The Direct to Video Connoisseur

I'm a huge fan of action, horror, sci-fi, and comedy, especially of the Direct to Video variety. In this blog I review some of my favorites and not so favorites, and encourage people to comment and add to the discussion. If you click on an image, it will take you to that post's image page, which includes many more pics from the film and other goodies I couldn't fit in the actual review. For announcements and updates, don't forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. If you're the director, producer, distributor, etc. of a low-budget feature length film and you'd like to send me a copy to review, you can contact me at dtvconnoisseur[at]yahoo.com. I'd love to check out what you got.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Huang jia shi jie aka Yes, Madam aka Police Assassins (1985)

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I decided to take another dip into Cynthia Rothrock's Hong Kong career with the Corey Yuen flick Yes, Madam, which also has the distinction of being Michelle Yeoh's breakout movie. This is unofficially the first post we've had that starts with the letter "Y"-- and when I say unofficially, I mean unofficially, because the version I had was entitled Police Assassins.

Yes, Madam has Yeoh as a cop going to meet an old friend at his hotel room, only to find him dead, and a guy dressed like a waiter suspiciously exiting his room. The old friend is a Brit, so Scotland yard or something sends Cynthia Rothrock over as a liaison, and she and Yeoh don't get along. Meanwhile, the man who really killed the old friend is after a microfilm the guy had, but the thieves, who were dressed as waiters and went in after him have it. Now everyone is trying to find out who has what and who's responsible for what, as it's a big old mess.

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A very interesting movie. The fights with Rothrock and Yeoh were excellent, and some of the other action was great too. But then there was this Three Stooges element between the thieves-- there were three of them, including one played by legendary Hong Kong director Tsui Hark-- that took up a lot of the film's time, and got old kind of quick. The movie became more about them than the two cops, which made for tedious viewing at times. But man, those fight scenes were really good, which makes this film worth watching.

According to imdb this is Cynthia Rothrock's first big role, and she kicks ass in it. People had to have seen this and been like "we need to get her in more films!" She has a great fight to start with with a dude credited as Eddie Maher-- though who I feel is Han Soo Ong-- and her final one with the main baddie is amazing. She also worked really well on-screen with Michelle Yeoh. Though I would've liked to have seen more of both women, i.e. not seen the film devolve into something centered more on the Three Stooges, it was a great first major part for Rothrock.

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This is also Yeoh's breakout film, and we know what her career has led to. I believe this is the third film of hers we've done, the other two being Silver Hawk and Tai Chi Master. Like Rothrock, she's totally hot and totally kickass, and I think she was actually supposed to be the star of this film, and in a way she is, but again, the writing runs off the rails, and we lose her for big chunks as we become too involved with the Three Stooges. Another interesting thing to note: she is five years younger than Rothrock.

Famed Hong Kong director Tsui Hark (or Hark Tsui) has a part in this as a forger, and member of the Three Stooges. He does a lot of stunts, so I guess at the very least, anyone who stars in his films can look at this and think "well, it's not like he hasn't done this shit too." Among his many credits are two films with Jean-Claude Van Damme, Knock Off and Double Team.

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Is this Han Soo Ong? He's listed as Eddie Maher, but it looks a lot like him, doesn't it? I can't find anything online to substantiate this theory, and there's a small overlap in Han Soo Ong credits and Eddie Maher credits, so I'm not sure, it just looks a lot like him.

There are a few other things to like in this, like how Sammo Hung is one of the producers, and has a small cameo as an old dude in an old age home. I don't know, for 90 minutes, it's not like it's that long, and the action, when it's there, is excellent, it's just that they spent too much time on the Three Stooges element, and that took away from the great action. I should also say that this can be a bit of a tough one to get, as Amazon has a few different versions, some expensive, some cheaper. I'd keep an eye out for it more than I'd go out of my for it.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093229/

5 comments:

  1. Doesn't sound like a bad deal Matt. I'm still determined to make China O'Brien my first Rothrock movie to watch when I get it, even though I have Martial Law 1 and 2 on VHS.

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  2. I still think that's the best way to do it too. China O'Brien was the first one I saw too.

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  3. Speakng of Tsui Hark, I think you should do a review of Double Team sometime in the future.

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  4. Great review. I loved all those Michelle Yeoh movies back in the day. And, yes, that's Eddie Maher, not Han Soo Ong- I actually remember him from a few bit parts as a baddie in the late 80s HK action flicks, the most memorable being in Pedicab Driver (I think in the ending fight?), which is, btw, my favorite Sammo Hung film and you should totally review it. Here's a page with his filmography: http://www.simonyam.com/hkmw/actors/eddie-maher/

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  5. What I'm wondering: are Han Soo Ong and Eddie Maher the same person? I will have to look at some Sammo Hung in the future, and Kenner's been on me to do Double Team for some time now, so we'll see what happens.

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