Water Tank Murder Mystery (1994)
Reviewed by: STSH on 2004-02-06
Summary: Pretty good
My heart sank when, before the opening titles, I saw Magnum Video Productions. I thought, oh no not some crappy video cheapy. HK produces 150 films a year, of which many are crap, so why risk watching a video production ?

But this one is a lot better than even many films produced in that year. At one level, it's a fairly straightforward police murder investigation, not unlike the dozens of such shows currently on TV. There's not exactly much mystery here. Most of the screen time focusses on what an utter bastard the victim was. Mai Kei tries hard to be as evil as the great Ho Ka Kui, and does a pretty good job.

The acting, though of something like soap opera standard and rather hammy, suits the material quite well. The pacing is above average, and the flashback/flashforward sequencing helps (after an initial period where things look a little muddle).

This film is mainly rated Cat III for gory content, but there is also some nudity. Oddly though, there is only one short flash of full nudity, when Mai Kei whips off Chan Chi Hung's knickers after knocking her out. Yip Sin Yi, one of HK's most beautiful women, provides most of the nudity (a lovely shower scene included), but she is filmed in discreet nudity only. This is quite puzzling. It looks as though Presenter Danny Lee was having a bet each way - filming most of the show discreetly (perhaps for the Japanese market ?) and including just one flash which could be easily edited out.

Danny Lee, although given top billing, is really just a guest star, and this is a good thing for this film. He appears only in the scenes in the police station, and these scenes are the only really dull parts of the story. The field investigation is lead by the curiously-named Parkman Wong.

Last of all, the lack of subtitles is no barrier to following this one. It's very clear who the good and bad guys are and, after the first 20 minutes or so, what's going on is pretty much crystal clear. This is no classic, but it's worth a look.
Reviewer Score: 7