Girls in the Hood (1995)
Reviewed by: ewaffle on 2017-06-14
Summary: Moral Panic
"Girls in the Hood" is an example of a ripped from the headlines movie can express a fast developing (and probably just as quickly disappearing) moral panic over, in this case, "dirty girls". There are references to an article in a popular magazine about the girls who hand around the fountain at the Hong Kong Cultural Center and spend their time having anonymous sex with whomever happens along, stealing from them and not bathing. Blackgirl, Brainless and the rest of the bunch are presented not as whacked-out teenagers but as the outriders of an evil force threatening society, generators public panic over something shocking to the sensibilities of proper society. The real issue, of course, is that this is Hong Kong in 1995, two years before the Handover. There are a couple of overheard-type pieces of dialog which reference "1997" each with the response, "Don't mention 1997". It is within such potentially prodigious real changes that moral panics over non-issues can flourish.

Alan Lo Shun-Cheun knew his way around a movie set--he had been asistant director on eleven films in seven years, including wrangling crowds and shooting "B" action on such works as "City on Fire" and "Dr. Lamb"--and he kept things moving without too many noticeable continuity breaks or outrageous coincidences so even though this was only his second effort in the director's chair he did a decent job, especially considering the lack of experience of the talent in front of the camera. This might be the Category III version of a toned down for other audiences Category II or IIb flick since while there are a lot of naked breasts and buttocks plus some energetic if unconvincing simulated sex, most of the naughty sections are done as drop-ins that could be easily cut for showing in culturally more conservative areas--although those or just about any scenes could have been chopped out with a cleaver and not lessened the quality of what was onscreen.
Reviewer Score: 3