"The Criminals - Assault" is the fourth in this exploitation series, and is yet another very worthy entry. Kuei Chin-hung ("Killer Snakes", "Boxer's Omen")returns for "Maniac", while the director of "Human Skin Lanterns", Sun Chung, delivers "The Queen of Temple Street", one of the grimmest, most depressing dramas to come from any country. In "Maniac", a bunch of perverts are kidnapping and raping local girls. Their abuse entails beating, suspension, pouring milk into orifices, and general deviance. The cops are on the trail of these guys, but since they are relatively ineffective, the director has plenty of screen time to depict their vicious reign. It all ends with lots of shooting and fighting. The title probably refers to one of the perverts, a salivating, huffing and puffing nutbag who couldn't find the word "subtle" in his thespian dictionary.In "The Queen of Temple Street", a ne'er-do-well gambler pays his debts off by selling his beautiful wife into prostitution for a year (initially). The woman is subjected to nothing but abuse, betrayal, and unbelievable requests from her scumbag husband for more money. Naturally, his requests are met with violent opposition. When the woman's brother attempts to extricate her from her one year contract, he is informed that her husband signed her life away for another year. A rescue attempt ends in disaster and a bloody altercation between the woman and her husband brings more doom and gloom. Well directed and beautifully scored, this entry bears few hallmarks of the series. The prostitution story is not intercut with a police investigation, and there is no attempt at humor. The film has a consistency of style with a strong emotional trajectory that raises it to another level. As mentioned earlier, it is terribly grim, abandoning all hope from frame one. It also has rare moments of beauty and pathos.
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