Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Siu Yun, as played by the phenomenally lovely Tamara Guo, lives in a small city in China and has big time dreams of being a Hong Kong action movie star. Taking one quick look at this woman, she seems to have the goods to make this happen. She’s pretty, she has a great figure… which you will get to experience over and over again in this movie ‘Women on the Run’… and she’s a pretty wicked Kung Fu artist. So she and her boyfriend load up on the motorbike to make her dreams come true, but the next time we see Siu Yun, she’s strung out on smack and turning tricks for this alleged boyfriend of hers. That’s despicable. Though we were a little curious what her going rate was. Oh, and that boyfriend of hers will regret turning her into a cracked out whore, that is if he didn’t have a giant needle in his skull right now.

Across town we also get to meet super tough Hong Kong police office Ah Hung (Farini Cheung) who has just made the acquaintance of Siu Yun as the two have a little scuffle on a scaffold about twenty stories above ground. Siu Yun trying to stay out of jail, Ah Hung trying to take her to jail. The cop won this round. Ah Hung is also embroiled in a sizzling sexual affair with her married boss David (Wai Tak Wong) who does weird stuff like lick her kneecap in public restrooms. Apparently Ah Hung’s erogenous zone is on her kneecap by the effect that seemingly innocuous action had on the young lady.

Now that we’ve met our principles, the women we assume will be on the run I this movie ‘Women on the Run’, it’s time to get into the plot of this little sleazy exploitation story. King Kong (the late Jung Yuen) is a big time drug dealer and the HKPD needs to bring him down. Our man David, who is nothing if not ambitious, has a plan to put his girl Ah Hung on a super secret undercover mission back to the Main Land to get him to come into Hong Kong red handed with a few kilos of the illegal stuff. He’s also had the bright idea to make Siu Yun tag along since she knows the area so well.

It’s a rocky start for the kung fu enabled crack head and the kung fu enhanced Super Cop, the drug addict always running off to get a fix and the cop trying to do her job and babysit the drug addict at the same time, but eventually they get on the same page. That being bringing down King Kong and going back home. Too bad somebody deep on the inside is working against them to make that not happen.

Some bad things happen to our girls who find themselves shackled in Vancouver, attacked by a completely incompetent assassin squad, shot at, beat up, betrayed and gang raped… and that was day one in Vancouver. And I thought Vancouver was supposed to be a nice place to visit. What our girls need to do is find a way back to Hong Kong to get revenge on those who would do them wrong. So with Siu Yun doing what she does best, that being turning tricks, and Ah Hung doing absolutely nothing except moping, they get back to HK and they have a score to settle. If the bad guys knew what we know now, they would’ve killed those women on the run when they had the chance. Especially that one guy who paid the ultimate price. That doesn’t involve actually dying.

This movie ‘Women on the Run’, my friends, is my introduction to the notorious genre of HK films known as Category III, separated by their Cat I, II and IIb brethren by their extreme acts of sexual content, violence, and gratuitous nudity. Exploitatively speaking, this movie made back in 1993 probably has the same of graphic content as say one of those Pam Grier blaxsploitation flicks of the mid-70’s, and in fact this movie has a vibe very similar to those movies with the amply enabled tough chicks, the extremely duplicitous male characters, the violence against women, the completely scattershot storytelling style and the copious amounts of action.

There are a couple of things which place ‘Women on the Run’ a notch above, say something like ‘Coffy’ which was pretty damn classic in its own right, and that would be directors David Lai and Cory Yuen who crafted some fairly spectacular fight sequences in this one. Plus, on more than one occasion, our action starlets had to perform these bravura kung fu spectacles buck ass naked. I’m thinking that can’t be all that easy to do. In defense of Pam Grier, who was certainly no kung fu artist, that was a woman who obviously wasn’t designed to do a lot of jumping around and stuff, as opposed Tamara Guo whose genetic perfection and supreme athleticism was just about pitch perfect for what I’m sure the director’s were going for.

Now true enough, the story supporting our action scenes does lack focus, it jumps all over the place, giving little thought to where it just came from or where it’s going. Gang rape is never fun to watch, you have to love the concept of our heroin addict being completely useless in a fight, until she gets a quick H bong hit which then turns her into Wonder Woman, and did that guy really need to get his penis shot off? Really?

But this is an exploitation film with beautiful stars and great action, so an erratic story is expected and almost welcomed. We're told ‘Women on the Run’ is near the top of what Cat III has to offer. I must investigate further to see if this is indeed the truth. And ponder why Yuen and them never made a sequel.

Real Time Web