Sunday, February 3, 2013

Naked Killer (Clarence Ford, 1992)

If you don't have a fetish for women's gloves. May I ask, why the hell not? Seriously, what's wrong with you? They're gloves. What's not to like? I tell you what, I'm going to leave the room for a second, and when I get back, I wanna see a fully-developed fetish for women's gloves sitting on my proverbial desk. If not, then, well, this isn't gonna work at all. See you in, oh, let's say, ten seconds. Okay, I'm back. Do you get sexually aroused by the sight of an attractive woman who is wearing gloves? I'll interpret your sheepish silence to mean, yes, you have in fact acquired a fetish for dainty hands sheathed in gloves. I won't lie, it's good to have you on board. How you were able to obtain the attributes necessary to convincingly exhibit the wide array of symptoms that come front-loaded with this particular fetish so quickly is nothing short of a miracle. Nevertheless, now we can proceed to talk about Naked Killer (a.k.a. Chik loh go yeung) in a calm and rational manner. Just kidding, nothing I've ever done could ever be construed as "calm" or "rational." We're going to analyze the hyper-stylized fashions that are worn  throughout this violent, Category III film about lethal lesbians and genital distress in early 1990s Hong Kong using the most exaggerated language possible. You don't have to ask yourself, but I'm going to make you ask anyway, when the female assassin that is eventually going to kill us all comes knocking at your door, what kind of gloves do want her to be wearing when she pulls the trigger on the gun aimed at your precious genitals? ("Precious" because they're the genitals you use to masturbate and occasionally use to have sex with.) Since you're not saying anything (this sheepish schtick is yours is starting to get tiresome), I'll step forward and say that I want my junk blown off with a gun that is fired by a hand that is encased in a glove that doesn't stray too far past the wrist, that is, of course, tight, very tight, and feminine. And as for the colour? Put me down for tiger print. 
I'm surprised you didn't want to be castrated by a gun that was being wielded by a hands that were wearing fingerless gloves or even opera gloves, as they're usually the type of glove in your glove fetish wheelhouse. What can I say? No fooling, what can I say? I'm at a lose for words. No, wait. I just got some. What can I say? I'm sucker for animal print. And, the last time I checked, a tiger is an animal. 
Eloquent as always, but what about the pantyhose?!? There's pantyhose in this film? Again, just kidding. I always notice pantyhose, and like the gloves, Naked Killer (赤裸羔羊) is stuffed with the sheer stuff your eyeballs crave.
In fact, a couple of shapely legs poured into a pair of fishnet pantyhose and a pair of gloved hands working a compact disc player are some the first images thrown at us in the bizarre mishmash of genres. Let's see if I can recall the sequence of the images that greet us during the film's ultra-stylish opening montage. There were definitely three women in silver masquerade masks. What else? Oh yeah, a string of pearls, red curtains, legs in fishnet pantyhose kicking up a storm, a woman performing a hair flip, a lesbian kiss, some topless stabbing, and, yeah, that's all I remember. Either way, as far as first impressions go, Naked Killer is pushing all the right buttons.
The correct buttons continue to be pushed as we follow a woman in red walking the rain-soaked streets of Hong Kong after dark. Apparently being pursued by a man wearing fingerless gloves, the woman, whose face is partially obscured by a red and yellow hat, fumbles with her keys, but eventually enters her apartment safe and sound (seconds later, her black glove-adorned hands can be seen putting on a CD). But wait, are we sure that it's her apartment. What?!? Yeah, it would seem that guy in the fingerless gloves is the one who is danger tonight. Finding a naked woman, one who will soon be known to us as Princess (Carrie Ng), taking a shower in his bathroom, the man is about to ask what she is doing in there, I mean, it's his shower, when, all of a sudden, she shoots his kneecaps out with a gun, smashes his head with a dumbbell, and shoots him in the balls.
Even though the scene where the cops investigate the scene of the crime failed to push any of the buttons I alluded to earlier, it does introduce us Tinam (Simon Yam), a cop on the edge. Actually, I don't think Tinam was on the edge. Oh, sure, he's definitely near an edge, all right. I just don't think he's on the edge. Anyway, still traumatized by the fact that he accidentally shot and killed his brother some time last year, Tinam is thrown off the case after insisting that the killer of the guy with the fingerless gloves and the killer behind a series of other murders that involved testicular perforation were carried out by a female assassin; his commanding officer thinks his theory is pure poppycock.
It's true, we saw her during the film's opening montage, but the hair salon scene is our first chance to see the gorgeous Chingmy Yau up close. Getting her hair done, Chingmy, who plays Kitty, takes exception with the way a male customer treats her black fishnet pantyhose-wearing friend (he kicks her in the stomach), and shows her displeasure by thrusting the pointy end of a pair of scissors into his crotch multiple times. Whether her frenzied stabbing motions managed to snag any Hong Kong cock is unclear. But either way, this Kitty chick is not someone to be trifled with. Of course, Tinam just happened to be getting a haircut when all this went down.
