Body Weapon

On Friday, June 11, 1998, South China Morning Post printed a review (which can’t be found online) of Body Weapon (原始武器) starring Angie Cheung (張慧儀). Paul Fonoroff said:

“Cult classic of sexploitation. Sometimes it seems that Hong Kong cinema would not exist without the prolific Wong Jing. It has been two weeks since a Wong production was reviewed here, but movie fans in need of a fix need not fear. His latest contribution to Cantonese celluloid, a tawdry tale of rape, is typical of the producer’s Raped by an Angel series. Body Weapon is basically the same kinds of fantasies that pay lip service to the evils of rape while attempting to titillate a certain segment of the audience.”

Paul isn’t as snarky about it as he may seem to be:

“Directed by Aman Chang, and with a script credited to Cheung Kwok-Yuen but with the producer’s fingerprints throughout, Body Weapon is a candidate for the Cult Film Hall of Fame. A low-budget mixture of sex, laughs and drama but the blend is not outrageous enough to top many of Wong’s previous efforts (Naked Killer is a prime example). But for viewers unfamiliar with Wong’s oeuvre, Body Weapon provides a measure of guilty pleasures.”

Paul confesses as to what they are:

“Chief among them is the way that policewoman Chan Siu-Ling (played by Angie Cheung Wai-Yee) uses her body as a lethal weapon. Officer Chan is not shy about her voluptuous figure, as witnessed by the outfits she wears on the job. She is the friend of two colleagues who happen to be best friends. The two friends vie for her love. She finally makes her choice, and the wedding night is a real howler – rarely does one see so much faked passion squeezed into three minutes.”

Alas, there are more:

“This is just a preview to nasty perversions when the honeymoon frolics are abruptly halted by an unholy trio, the leader of which wears a leather mask. The groom is murdered and the bride is raped. These are the same three deviants who molest, torture and butcher a couple in the film’s opening. It is the very case that occupies her best friends when they are not wooing her.”

Paul reveals a flaw:

“The masked killer’s identity is not a secret; the audience figures it out about a half-hour before the film-makers make the brilliant revelation. The mystery is the motive for the first murders. It makes no sense in light of what we learn about the ringleader, particularly his homosexual secret. One would accuse Body Weapon of gay-bashing if the film’s heterosexuals were not treated with equal irreverence.”

Paul describes how this movie is similar to the old Kung Fu movies:

“The highlight for campy humour comes from Pearl, an orange-haired chap (another gay stereotype), who teaches the widow how to become so seductive that she can trap the men who killed her husband. Pearl, banana in hand, lectures Siu-Ling about the male G-spot and how to assault it with high-heeled kicks. The lessons come in handy during the grand climax (no pun intended).”

Paul reviews the latter:

“Trapped by the gay madman in a dimly lit gymnasium, Siu-Ling strips down to her panties and rolls around on the floor, the wind gently blowing her hair (the hidden fans are never revealed or maybe it’s the villain’s delusion). The gyrations are meant to fill him with lust so that he lowers his guard and thus leaves his G-spot vulnerable to attack. There is a far greater possibility that the ridiculous spectacle will make him die laughing. It certainly permits the viewer to exit with a smirk.”

Angie Cheung had this to say about working with the star of Body Weapon in the October 2000 issue of Hong Kong Superstars (the last issue that I was given before the company folded):

“He was a very nice man. He didn’t talk that much between shots but we got on really well. He comes across as very serious in his work, especially when he was doing his fight scenes.”

My miniature review: I thought that the movie could have very well done with Clarence Fok Yiu-Leung doing more than just play the gay role – he should have directed.

Final thoughts: I’m surprised that no-one thought about hiring Aman Chang to direct an erotic thriller starring Shannon Tweed – the queen of softcore cinema. Given how she shares the same birthday as Chuck Norris, there was a missed opportunity to make a movie that appeals to U.S. fans of martial arts movies and erotica.

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