Kitty (Chingmy Yau) and Tinam (Simon Yam) have just met and are falling in love. Theirrelationship faces a few obstacles, however: he’s a cop so traumatized by his role in theaccidental shooting of his brother that he can no longer draw his gun without throwing up; shehas an explosive temper, and has already stabbed her unpleasant hair stylist in the groin. They areseparated after their first date: Kitty’s father is killed, and she takes revenge by shooting up theoffice of …he man responsible. She avoids capture thanks to Cindy, the leader of a group offemale assassins. Kitty is taken under Cindy’s wing, undergoes training, and becomes a topassassin herself. But lurking in the wings is Princess, Kitty’s predecessor and an utterly heartlesskiller…
If John Woo and Paul Verhoeven had collaborated on Charlie’s Angels, the result might havebeen a bit like this. The plot is outrageous, as is the violence, which is exhilaratingly elaborateand bloody. There are moments too of gross humour that would give the Farrelly brothers pause(be braced for a routing involving a sausage – believe me, you’ll know it when you see it). Thehyper-sexuality that is no small part of Naked Killer’s demented appeal is, however, completelybutchered in this radically cut print. Two major scenes (involving Princess and her lover Baby)are missing. Not only does this tone the film down in much the same way that, say, removing thepolice interrogation scene would do to Basic Instinct, but almost all development of thecharacters of Princess and Baby likewise vanishes, rendering one assassination sceneincomprehensible. Normally, I would have assigned the film a four-star rating, but the cuts areworth docking a full star. At least.
The disc boasts a 5.1 surround mix, but the sound is nothing to write home about. The faultlikes primarily with the source material. Dubbing is always a dubious process, but the originalCantonese isn’t great either. This is the same iffy track I recall from the early 90’s laser discrelease, right down to the strange bleeping of some words in one (and only one) scene. For themost part, this sounds more mono than surround, with every so often some music or an explosionkicking the rear speakers to life. Generally, a very thin sound.
The 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer is solid, even if the print isn’t absolutely pristine.This is a glamorous-looking film. With its deep reds and blues, and elaborate fashions, the lookis that of a fashion show circa 1992 gone bloodily berserk. These colours are all treated verywell, and the contrasts are strong. Any softness in the image is, again, a function of the sourcematerial.
There are a number of extras, but they don’t add up to very much. There are interviews withWong Jing, Simon Yam and Clarence Fok, and these are interesting, but not limited in subjectto Naked Killer itself — many aspects of the Honk Kong industry are dealt with in a few minutes.There are two trailers for Naked Killer, as well as those for Magnificent Warriors, City Hunter,Magnificent Butcher and Hong Kong 1941. The photo gallery is scored, and the “Hong KongBeauty Star Photo Gallery” is flashy montage, scored with the nightclub music Naked Killer, andis a bit hard on the eyes in presentation, even if its subject matter is not. There is another galleryof original promotional materials, but the pictures are so small that the feature is pretty useless.Finally, there are production notes, including a synopsis (what for?) And filmographies forSimon Yam and Chingmy Yau. The most care seems to have been lavished on the menu, whichhas a scored and animated main page, and is scored at all other times.
This is the kind of release that should have filled the hearts of all fans of Hong Kong cinemawith joy. Unfortunately, the butchered print on hand means that this DVD can only qualify asa major, major disappointment.
Special Features List
- Movie Photo Gallery
- Hong Kong Beauty Stars Gallery
- New and Original Trailers
- Original Promotional Materials