Top Fighter 2: Deadly China Dolls (1998)

Rating: ***
Cast: Moon Lee, Yukari Oshima, Michelle Yeoh, Angela Mao, Judy Lee, Polly Shang Kwan, Sharon Yeung Pan Pan, Wei Ying Hung, Elaine Lui, Sophia Crawford, Cynthia Rothrock, Kathy Long, Michiko Nishiwaki

This documentary from Eastern Heroes is a compilation of kung fu clips and actress profiles for some of the most influential women in Hong Kong kung fu cinema. It's a mixed bag, and although it's poorly made and sinks into cheap thrill cheesecake occasionally, it does offer some interesting information and some fascinating and hard to find classic fighting clips. Since it's my favorite genre, I'll go ahead and point out things I didn't like or would have done differently.

1) Devoting an entire segment to Amy Yip's heaving bosom. Hmmm. She's not a fighter and she's not an action star, so why is she on this tape?
2) None of the film clips made reference to what movies they came from. This is very frustrating because I want to see some of them now.
3) Including a nude fight scene with Sophia Crawford. Cheezy and unnecessary.
4) Not devoting enough time to personal favorite, Cynthia Khan. Her contemporaries Moon Lee and Yukari Oshima got adequate coverage, but they didn't even interview Cynthia and she came and went in less than two minutes. What really made me mad was that to showcase her abilities they showed one of her lamer fights from "Tough Beauty And The Sloppy Slop" (1995) instead of one of her classic performances from the 1980's. But they did show a bizarre clip of her dressed in a jungle girl outfit fighting some bad guys in a film I never even knew existed. Damn, something else for me to track down. The Cynthia Khan thing also bugs me because she is featured more prominently on the box cover than anyone else, with three photos of her. (Sibelle Hu is also on the box but not in the video at all!)

Overall, definitely worth checking out if you're any sort of fan of kung fu and female action cinema.