Pink Panther (HK 1993)

Rating: *(*)
Alternate Title: Pink Killer
Review Date: 10/23/09
Cast: Nadeki Fujimi, To Kwai Fa, Ken Tong

Curse my weakness for girls with guns! This star vehicle for Nadeki Fujimi is a low budget disaster that was filmed at the same location as every other late 80's girls with guns action film. The film is redeemed only by its energetic fight scenes, Ms. Fujimi's unrelenting fierceness, and her noteworthy fighting skills. Nadeki Fujimi is the leader of a female biker gang that punishes misogynistic men who treat women badly. Their vigilante acts of violence and street justice naturally catch the attention of the police, but they're too crippled by procedure and red tape to do anything about it. The gang's newest member is Anny, whose husband beat her up and kicked her out of the house because she wouldn't sleep with his boss. Charming fellow. It turns out that he's also a small time thug involved in drug smuggling, so the girls make him talk and steal his latest shipment. This makes the big drug lord very angry and he launches an assault on the girls' hideout. Violence begets violence, and the girls counter attack the bad guy's waterfront warehouse. The film laughably ends in a hail of bullets with no resolution or emotional closure.

If nothing else, researching this obscure film finally gave me Nadeki Fujimi's name. I had seen her in numerous supporting action roles before, but never been able to figure out who she was. As a lead tough girl, she does not disappoint. In fact, most of the girls in the movie are pretty tough and several of them perform some satisfying fighting and stuntwork. They really throw themselves into it and don't hold back, which I really appreciate. While the action scenes suffer dearly from the film's miniscule budget, they're energetic, sincere, and most importantly, genuine. These are real people on a real set throwing real punches at each other. It's a far cry from what passes for "action" in today's movie climate. Other amusing production values are the late 80's fashions and the delightfully tacky acid-wash denim uniforms that the girl gang wears. The Foley work is particularly bad, with gratuitous car squealing noises and sneakers that sound like high heels in a tiled bathroom. The stock music is also terrible and reminiscent of the low budget Filipino movies of the same era. Still, if you're a fan of female action cinema, it has a few moments that are sure to please.