Deadly Dream Woman (1992)
Reviewed by: ewaffle on 2009-03-21
Summary: Guns and lipstick
Under the opening credits in "Deadly Dream Woman" there is an extreme close-up of bright red lipstick being applied by a masked avenger type who turns out to be Sharla Cheung. It is a not very notable entry in the “Girls with guns” genre, although these girls—Sharla, who plays Nightingale and her sidekick Cuckoo—are very skilful with knives, fists and feet as well as firearms with some well done action scenes giving way to unfunny comedy, vicious sexual violence and dull exposition.

The movie begins with a meeting of triad elders. Jaguar, played by Ken Lo as more annoying than menacing, is younger and more casually dressed than the other bosses. He is late, disrespectful and flippant excusing his tardiness because he was busy screwing a foreign girl. Jaguar is denounced for stealing weapons that were marked for delivery in Vietnam and things look bad for him when one of his underlings is dragged before the meeting, having been beaten until he confessed and implicated his boss. But while untrustworthy, he is a whiz at organization. Just when things seem darkest for him some of his henchmen arrive at the front door pretending to be police officers while others burst through the skylight in the ceiling and rappel into the room shooting as they descend.

Nightingale and Cuckoo are at the meeting because Mr. Yip, the chairman, is their godfather and wishes them to help deal with Jaguar’s perfidy. The fighting femmes are able to kill a few score of bad guys but run out of bullets and knives at the same time that Mr. Yip is shot through the head. They make their escape pursued by some of the surviving thugs and jump into a waiting boat. Cuckoo is shot dead and Nightingale knocked unconscious and falls into the boat as it drifts away.

So far, so good but we are only about ten minutes into the movie.

The scene shifts to a yacht where a bunch of well born louts are entertaining Witch and her gaggle of good-time girls. The hosts are no match for the streetwise ladies who take all their money, most of their clothing and set them adrift in a lifeboat tied hand and foot. While scanning the sea for the customers, Witch and Jane (Chingmy Yau) see our heroine in her boat, still out cold. They drag her onto the yacht and discover a few things about her. One is that she has amnesia; another is that she is wealthy based on her couture clothing and accessories. Not knowing her name they decide that Chanel would fit since it is such a recognizable luxury brand. She is also strikingly beautiful so Witch decides the best thing for her is to work as a woman of negotiable virtue in a club until they find out who she is and then negotiate a huge reward from her rich parents. This is especially useful to Witch who is an ardent but completely unsuccessful gambler and who owes money to loan sharks all over Hong Kong—she can use Chanel’s earning to hold off the thugs until she figures out who she is and then make her big score. This part of the movie drags badly, enlivened only when a few small time hoodlums arrive to intimidate on of the girls. Jane rushes out with a broom and swings it around ineffectually but then Nightingale jumps into the fray and knocks out the aggressors.

A heavy thumb on the fast forward button will pay dividends for most of the movie including most of the scenes in the club. Things don’t get moving again until the big fight at the end of the movie which is fast, brutal and satisfying. Nightingale has reinforcements—her twin sister from America has arrived to help and Jacky Cheung, who seemed to be a mute auto mechanic turns out to be a former triad heavy who Jaguar hates. The three of them along with some assistance from Jane and the girls plus an unexplained bunch of gun wielding helpers (they just show up) shoot, blow up and impale several platoons of Jaguar’s men. He is dispatched in a fittingly bloody fashion.

The action choreography in “Deadly Dream Woman” is excellent and the editing of the fights was seamless. Sharla Cheung was very well doubled and she was fit enough and hit action poses well enough to convince us that she was laying waste to the bad guys. Other than that and some lovely shots of Chingmy Yau in a very short skirt there isn’t much to recommend here.
Reviewer Score: 3