5.2/10
32
2 user 1 critic

Ba wan zui ren (1979)

Not Rated | | Drama | 11 September 1979 (Hong Kong)
A probation officer tries to help a prisoner who faces harassment from corrupt guards and inmates.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Tony Liu
Fanny Fen-Ni
Helen Poon ...
(as Ping-Hsiang Pan)
...
(Guest star)
Jung Wang ...
(Guest star) (as Yung Wang)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Fei Ai
Shen Chan
Chok Chow Cheung
Nan Chiang
Ging Man Fung
Biu Gam ...
(as Piao Chin)
Ling Ling Hung
Ta Lei
Yun Wu Li
Hui Huang Lin
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A probation officer tries to help a prisoner who faces harassment from corrupt guards and inmates.

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Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Release Date:

11 September 1979 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

80,000 Sinners  »

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2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
More a social comment than a film
19 November 2016 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

1979 saw the famous Shaw Brothers studio of Hong Kong taking a brief break from their martial arts pictures to deliver this cutting expose of the Hong Kong legal system and in particular the endemic corruption found in prisons. The story is set in the 1950s and seems to have been loosely based on the truth. It's about a guy who is imprisoned due to petty crime and who subsequently finds himself at the mercy of a corrupt prison guard who proceeds to make his life a misery.

This is an odd film indeed and it works better as a piece of social commentary than a real film. Certainly this isn't a very dramatically satisfying piece, given that almost the entire running time is given over to torture and degradation, all of it aimed at the protagonist. INVINCIBLE ENFORCER is also a very dark and tough movie, with some surprisingly explicit gross-out moments which come across as fairly shocking. At times it feels like a women-in-prison film, albeit one with a gender reversal.

The cast are all very good and convincing in their roles and the sets convince, as you'd expect for Shaw. However, I did have a problem with the poor direction from Cheng Kang, whose editing is choppy in the extreme. Certain key moments from the narrative feel jumbled and confused due to his mishandling of the material; I still have no idea what happened in the broken mirror scene early on due to these flaws. There's also no action in this picture, at least until the last five minutes, a surprise given that it came from Shaw. For much lighter and more enjoyable Hong Kong prison action, I recommend checking out PRISON ON FIRE and ISLAND OF FIRE, films which show the corruption and the brutality of prison life while providing entertainment and viewer satisfaction at the same time.


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