Running after Kitty, who is wearing black boots, black shorts (the kind that help foster legginess), and a red blouse, Tinam tries to persuade her to press against charges against the stomach kicking guy. As you might expect, this conversation doesn't go exactly as planned, as Tinam almost vomits and loses his pager. Finding his pager, Kitty uses it to track down Tinam, and shows up at his work (wearing fishnet pantyhose). Telling his commanding officer how helpful he was in doing something that was...obviously helpful, Tinam finds himself back on the case; he was briefly assigned to the forces anti-porn squad.
The next thing you know, Tinam is dry humping Kitty against a parked car. On a date together, Kitty, who is wearing red booty-gripping short shorts with black thigh-high boots, and Tinam seem to getting along swimmingly. And why wouldn't they? Her thighs are spectacular! And he, well, he's got that whole Chow Yun-Fat in A Better Tomorrow thing going for him. Unfortunately, Kitty's stepmother's lover murders her father. Wait, that doesn't sound right. Let me double check that. No, that's right. At any rate, angry over the fact some yuppie scumbag killed her father, Kitty shows up at the offices of Bee (Ken Lo) wielding two guns. (Who looks like Chow Yun-Fat now?) She may look like Chow Yun-Fat, but her aim isn't as true. After being kicked in the cunt multiple times by Bee, Kitty eventually gets the better of him, blasting him to kingdom come.
Stumbling out the office, her cunt no doubt black and blue from the stomping it just received, Kitty must now contend with Bee's henchmen. And since this is film was made in Hong Kong, the number of henchmen is off the charts. In no condition to battle hundreds of henchmen, Kitty looks like a goner.
Or is she? Hello, I'm Sister Cindy. And I'm 50! That's right, 50! I'm 50 years-old. And I can kick...and stretch...and kick! And I'm here to help. And boy, does she ever. Taking care of the henchmen that had  Kitty cornered in the building's parking garage with a milfy aplomb, Sister Cindy (Wai Yu), the tight grip of her age appropriate pantyhose pressing tightly against her resilient labia like an elastic band, ushers the amateur assassin to safety.
Waking up in nothing but a sports bra and panties, Kitty doesn't know it yet, but she's on the fast track to becoming a professional assassin. I don't know, I guess Sister Cindy, a professional assassin herself, saw potential in Kitty when she happened upon her misguided attempt to take out her father's killer.  Giving her a new identity, Sister Cindy starts to train Kitty to be a hit woman. At first, Sister Cindy has her practice on the limitless supply of child rapists she keeps locked in her basement. And then she teaches her an important lesson. "It doesn't matter whether your tits are big or small." In other words, a woman doesn't need a weapon when she has her body. This causes Kitty to wonder if she's being trained to be a killer or a prostitute.
What about Kitty and Tinam? Oh yeah. I completely forgot about them. How will Kitty's new lifestyle effect their relationship? It pretty much kills it, no pun intended. Which is sad, when you think about it, as I thought Kitty and Tinam had a good thing going. Nonetheless, that doesn't mean Tinam is going to give up on Kitty, or whatever she is calling herself now. Their love is too strong to be destroyed by a middle-aged hit woman who uses her shapely legs to get men to let their guard down or a deadly lesbian assassin who wears tiger print gloves and smokes fat cigars.
You really get a sense of the influence Basic Instinct had on this film during the scene where Kitty, who is pretending to be Vivian Shang, crosses her legs while being questioned by police. It's true, people cross their legs in movies all the time. But there was something extra deliberate about this particular leg cross. It was almost as if Kitty/Vivian was trying to say to the world, Hey, look at me. I'm crossing my legs. I'm crossing my legs. Which, I'll admit, was totally justified, as it's a pretty awesome leg cross.
Fighting with Sister Cindy, who wants her to kill Tinam, and doing battle with Princess (a former student of Sister Cindy), who wants to fuck her, it's clear that Kitty is in one sticky pickle of a situation. And, not to mention, she has to contend with the jealous glares emanating from Baby (Madoka Sugawara), Princess' adorable apprentice. How adorable is Baby, you ask? Well, she wears pink stockings over black pantyhose at one point. Wow, you're right. That is adorable.
Blending high octane Hong Kong-style action with eroticism, Naked Killer should technically be the blueprint for every movie in existence. That's not to say that the film is perfect. Take for instance, the club scene. Look, I love early '90s rave culture as much as the next guy, but even I was slightly embarrassed by the scene where Kitty and Sister Cindy go to a nightclub to kill a Japanese gangster (the whole thing is too cheesy for words). But other than that, the film's sexy babes in nylons to chaotic shootouts ratio was surprisingly well-balanced. And I don't think I have to mention how impressed I was by the amount of gloves seen throughout this movie.
You can tell a lot about a person by the way they describe the plot of Naked Killer. If they put an emphasis on the action, they're usually straight men between the ages of 13-105. If they seemed obsessed with the film's erotic flavour, they're usually straight men between the ages of 13-105. If they go on bizarre tangents about gloves and hosiery, they're, well, they're usually me. I give Naked Killer five taupe opera gloves out of five.

uploaded by HongKongActionFilms


  1. Probably my favorite CATIII movie, and now you know why. I think I'm somewhere between you and the 13 year old that likes the erotic action. I love the fashion but I don't know the name of stuff, other than saying "hey, dem gloves are fancy!"

