8 user 12 critic

The Terrorizers (1986)

Kong bu fen zi (original title)
A metaphysical mystery about the lives of three couples in Taipei that continually intersect over a span of several weeks.


Edward Yang
4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »


Learn more

More Like This 

Mahjong (1996)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

When a well known businessman goes missing, owing $100m to Taipei's underworld, two hoods decide to follow his son, the leader of a youth gang. A small group of trendy foreigners gets caught up in the action.

Director: Edward Yang
Stars: Chen Chang, Nick Erickson, Kaizô Hayashi
Taipei Story (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Lung, a former member of the national Little League team and now operator of an old-style fabric business, is never able to shake a longing for his past glory. One day, he runs into a forme... See full summary »

Director: Edward Yang
Stars: Chin Tsai, Hsiao-Hsien Hou, I-Chen Ko
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After firing a colleague, the head of a PR company begins to question her lifestyle and values.

Director: Edward Yang
Stars: Li-Mei Chen, Shiang-chyi Chen, Yi-wen Chen
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Two friends who haven't seen each other for thirteen years reunite. One is a successful concert pianist just back from a European tour and the other has just started a new business.

Director: Edward Yang
Stars: Sylvia Chang, Ming Hsu, Lieh Lee
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Based on a true story, primarily on a conflict between two youth gangs, a 14-year-old boy's girlfriend conflicts with the head of one gang for an unclear reason, until finally the conflict comes to a violent climax.

Director: Edward Yang
Stars: Chen Chang, Lisa Yang, Kuo-Chu Chang
In Our Time (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Four short films from four different directors, spanning from the 1950s to the 1980s.

Directors: Yi Chang, I-Chen Ko, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Emily Y. Chang, Sylvia Chang, Chi Chen
Yi Yi (2000)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Each member of a middle class Taipei family seeks to reconcile past and present relationships within their daily lives.

Director: Edward Yang
Stars: Nien-Jen Wu, Elaine Jin, Issei Ogata
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A beautiful, historical film based upon the complex lives of four brothers.

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Shu-Fen Hsin, Sung Young Chen
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A young couple leave their mining town home for Taipei where they struggle to eke out a living in an industrial wasteland.

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Shu-Fang Chen, Shu-Fen Hsin, Chi-Ying Kao
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The semi-autobiographical film on director Hou Hsiao-Hsien's childhood and adolescence, when he was growing up in Taiwan, living through the deaths of his father, mother and grandmother.

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Chia-bao Chang, Neng Chang, Chih-Chen Chen
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Ah-Ching and his friends have just finished school in their island fishing village, and now spend most of their time drinking and fighting. Three of them decide to go to the port city of ... See full summary »

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Chun-Fang Chang, Shih Chang, Doze Niu
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Within the urban gloom of Taipei, four youths face alienation, loneliness, and moments of existential crisis amidst a series of minor crimes.

Director: Ming-liang Tsai
Stars: Chao-jung Chen, Chang-Bin Jen, Kang-sheng Lee


Credited cast:
Cora Miao ... Zhou Yufang
Li-Chun Lee ... Li Lizhong (as Lichun Lee)
Wang An Wang An ... Young female criminal
Pao-Ming Ku ... The cop
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Feng Kang Chu Feng Kang Chu
Chia-ching Huang Chia-ching Huang ... (as Jiaqing Huang)
Shan-Chun Hung Shan-Chun Hung ... (as Shanqun Hong)
Shih-Chieh King ... Zhou's lover
Ming Liu
Te-Ming Lu Te-Ming Lu
Shao-Chun Ma Shao-Chun Ma ... (as Shaojun Ma)
Chung-Hua Ni Chung-Hua Ni ... (as Chonghua Ni)
Ming-Yang Shih Ming-Yang Shih
Zhiwen Xiao Zhiwen Xiao
An-Shun Yu


A metaphysical mystery about the lives of three couples in Taipei that continually intersect over a span of several weeks.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama


See all certifications »


Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]




Mandarin | Min Nan

Release Date:

19 December 1986 (Taiwan) See more »

Also Known As:

The Terrorizers See more »

Filming Locations:

Taipei, Taiwan See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


References The Color Purple (1985) See more »


Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
Written by Otto A. Harbach (uncredited) and Jerome Kern (uncredited)
Performed by The Platters
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Nutshell Review: The Terrorizers
6 March 2011 | by DICK STEELSee all my reviews

The opening film of this retrospective a few days ago, The Terrorizers was presented in a gorgeous restored digital transfer that is beautiful to gawk at every frame, and in essence what would have probably been seen during its first ever debut back in 1986. It's not cheap nor easy to have a film remastered and restored to get rid of pops, cackles and dirt, or to readjust its colour grading, as seen during the promotional clip on its restoration before the film proper, and it's really an excellent job done given the tremendous amount of effort behind the scene.

Edward Yang's third feature film, co-written with Hsiao Yeh, may have given the audience an ultimate red herring with an action oriented introduction complete with cops and robbers and a shootout, only for that to serve as just about the only real action sequence in this film that's steeped in what would be a relatively violent outcome by the time the end credits rolled. The Terrorizers tells a myriad of inter-weaving story lines involving a myriad of characters, such as Wang An's delinquent Eurasian girl who runs a call girl scam where she robs her clientele in hotel rooms and a photographer's obsession with her when he snaps her escape from the cops.

But the storyline that just begged for attention, is something similar like his first two films that dealt with the breakdown in relationships against the backdrop of modernity, and how modern life and its expectations chip at passion and romance, where couples rarely emerge unscathed from failure to communicate their true intentions. I suppose it is akin to the filmmaker's way of constant warning, given a trilogy now focused on this aspect, that to have emotions kept within oneself would only pave way for a massive blowout when the last straw is reached, and this offers no chance whatsoever for reconciliation, only destruction, and the humiliation that comes along with it.

We see it all coming from the first time the couple of Yue Fen (Cora Miao) and her husband Li Zhong (Lee Li Chun) got introduced, where the former's writer's block complaint becomes an avenue to be chided by her husband, who deemed her issue rather unimportant given that it is a work of fiction, and not life and death. Clearly this lack of sensitivity was the seed sowed, before a random cataclysmic event evolves this into her wanting to leave the matrimonial home for a place where she can get some escape and seek out inspiration, which turned out to be nothing more than seeking out an ex-lover to carry out an affair with.

While you may want to sympathize with the husband, wait. Edward Yang and Hsiao Yeh for some reasons crafted a number of characters here who are mostly lacking in morals. Li Zhong, eyeing a promotion which he thinks is a given with the death of his boss, goes to the extent of framing a fellow co-worker so that he can eliminate the competition for that move upwards, which makes him quite the bastard who gets his karmic just desserts through the infidelity of his wife, which ultimately humiliates the man who has to wear a green hat, and is without a defining career which he so highly prizes it as sort of a beacon in social stature.

One can imagine just who the real terrorizers are in the film - it's easy to point the fingers at criminals as depicted in the beginning of the film, or whoever is holding that gun to exact some form of revenge against pride, but clearly in this instance, it's really the female of the species who continue to torment emotionally especially when the silent treatment gets exacted, which I feel is possibly the cruelest form of torture to a loved one. The ending is much talked about, and in my opinion seemed to stem either as material from the fictional book that Yue Fen finally churned out, or an alternative reality which points to a consistently bleak outcome of that modern day grind in life.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 8 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed