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There's a story behind my viewing of this. Many moons ago, I was looking for an embarrassing DVD for a friend's birthday present. At the time, it was a close-call between "Kindergarten Cop" and "Police Academy IV" but suddenly, I spotted the original "Naked Killer" and purchased. Perhaps it was the combination of two key plot themes (namely, nakedness and killing) that caught my eye but either way, he was happy with the gift. And now, being bored on a day-off, I bought the sequel ("Xiang Gang qu an zhi qiang jian" in it's native language) on DVD for a couple of quid. I think you'll forgive me if I refer to this film as "Naked Killer 2" - the original title is a bit of a mouthful!
It's difficult to know what to make of this film, especially as it had to be cut more times than Arnold Palmer at the US Open just to be released in the UK. It concerns a serial rapist (Mark Cheng) who incurs the wrath of his last victim and her triad boss boyfriend. Not the best idea in the world, especially as she's... a naked killer! Well, not exactly. From what I could gather, she's a failing law student & part-time actress in cheesy commercials for milk. The curious thing about the UK cut of "Naked Killer 2" is that, for whatever reason, the film runs less like the soft-porn action thriller that it promises and more like an instruction manual on how to avoid a guilty verdict in a rape trial. The film dwells far too long on the initial assault and not enough on the revenge-theme which surely beats at the heart of this picture.
Perhaps I was expecting too much, given that the last Hong Kong film I saw was the much better "Hard Boiled" (1992). But "Naked Killer 2" looks and sounds horribly dated. Every pane of glass makes exactly the same noise, that stock "smashing" noise that's only heard in bad blue movies here in the West. While this isn't the worst feature, it is illustrative of deeper problems. The way the story is quickly wrapped up feels restricted and rushed by budget and shooting deadlines. The story, as I've said, feels unbalanced and a long way from what I believe the film-makers were looking for. In truth, it felt like a slightly risqué American TV movie - that lowest form of celluloid life. The BBFC ripped the heart out of this film and threw it's carcass to the lions. I know it's not an easy job but any film, even of the highest calibre, will suffer when eleven minutes of footage are forcibly removed. And even the most hardcore of fans will admit that "Naked Killer 2" is not a film of the highest calibre.
For some reason, I was reminded of Sega's flawed RPG masterpiece "Shenmue" on the lamented Dreamcast while watching this film. Both are thoroughly Far East in nature with tender scenes of love juxtaposed with scenes of violence. The only difference being that "Shenmue" has fewer nipples on display. In truth, few will get any enjoyment from this. Fans of the original (which, I confess, I haven't seen) may be disappointed that this film promises so much and delivers little. But seriously, why would anybody expect great things from something such as this? And to think, I could have bought "Leprechaun: In The Hood" instead...
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