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September 10th, 2001 Issue #73

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.

Cop Shop Babes
(2001; Film Power Company / The Storm Riders Management Co.)

Cover art courtesy Mei Ah.

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

Cantonese: Leng nui chai gwoon
Mandarin: Jing nu cha guan
English: Beautiful Women Police Station


During the 80s, movies like THE INSPECTOR WEARS SKIRTS and NAUGHTY BOYS offered a mix of pretty girls, impressive action, and cheap gags to entertaining effect. Not the lowest of the lowbrow but probably still not a very difficult formula to emulate, right? Well, judging from Clarence Fok's inept MARTIAL ANGELS (reviewed in issue 54) and, now, this awful Aman Cheung Man effort, even that simple amalgam is becoming a lost art among HK exploitation directors.

Jerry Lam Hiu-fung (left) and Eason Chan Yik-shun (right). Image courtesy Mei Ah.

Dumbbell CIDs Beer (Eason Chan Yik-shun) and Satay (Jerry Lam Hiu-fung) get transferred to a new department and are overjoyed to find it awash in women: Peggy, aka PC (Li Shan-shan), FBI agent Katie Goodman, aka Alien (Cathy Tsui Chi-kei, speaking most of her lines in English), the not-at-all Bony (Rachel Fu Tin-wing), AV-King (Yuen King-tan, whose character simply disappears around the halfway point), buxom Dynamite (Lam Wai-ling), Sis (Lillian Ho Kar-lei), and their equally presentable boss, Mona Lui (Carina Lau Kar-ling). Unfortunately, the boys' tired pick-up attempts and bumbling manner earn them nothing but a severe beating. Even more aggravating to them is the fact that their triad informant, Eggplant (Cheung Tat-ming), has managed to move in with the girls by pretending to be his own sister, Eggy.

From left to right: Lam Wai-ling, Yuen King-tan, Lillian Ho Kar-lei, Li Shan-Shan, Cathy Tsui Chi-kei and Rachel Fu Tin-wing.
Image courtesy Mei Ah.

The team is assigned to investigate a bomber named Fireball (Tony Ho Wah-chiu) who is blowing up phonebooths in retaliation for the arrest of his buddy, Rhino. Abetted by his partners, Baby (FIST POWER's Li Fei, not surprisingly the only actress in the cast with any martial arts ability), Cunning (Wong Chi-yeung), and Muscle (Frankie Chin Chi-leung), Fireball decides to also target The Cop Shop Babes (as everyone on-screen even calls them) and some local tycoons. The girls receive some questionable help from "The Biting Maniac" Dr. Au Yeung (Wong Jing), a mental patient with a taste for human flesh, who also happens to be an expert at defusing bombs.

Wong Jing and Carina Lau Kar-ling. Image courtesy Mei Ah.

Too sophomoric to be funny and too poorly produced to pass muster even as a mindless distraction, COP SHOP BABES looks to have been slapped together in a couple of days from a screenplay that consisted of nothing but scene headings. The few inspired ideas (like Wong Jing doing Hannibal Lector) are ineptly coveyed, while far too much screen time is wasted on hopeless comedic premises like "Reflection Symptom of Animal Behaviour" (which turns out to be several minutes of Cheung Tat-ming running around doing animal imitations). The only real laughs come during the outtakes under the end credits but by then even the most undiscriminating of viewers may have bailed. Carina Lau seems justifiably embarrassed while, of the models in the cast, only Li Shan-shan demonstrates any real acting ability. Whatever talent Cathy Tsui displayed in TIME AND TIDE seems to have evaporated in the interim. As for Rachel Fu and Lam Wai-ling, both are badly looped.

Li Shan-shan. Image courtesy Mei Ah.

DVD Specs:

Mei Ah #DVD-411
Dolby Digital 2.1
Sync Sound (mostly) Cantonese and Dubbed Mandarin Language Tracks
Optional Subtitles In English and Chinese (Traditional or Simplified)
9 Chapters Illustrated In the Menu With Stills
Letterboxed (1.83:1)
Coded for ALL Regions
96 Minutes
Contains partial nudity, mid-range violence, mildly coarse language, and drug use

DVD menu courtesy Mei Ah.

Film Board Ratings and Consumer Advice

Hong Kong: IIB
Singapore: PG


The image appears to have been artificially sharpened and objects or clothing with fine patterns look very unstable at times. Otherwise, the picture is colorful and attractive, and the sound is okay, if a bit flat. Mei Ah inexplicably still refuses to provide time coding (which caused the Sony 7000 the disc was previewed on to go back to the beginning of the movie almost every time the Stop button was utilized) but, at least, they have gone back to including their "Best Buy" section, which offers a trailer for GOODBYE MR. COOL.

Rachel Fu. Image courtesy Mei Ah.

COP SHOP BABES is available at Poker Industries.

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Copyright © John Charles 2000, 2001. All Rights Reserved.
E-mail: mail@dighkmovies.com

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