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June 4th, 2001 Issue #59

Hong Kong Digital is a recurring series of movie reviews by John Charles -- a film reviewer for Video Watchdog magazine and the author of The Hong Kong Filmography.

Electrical Girl
(2001; Matrix Productions Company / The Storm Riders Management Co.): 3/10

Cover image courtesy Universe.

Faat din siu giu wa

Fa dian qiao jiao wa

Electricity Producing Beauty

Sophie Ngan Chin-man. Image courtesy Universe.

In the time since she got fired from ATV for posing in some sexy photos, Sophie Ngan Chin-man has been gradually positioning herself as the new Queen of Category III movies. ELECTRICAL GIRL offers more of Ngan than any previous feature, which will no doubt leave her fans pleased. However, it is really no better than the usual C-III fare, in spite of the fact that it was scripted by Roy Szeto Cheuk-hon, who collaborated with Tsui Hark on some of the latter's finest early work. In fact, a good cast and Ngan's appealing presence is about all that keeps this rehash of the Chingmy Yau Suk-ching bomb SHE STARTS THE FIRE from being completely unwatchable.

Ngan and Jimmy Wong Shu-kei. Image courtesy Universe.

Poor Jan Fong (Ngan) has a most unusual problem: whenever she becomes sexually excited, an electrical charge is generated, frying her partner. Swearing off men, Jan now uses light bulbs to stimulate herself (but not florescent -- too big). Her new boss, Leo (Jimmy Wong Shu-kei, who has been in almost many C-IIIers as Elvis Tsui Kam-kong and now bears a distracting resemblance to Raymond Wong Pak-ming), seems to be an ideal match for Jan, much to the delight of the other office secretaries (Teresa Mak Kar-kei, Crystal Cheung Yee-tung, and Grace Lam Nga-sze). Leo claims that he does not believe in inter-office fraternization, though he still goes out of his way to spend as much time with Jan as possible.

(From left to right): Grace Lam Nga-sze, Crystal Cheung Yee-tung, Teresa Mak Kar-Kei. Image courtesy Universe.

In an effort to cure her rather unique malady, Jan visits a lecherous MD (Charlie Cho Cha-lei, another actor who has been in far too many of these things) who makes love with her, while dressed head-to-foot in rubber and wearing several condoms. His sai lo gets barbecued but Jan discovers a new ability: during orgasm, she can predict the numbers in the Mark Six lottery draw. Her desire for a stud is even more pressing now but Leo keeps turning her down because he is actually impotent. Desperate, Jan gets a job as a club girl but still cannot find the right man. Of course, he is right under her nose all along and just needs a little "electric therapy."

Charlie Cho Cha-Lei. Image courtesy Universe.

It seems hard to imagine a 2001 comedy with blackface gags but they're here, along with several other tired bits that need never have been resurrected. Director Bowie Lau Bo-yin (RESORT MASSACRE) does manage to show a little flair, particularly via a spaghetti western homage that comes out of nowhere, but not enough to offset for the lack of comic invention. With her attractive figure, suspiciously full and well-shaped breasts, and relentlessly bubbly manner, Sophie Ngan is the kind of sex symbol most men adore. Most women, on the other hand, would no doubt take great pleasure in seeing her get plastered by a truck. Ngan does have some acting ability, however, which puts her a step above some other recent pretenders to the throne, and no one can question the enthusiasm she brings to the part. Yuen King-tan (called King Yuen in the English credits here), Lam Suet (as a Hung Hing boss sporting a dreadlock wig), Lee Siu-kei (who is Ngan's manager offscreen), Hui Shiu-hung, and Samuel Leung Cheuk-moon also appear.

VCD Specs:

Universe #VCD 2996
Cantonese (Right Channel) and Mandarin (Left Channel) Language Tracks
Chinese and English Subtitles
Category III (for nudity and sexual content)
PAL Format
90 Minutes

The presentation is generally good, though movement and tracking shots are a tad jerky, even for this format. The print is in excellent condition and the subtitles are video generated. However, as the disc is PAL, some Region 1 DVD decks will play the image back vertically stretched; depending on your TV's overscan, this may be enough to slice the English subtitles off the bottom of the screen. A DVD with removable English subtitles is also available but offers no extras other than a handful of trailers, so the VCD should prove sufficient for the majority of interested parties. The English translation is generally mediocre but does make some attempt to relay the humor in Yuen King-tan's pun-filled dialogue.

Ngan literally lighting up the screen. Image courtesy Universe.

Copyright © John Charles 2000, 2001. All Rights Reserved.

Hong Kong Digital is presented in association with Hong Kong Entertainment News In Review