The Lunatics (1986)
Reviewed by: TequilaYuen on 2000-06-11
Summary: Good, but flawed!
Apparently Derek Yee became very famous after directing the drama 'C'est La Vie Mon Cheri' with Lau ching Wan. I haven't seen the film, but it was apparently so popular that his older films were dusted off and released. He was an action star for Shaw brothers who, late in his career turned to making social dramas.
I recieved this one in my Chow Yun Fat bundle of DVD's, but his screen time is limited to about twenty minutes, he could have phoned in his performance, which is a tragedy beacause he is great in the film.

The story concerns a social worker, who helps the street derelicts of Hong Kong who refuse to be aided by shelters and welfare programs. He is aided (unwillingly) by a reporter doing work on all the great things he is doing. She learns about many of the Hong Kong street people and the problems plaguing it'sstreets. These people include 'Doggie' played by Tony Leung chiu wai, who takes a fish market hostage at knifepoint until being taking in by the social worker through the use of a Jackie Chan puppet (actually pretty touching sequence.
Chow Yun Fat plays a crazy man who buries his son alive after he contracts hepititis. Chow plays the scene with such flair, his eye movements and motions are so realistic, too bad his part was underwritten. The last person is a 'normal' man who goes into a bout of craziness once again, biting the heads off chickens,and taking a kindergarten school hostage (a particularly frightening sequence), untill being brought down. All of this leads to a tragic ending, as the reporter takes over the workers status (i'm not giving anything away, it even says that on the back of the DVD box!).

Overall this film would have been good if given a few more drafts. Thecharacters are so good, but they are given such little screen time and aren't given
enough room for a complete story (the running time on this film is 88 min. i think,
it needed at least 2 hrs.). Another thing was how this movie portrayed itself, it
tried so hard to make it's derelict characters SO unappealing! instead of being an
insightful look, it was just treated as a horror film, especially the trailer! overall, a
good try, but not good enough!