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小煞星 (1970)
The Singing Killer

Reviewed by: cpardo
Date: 07/19/2006
Summary: Wow!

Johnny is an ex-gang member now famous pop singer that makes crowds go crazy for his crooning. One thing he misses in life is his long lost girlfriend Lily which he wrote a song about. His old gang plot a scheme with Feng, the owner of the club where Johnny sings, to blackmail him into a robbery scheme if they tell him of Lily's whereabouts. To their surprise Lily works in the store they're going to rob, and the reunion makes Johnny change his mind on the robbery, causing mayhem and forcing Johnny to go on the run with Lily. After much deliberation and tragedy, Johnny decides to go to the police, but not before storming Feng's house for a showdown...

They don't make 'em like this anymore! They did this kind of thing in U.S. movies but they were always so corny and bad. But this modern HK version of the tale, it's a no holds barred kind of movie which covers all bases and includes gun battles bloody violence, adult themes, plenty of fist fights (kung fu style), romance and of course songs--it becomes a lot of fun. It's a great late night movie. I didn't know Chang Cheh could make a movie like this. It's a nice surprise.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: cal42
Date: 07/14/2006
Summary: Dig those threads, man!

Famous pop singer and heartthrob Johnny (David Chiang) has put his gangster youth behind him. However, his old brothers want to use his fame to help them rob a jewellery store. Johnny is blackmailed and reluctantly goes along with it until he re-finds his sweetheart Lily (Wong Ping). He then goes on the run from both the police and the mob.

My quest to review every Chang Cheh/David Chiang collaboration has thrown up some odd films, and this would probably seem the oddest of the lot at face value. However, apart from using the premise of David Chiang as a pop star to throw a few musical numbers in, this is pretty much standard action movie fare from the period – and truth be told, it feels very flat in places.

While David Chiang’s wardrobe is certainly fun (we’re in DUEL OF FISTS territory here!), there’s not much sparkle to the film at all. In fact, watching David Chiang mime his way through the songs is quite embarrassing – he’s clearly uncomfortable with the whole thing. It has to be said though that the songs (Which has lyrics written by Chang Cheh himself and I BELIEVE sung by Roman Tam) aren’t actually as bad as you might expect. The song and dance routine where Chiang is chained up in a wooden cage while dressed in a kind of Robin Hood outfit will either seem like 60’s/70’s campy fun or deeply homoerotic, depending on your particular persuasion.

Other than that, there’s not much to say. Although the Celestial DVD pimps up the role of Ti Lung (even going as far as to use the same old “Elegant Trails” mini-doc), he only has a few seconds of screen time here. You get a very young Fung Shui-Fan (who most will recall from his stint in the LUCKY STARS films) as the benevolent police inspector and an equally young Dean Shek as a thug in amongst the cast, but no one really shines.

The final ten minutes does include some interesting pre-John Woo style gunplay though, but it’s too little too late. More of this kind of thing and you would have had an interesting little film, but as it is it can’t really be recommended.

I’m off now to play inside a giant wooden cage in a little tan tunic. Groovy, baby, yeah!

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: sharkeysbar
Date: 11/28/2005

This is one great movie from 1970. The Singing Killer has so much and all of it rolled together equals one very funny and fun-loving film. The story is fairly predictable, but with slapstick humour, musical numbers, fighting, car chases, silly jokes, oh the list goes on and on. All in all this is one great movie, I highly recommend it to anyone who wants an enjoyable, light-heartened movie with a bit of everything.
On my second viewing I enjoyed it more and I can safely say I will be watching it again, so please, go out and see it!

Reviewer Score: 7