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Issue #111a HOME E-mail: mail@dighkmovies.com BACK ISSUES June 10th, 2002

(2002; Universe Films Distribution Co. / Century Creator Co.)

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

Cantonese: Gwai sau hok yuen
Mandarin: Guai shou xue yuan
English: Strange Beast Schoolyard

After bungling their latest assignment, goofy undercover cops Jesus (a blonde haired Anthony Wong Chau-sang) and Ken (Sam Lee Chan-sam) are assigned to infiltrate a Catholic girls' school. Their assignment: find the student who made off with a knapsack full of money that Jesus lost track of during the operation. Jesus assumes the persona of Father Gum, the new moral science class teacher, while Ken tries to pass himself off as May, a deformed schoolgirl. Teacher Maggie Leung (Rachel Fu Tin-wing, speaking a combination of Mandarin and heavily accented Cantonese) and student Candy Tong (Gillian Chung Yan-tung) are prime targets for observation but Ken receives some unexpected distraction when both Candy and another classmate fall for "him."

This is one of those movies where it appears that the actors had a blast (Anthony Wong and Sam Lee seem on the verge of breaking up whenever they share the screen) but none of the fun comes across for the viewer. Writer/director Cheung Chi-sing probably had an easy time pitching this to the Universe brass: "Sam Lee disguised as Osama Bin Laden! Sam Lee as a teenage girl! Anthony Wong as a unkempt priest! Jade Leung as a nun/kung fu master! Gillian Chung from Twins and Rachel Fu for the teen demographic!" Although some of Cheung's earlier pictures had marvellous situations and dialogue (particularly LOVE AND SEX AMONG THE RUINS), it seems like he didn't even try here. Given the set-up, one would at least expect a low-rent variation on the FIGHT BACK TO SCHOOL series but we do not even get that as the movie simply stagnates once the premise is in place. Scene after scene plods along with no apparent purpose (was there a script or did Cheung make do with a two paragraph draft?) and little payoff. Limp references to overused targets like PULP FICTION make the already slack pacing even more deadening and neither Anthony Wong's hopped-up mugging nor Sam Lee in drag produce anything more than a mild snicker. Ruby Wong Cheuk-ling (wasted yet again), Lam Suet, Joe Lee Yiu-ming, and Ha Ping also appear.

Cover art courtesy Universe.

Gillian Chung and Sam Lee. Image courtesy Universe.

Rachel Fu. Image courtesy Universe.
Universe #6029

Dolby Digital 2.0

Sync Sound Cantonese and Dubbed Mandarin Language Tracks

Optional Subtitles In English and Chinese (Traditional or Simplified)

8 Chapters Illustrated In the Menu With Clips

Letterboxed (1.84:1)

Coded for ALL Regions

89 Minutes

Contains mildly off-color humor and mature themes

DVD menu courtesy Universe.

Hong Kong: IIA

The image is a little soft, but has no serious flaws, and the mono sound is a bit harsh but adequate. A trailer and Star Files on Sam Lee and Anthony Wong are the only extras.

is available at Poker Industries.

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