Rock On Fire (HK 1994)

Rating: **
Review Date: 7/17/22
Cast: Nadeki Fujimi, Mikie Ng, Kwok Leung Cheung, Ken Lo, Billy Chow, Shing Fui On

A gratuitously trashy Category III thriller about a botched illegal arms sale and the ever-increasing desperation of the criminals who were relying on those guns. Cindy (Nadeki Fujimi in a rare leading role) and Warren (Kwok Leung Cheung) are the cops assigned to bust the ringleader of the operation, who is a dirty political figure as well as a sadist, rapist, and murderer. Tsubero (Ken Lo) and Icy (Mikie Ng) are a brother-sister killing team working for the Red Army, and they're stuck in Hong Kong with no money and no guns due to the police's interference in their affairs. Things get personal between Cindy and Icy, which leads to a violent showdown in a junkyard and a hilariously abrupt ending.

It's a better than average erotic thriller that features some excellent fight scenes courtesy of Ken Lo, Billy Chow, Nadeki Fujimi, and Kwok Leung Cheung. Even Mikie Ng gets in on the action, although she's heavily (and unconvincingly) doubled during the climax. The pervasive sex scenes are rough, nasty, and unpleasant, and the original cut reportedly had a necrophilia scene in it. The UK release edited that scene out, which is probably the version I saw. The production values are decent and it's a good looking film, although some of the handheld camera work looks sloppy and the soundtrack sounds like a medley of generic stock music.

Nadeki Fujimi gives an excellent performance as a hot-headed cop, but her colored contacts are a constantly annoying distraction. She has an innate fierceness about her, and her fight scenes are energetic and hard-hitting. Veteran heavy hitters Ken Lo and Billy Chow handle most of the action as typecast villains and they do a good job of delivering the goods. 1994 was a good year for Billy Chow and he's at the top of his game. It feels like a missed opportunity to not have Lo and Chow fight each other in this film, but that might have detracted from the heroes' performances. Familiar face Kwok Leung Cheung also gives an admirable performance, although he's easily outclassed by his foes. However, it's gorgeous Mikie Ng who ends up stealing the film with her deliciously sexy and sinister portrayal of the incredibly twisted and violent Icy. She dominates every scene that she's in, and it's immediately obvious that she's more than just a softcore porn actress. What really sets her apart is the range that she's given. Not only does she get naked for a handful of sleazy sex scenes, but she also has several fight scenes and some dramatic delivery as well, all of which she handles extremely well. This is definitely a departure from the norm, as the genre typically treats women as disposable sex objects and subjects of humiliation and abuse. Mikie Ng somehow rises above this and becomes a fully realized and respectable character who uses sex as a weapon, as well as guns, swords, and martial arts. I certainly don't recommend or endorse the film as it can be really hard to watch, but if you're looking for an erotic thriller that's a step up from the usual filth, this rarity might be worth looking into.