Tiger Angels (HK 1993)

Rating: *
Review Date: 8/14/00
Cast: Cynthia Khan, Yukari Oshima, Billy Chow

How can this be?!? To the best of my knowledge, I thought I had seen (or at least heard of) every Cynthia Khan film ever made, until I saw this Cynthia Khan/Yukari Oshima film in the new releases section of my video store. I immediately started researching it, and much to my amazement discovered there is no record of its existence in ANY of my Hong Kong film references. Even the company that distributes the film won't even acknowledge that it exists. It's a mystery film...

However, there's a reason for that. This film is downright AWFUL, and was probably never even released in Asia. It probably only surfaced now because someone found it in the trash and decided to cash in on the stars' waning popularity. While it's almost as bad as the ultra-embarrassing "Yes Madam (1995)", I still regard that film as the ultimate low in Ms. Khan's career. However, this film is SO bad, that I couldn't even figure out what it was about. Some guy runs a department store and is so busy that he never gets to spend time with his spoiled and bitchy wife, so she leaves him. Meanwhile, the man's father has become the target of multiple kidnapping attempts due to some past debt that villainous Billy Chow is trying to collect. In order to protect his dad, the man hires Rose (Cynthia Khan) and Butterfly (Yukari Oshima) to be his father's bodyguards. They're not very good bodyguards - they're more like bullies. They're never around when the old man gets attacked, and they just periodically look around for Chow's gang to beat them up and threaten them. Then there's the man's cute, but stuffy secretary who meets a computer salesman who bears an uncanny resemblance to her boss. She enters an awkward relationship with him, and then talks him into doubling for her boss so that he can take time off to mend the situation with his wife. But the impersonator's mom has a large gambling debt to settle, so he also accepts a job to arrange for the man's father to be abducted by Chow's gang. Billy's flunkies end up killing the guy's mom anyway, and the store manager sends Butterfly to rescue his dad from Billy Chow's hidden fortress. But wait! There's also a cop who shows up for a cameo, whose role is very important, but unexplained. With everyone safe and the bad guys behind bars, the store manager throws a party and hires his duplicate as the head of computer sales. The end. Huh?!?

This film is SO embarrassing on SO many levels. The film's credits give Cynthia Khan star billing, and she is in exactly two scenes (thankfully they're both fighting scenes). Ms. Oshima shows up second in the credits and is in five scenes. Thankfully, the two or three scraps that they both get into are fairly competent. No crazy wire stunts, and the stuntmen are capable and accomplished veteran kung fu actors. Billy Chow actually has a considerable speaking role and gets into a very brief lackluster fight with Yukari Oshima at the end of the film. You've got to be a serious hardcore fan of Ms. Khan or Ms. Oshima to get through this film, which should have been left under the carpet.