Inspectors Wear Skirts IV (HK 1992)

Rating: *
Cast: Cynthia Khan, Moon Lee, Wei Ying Hung, Sandra Ng, Sheila Chan, Billy Lau, Wu Fong

Simply awful (was there ever a part three?). This absurd Hong Kong version of a "Police Academy" film is intolerable and a severe endurance test for even the most die-hard Cynthia Khan and Moon Lee fans. Its one saving grace is getting to see a bevy of Asian beauties parading around in cute S.W.A.T. uniforms. Cynthia Khan is a hard-ass drill sergeant in charge of a bunch of misfit bumbling cops including Moon Lee, Sandra Ng, and a slightly deranged Wei Ying Hung. The film relies almost entirely on slapstick, sight gags, and verbal humor, and in fact, only Ms. Khan and the main villain take the film seriously at all (even though she's equipped with rocket powered boots). There are about three fight scenes in the movie that are surprisingly good, considering the overall comedic tone of the film. Cynthia Khan goes at it full force with amazing speed, grace, and agility and has a wonderful, albeit silly, exchange with Moon Lee. Wei Ying Hung also gets in some great fighting and even parodies Wong Fei Hung and Bruce Lee. The highlight of Sheila Chan's performance is when she parodies the bus chase sequence from Jackie Chan's "Police Story" (1985), but don't bother watching it twice.

Notes on the DVD release: Alright. I'm slowly - very slowly - starting to learn my lesson when it comes to second rate Hong Kong DVDs, and particularly those from Huan Ya. Identical to their release of "Tiger Cage 2" (1990), this DVD only contains a Mandarin audio track and the dialog has all been remastered to sound like a giant echo chamber. I simply don't understand why they do this, as it sounds AWFUL and there is nothing wrong with the original dialog tracks. As if the film weren't bad enough to begin with, the "new and improved" audio makes it even more difficult to endure. On the plus side, the DVD is subtitled (whereas the laser disc isn't), which fills in the ludicrous details of the story quite nicely.