Saturday, May 12, 2012

In short: Naked Killer (1992)

As regular readers of this blog know, I'm not an admirer of the horrible Wong Jing. The man's general attitude towards movie making, which can be summarized with "I don't care enough to make an effort", just rubs me the wrong way. Additionally, unlike the man, I don't think rape jokes are very funny.

But I've always made an exception for the Wong Jing written and produced Naked Killer, for it is a movie that shows what can happen when the frightful man does bother to apply himself. It's not as if the script for this one made that much more sense than anything else Wong Jing has written, but it does at least tell a story with a recognizable beginning, middle, and end, instead of playing out as what feels like random scenes from different movies haphazardly stitched together, which is the usual Wong Jing feel. Furthermore, while Naked Killer takes place on a planet where traumatized hero cops begin to puke whenever they touch a gun (and suffer from erectile dysfunction only looking at Chingmy Yau can cure, but let's not go there), other cops are named "Dickhead", where part of the killer training consists of getting locked up in a pop art cellar with a chained rapist, and where people dress in the awesome primary-coloured (remember when movies had colours?) things the actors wear here, the crazy for once does make just enough sense to be entertaining. It's like the adaptation of a men's adventure novel about a killer where all the testosterone-y men have been replaced by women. The audience of this sort of thing (hullo Mum!) does like after all two things the most: ridiculous violence and staring at sexily clad women; as Carrie Ng's character here would agree, there's no need at all to feature men at all. Though Naked Killer is at least trying to cover all its bases by also featuring a Simon Yam masturbation scene.

A lot of what's fun about Naked Killer - and it's really a very, very fun movie - I blame on director Clarence Ford. Ford has the early 90s HK aesthetic down to an art, featuring the expected mix of blue light, fast edits and Evil Dead-inspired camera work most directors working for Wong Jing always seem to bored or tired (now, what happens in Jing's production house, inquiring minds want to know) to use consistently or as exhilarating as Ford does here. If people aren't fighting, there is - of course - more footage of Ng, Yau, Yiu Wai and Yam in ridiculous poses that often look like an alien's idea of sexiness to me than any sane person could ask for, giving the film an overheated mood as if nobody involved could think about anything but sex, even when thinking of sex seems totally inappropriate in a given context. In part, we can thank a "no breasts" clause in Yau's, Ng's, and Yiu Wai's contracts for the film's ridiculous imagination when it comes to the sexiness; it is, it turns out, possible to turn anything into softcore.

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