The Hellfire Angel
From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
Revision as of 17:40, 2 January 2010 by Lafnlab (alphabetizing in category)
- Released in 1979
- Running Time: 92 Min.
- Production Co: Golden Harvest
Cast and Crew
- Directed by Lam Kok Cheung
- Written by Lee Wing Cheung
- Starring: Ma Man Yee, Wong Yueng Sing, Yau Bei Ling, Ma Tsong Tak, Yeung Jit Sang
- Produced by Raymond Chow
- Music by Joseph Koo
Cheng Szu is a hostess in a Hong Kong night-club who spends one evening in the company of 4 crooks masquerading as Indonesian billionaires. When CID crash the party 2 of the men, Ling & Hung, escape while the other pair, Lu & Tan, are captured and imprisoned.
Ling Fung later tracks down Cheng Szu and gives her a considerable amount of cash in thanks for not turning him in to the cops. He asks her to help him in locating the incarcerated Lu’s sister San who has been missing since illegally immigrating to Hong Kong from the Chinese mainland. A lead to the girl’s whereabouts turns out to be an extortionate scam and, instead of San, Cheng Szu discovers she has paid $5000 for a fake. The imposter’s real name is Jenny and a gang of hoodlums is threatening to force her into prostitution to pay for her brother His’ outstanding debts.
Using some of the money she received from Ling Fung to clear His’ debts the 2 new allies track down the guy who orchestrated the scam; a sleazy character called Hua who has teeth like Pogues singer Shane McGowen. They slap his ugly face until he finally confesses that he sold the real San to a brothel.
With the genuine San finally rescued, and plans made to visit her brother in prison, Ling & Hung reveal the true motive behind the urgent search for the girl. They explain that Lu hid $10,000,000 worth of diamonds from their last big job and that they need his sister to find out where. Cheng Szu protests but the 2 hoods promise that San can live off her brother’s share of the loot if she helps them recover the stash.
It soon becomes apparent however that Hung wants the diamonds all to himself and after Ling, San & Cheng Szu recover the booty they are attacked by a gang of heavies with stockings over their heads. Ling Fung gets a kicking and the diamonds are stolen, but all is not as it seems. Double-cross follows double-cross with the audience constantly kept guessing as to who can and can’t be trusted and who will ultimately end up profiting from the stolen diamonds.
‘The Hellfire Angel’ is less an all out action movie than it is a gritty urban crime caper; the emphasis very much on the dramatic tension built by the constantly shifting alliances and the escalating threat of betrayal. Viewers expecting a full frontal martial arts assault may be disappointed although in the final half-hour Jenny’s brother His reappears with a posse of kung fu taxi drivers in tow to kick off some large scale chop-socky gang fights. Complete with much whacking and slashing the climactic showdown in a pigpen ends with the crafty Hung getting his face shoved in a pile of pig shit. Yeah! Smell my kung-fu!!!
As to why the film is called ‘The Hellfire Angel’; I haven’t got a clue.
Reviewed by Narcan - 14 NOV 2009