Angel of Vengeance
Director: Chung-Kwai Cheung

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

There's lots of punching & blocking & leaping for the modern kung fu girls in the ridiculously action-packed Angel of Vengeance (Miao jie shi san mei, 1993).

It's a cheap & cheezy throwback to the 1970s girl-boxer movies starring the likes of Angela Mao, but with more rapesploitation than slipped through back then. Yukari Oshima plays the main Angel, Lori, out to avenge her daddy, when have we seen that plot before.

Angel of VengeanceIt tries to be funny but isn't. It tries to be softcore porn but is too afraid of the Taiwan police confiscating all the copies. It tries to be all-out violent but so utterly lacks finesse it isn't thrilling.

A "comedy" subplot is about the whorehouse madame's daughter who is supposed to be able to pass as a man though she really just looks like a baby-dyke. She's trying to pass unnoticed while she researches the prostitution underworld for a school paper.

Oshima was born in Japan, having a Chinese mother. When still in school she became a national karate champion, & initially planned to become a school teacher, phys-ed department. But after entering Shinichi "Sonny" Chiba's Action Club, she began appearing on Japanese television, & her path was set.

For ten years she was a well known Hong Kong & Taiwan movie star. She moved to the Philippines in 1994 with then-husband & director Philip Ko, & for some while acted under the name Cynthia Luster, her movies including some of the worst on earth.

It's too bad her career went from mediocre to horrible, as she has a legitimate toughness that makes her one of the more credible fighters, if only she had a credible context to be fighting in. Her career seems to have been sabotaged by transient director-husbands who used her for their own careers in Z-movies, until she was regarded too awful even for B directors to cast.

Angel of Vengeance is alleged to be one of Oshima's best films, which if true, no need to view further vehicles for her talents.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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