy hooker and one of the psycho's prospects. Yam turns in his usual good performance (seems to take on anything standing on his head) as a weary detective trying to steer terminal danger from Lee, wife, and kid.
Lee on the other hand, though I am a fan of her work, comes off as a weak suck, playing the role of plot device that the film bets it's life on until the finale where she is forsaken in a cop-out by the scriptures for a more obvious, trite denouement. Midway through the film I wished the Friday Killer had whacked her upside her dome at the films start leaving Yam's family the victims of torment, and settle the plot in a Desperate Hours kind of way. This aside, Bloody Friday receives high marks. The characters fates are welcome ones in this derivative genre. Tsui Kam-Kong plays Yam's superior but is given nothing to do and Bobby Yip King-Sang (see my profile pic) rears his odd-shaped visage as a Portland Street pimp. I love this guy. He has a face only a mother (and a gwailo) could love. Look for a funny scene, where an at wit's end Yam mistakes a motorist for the killer and proceeds in kicking the bowels out of him. A van soon arrives on scene and film crew jumps out. A testament to HK film efficiency ripped from the headlines.
GWAILO'S RATING: 7.5