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April 8th, 2002 Issue #103a

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

Killing End
(2001; Mandarin Films / Buddy Film Creative Workshop)

Cover art courtesy Modern.

A Masterpiece
Highly Recommended
Very Good
Marginal Recommendation
Not Recommended
Definitely Not Recommended

Cantonese: Sat fo
Mandarin: Sha ke
English: Conclusion


Writer / director Herman Yau Lai-to re-united the stars of his horror sleeper NIGHTMARES IN PRECINCT 7 (reviewed in issue #94) for this compact thriller, which offers just as many surprises. CIDs Nam (Andy Hui Chi-on) and Lung (Simon Lui Yu-yeung, who also co-wrote the picture) are intent on nailing triad boss Naja (BIG BULLET's Berg Ng Ting-yip) and decide to shake him down one evening. However, the man's lieutenant, So Wai-fai (Michael Tse Tin-wah) and some lawyers put a quick end to Nam's game. As a result of this humiliation, Nam does not lift a finger when he sees June (Loletta Lee Lai-chun) casually walk over to So's expensive car and demolish it with a sledge hammer. June suffers from periodic memory loss and is given to strange, violent outbursts but Nam finds himself falling for the mysterious woman regardless. When So and his goons rough up Lung in an alley one evening, Nam intervenes and, during the subsequent struggle, accidentally kills the triad. The court rules that Nam acted in self-defence and he is acquitted but So’s powerful father is determined to avenge his son.

Loletta Lee Lai-chun (left) and Michael Tse Tin-wah (right). Image courtesy Modern.
Click here for a still of Simon Lui and Andy Hui (courtesy Modern)

The synopsis makes this sound like a pretty run-of-the mill crime thriller but, once So’s father has declared his intentions, KILLING END goes off in unexpected directions and is best experienced without any prior knowledge of what happens (don't read the keep case write-up prior to viewing the disc). Hui and Lee duplicate the marvellous chemistry they had in NIGHTMARES, Yu Kwok-ping's cinematography is quite inventive for a low-budget production, and Yau continues to be one of the more conscientious commercial directors working in HK cinema these days. While not altogether satisfying, KILLING END is decidedly better than the majority of B-movies coming out of HK these days, while also demonstrating more audacity than many of the major ones as well. Alfred Cheung Kin-ting, Chin Kar-lok, and Shing Fui-on have supporting roles.

DVD Specs:

Modern / Vidicon #VED19012
Dolby Digital 2.0
Sync Sound Cantonese and Dubbed Mandarin Language Tracks
Permanent Subtitles In Traditional Chinese and English
5 Chapters Illustrated In the Menu With Stills
Letterboxed (1.84:1)
Coded for ALL Regions
80 Minutes
Contains brutal violence

DVD menu courtesy Modern.

Film Board Ratings and Consumer Advice

Hong Kong: IIB [Cut to avoid C-III]
Singapore: PG [Passed With Cuts]


Unfortunately, the presentation is awful. Scene after scene is plagued by blooming whites, which are hard on the eyes and obliterate the theatrical subtitles (which are already hard to make out, thanks to an abundance of white tablecloths, signs, etc). At least the transfer is not fullscreen, as claimed on the keep case, and the sound is adequate. A trailer for NIGHTMARES IN PRECINCT 7 is the only extra and there is no time coding.

KILLING END is available at Poker Industries.

Click here for more information about The Hong Kong Filmography

Copyright © John Charles 2000 - 2002. All Rights Reserved.
E-mail: mail@dighkmovies.com

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