The Kiss of Death (1973)
Reviewed by: andras on 2003-09-20
Summary: the 1973 version of HER VENGENCE
I'm happy to report that it is superior to its 1988 cousin.
Chen Ping stars as a factory worker who gets raped by 5 thugs (with names like Atom,Crocodile & Heroin) on the roof of an apartment building. She contracts VD,quits her job and all she wants to do is Revenge. She joins a night club which some of these thugs frequent. The club owner is Lo Lieh,a good hearted guy who teach the girl some cool self-defense moves. She shares a room with fellow club-girl named Yung Fei Hung (!) whose speciality is throwing deadly metallic cards around. After some brief training sequences, Cheng Ping (or "the Lady on the Roof" as she is known to her enemies) goes into action. The ending is nihilistic in the best HK tradition.
KISS OF DEATH is Class A exploitation film that will sure to please fans. It moves fast and does not shy away from either sex or violence. The cast is excellent for this type of film. Chen Ping is a beauty with interesting facial expressions (just check out those reaction shots) and Lo Lieh is cool as usual. The bad guys are a memorable bunch too, with just the right amount of nastiness.
The music score is wonderfully funky and should be listened in the highest volume possible. The use of Pink Floyd's "Careful with that Axe" in a scene is superb.
But credit goes to Ho Meng Hua for the excellent direction. Obviously influenced by the Japanese new-wavers of the time (Seijun Suzuki, Pink films..), the camerawork & 'scope compositions are consistently interesting and will be a surprise for those who expect a dodgy production. The use of colors are particulary impressive and hats off to Celestial for presenting it in such a wonderful shape (even on VCD).
Once again,this is highly recommended and I'm looking forward to some more Shaw sleaze!