    Back to the Super Bowl! It's like the Grey Cup but with more beer.

  2. Hmm, I notice you call them "CATIII" movies. I like that. CATIII. Yeah,I think I'm going to start doing that from now on. ;)

    More beer?!? I think you mean "more chicken wings," as the Grey Cup is one of the most beer soaked things in existence. ;)

  3. All the Asian movie fanboys call them CATIII. I'm not that clever to have come up with that.

    Well, more beer commercials.

  4. You're just being modest, you totally came up with that. ;)

    And ads for boner pills and the new whisper quiet AR-15.

  5. fuck no, what an awesome blog,
    so many films, that i must watch until i die,
    so short my life to do it (probably)
    thanks for your work!!!

  6. It depends on the kind of gloves, obviously. The costume designer of this film obviously was making the right decisions.

    I forget the exact review, but you summed it up perfectly when you said: "the true fetishist's desire reaches fever pitch when the object of their lust is sheathed in the specific clothing item they have a fetish for." Or something like that. For example, I could care less about a pair of pitch black knee-high leather boots on their own. Big deal. Just boots. Put them on a woman I feel strong emotional and sexual desire toward? Existence itself is torn asunder.

  7. @Blood Deteka: Right on.

    @ido: The costumer designer (a.k.a. Head Glover Wrangler) for Naked Killer was Shirley Chan.

    Rapper/actor Ice-T said something similar on Conan not so long ago. Except I think he was talking about women's shoes.

  8. Hey Yummers.
    I just went 0-5 on a Jeopardy! category on shoes. :(
    You would run a category on gloves, eh?
    Stay warm this weekend.

  9. I'm just about to watch that episode of Jeopardy! In fact, it's on in four minutes. I'll tell you if I do any better. ;)

    There's a store in Yorkville that I pass every now and then that sells just gloves; that's right, nothing but gloves. And I always wonder, how do they stay in business. Well, now I know, with weather like this.

    Oh, and I hope last week's EW didn't annoy you too much.

  10. I'm 40 minutes into this thing and its melting my fucking mind. And this is coming from someone who is hardened in the world of fetish driven filmic exploits. I'm at the nightclub scene in Japan and the outfit Yau Chingmy is wearing makes me want to die.

    These are the best film sets I've seen since "Alien" or "Bladerunner." Ok, maybe not that perfect. But fucking hot. Hot.

    I almost lost it during the scene where she was reclining on the couch with the personification of agency that is Yiu Wai, all that is sumptuous and lethal. I may not make it through this one with my fragile grip on sanity intact.

  11. Oh, and the actual Chinese title of this film roughly translates to "Bare Naked Lambs."

  12. Stay strong, ido. You can make it through it unscathed, I know you can. ;)

  13. Ok. I've calmed down. This thing looses steam in Act Two during the whole "is she Kitty?" sub-plot. Things pick up in Act Three when Princess makes her presence known.

    I don't want to give anything away, but some parts of this movie really suffered from a shallow script and severe cheesiness.

    Director Clarence Fok Yiu-leung does a workman-like job. I think he did the best with the material he was given, except at key points. His direction focused on the building the genuinely alluring playfulness mixed with lethality exuded by Yau Chingmy and Yiu Wai's characters' relationship. More time was need to give Princesses a firmer back-story, establish her psychology and sadism, her relationship with Baby. Yes, Ito Shunya or Suzuki Seijun aren't directing and this is a Category III film from the '90s. Still, you could have sacrificed the dick jokes for some richer characterization.

    For those who have seen this, you know where the horrid cheesiness comes from: executive producer and writer Wong Jing. Wong's made tons and tons of films. Some much better than others. When he's good, he's good. Defining popular films from Hong Kong. When he's bad, he's awful. This script and production has his fingerprints all over it. If you are watching a Wong produced or written film, especially a '90s or later effort, and say out loud "geez, that's so heavy handed, cliched, and cheesy!!!", then welcome to the man's work. "Naked Killer" has that moment. Fortunately, the lead actresses save the script and production with inspired performances that save it from its own high-grade sleaze.

    I personally want Sister Cindy's early adventures as a prequel, with a second film about her training Princess with their falling out described. The fact the studio missed on this is sad. And another film about Princess and Baby. In Japan.

    Head Glove Wrangler (i.e. costumer designer) Shirley Chan should have won an award for her work on this film. She was just as much a star of this film as the leading actresses she so carefully adorned.