Lady Whirlwind (HK 1972)

Rating: **
Review Date: 10/24/99
Alternate Title: Deep Thrust
Cast: Angela Mao, Chang Yi, Samo Hung

Do not piss this woman off. Angela Mao is hell-bent for vengeance and I have never seen her looking as mean and vicious as she does in this film. The film itself is a tangled web of honor and vengeance. A young man (Chang Yi in a rare good guy role) is severely beaten by Japanese mobsters and left for dead on the beach. He is nursed back to health by a pretty young girl and he vows to take revenge on the crooks. Meanwhile, Angela Mao comes to town with a score to settle with Chang Yi. Apparently, her sister was jilted by Chang Yi and she killed herself, so naturally Angela must avenge her by taking his life. Chang Yi begs her to spare him until after he gets his revenge, to which she reluctantly agrees, only to save his life after he gets mercilessly beaten by his enemies. As Angela waits for Chang Yi to recover so she can beat the tar out of him, he runs into an old man who teaches him the art of tai-chi. This gives him the edge he needs, and he finally destroys the leader of the gang. Angela finally jumps in to take her revenge, but Chang Yi's girlfriend throws herself between them and begs for mercy. Angela surprisingly spares their lives and storms off into the distance, presumably to find someone else to take her aggression out on.

One of Angela Mao's best performances, she is a raw and untamed bundle of feminine fury. She's definitely got "the look", and the sheer terror she invokes in her enemies is genuine and priceless. Great stuff. The kung fu is very good, but nearly all of the actors pull their punches just a little too much (or maybe I'm just getting really picky about my kung fu). A young Samo Hung is delightful to watch as a gangster, and his exchanges with Angela are a lot of fun. Oddly enough, he's dubbed with a bizarre Billy Barty voice! Very weird. A definite "must see" for Angela Mao fans, and a solid kung fu actioner.