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A crisply executed B gangster film. Stylistically it's a clone of the John Woo-Chow Yun-fat gangster films, but it also owes a lot to the popular Japanese comic book Crying Freeman, the story of a soulful hit man. Handsomely filmed on location in London, the film has a clear but enjoyably complex plot that implicates both the Japanese and the Chinese mobs in a plot to rub out an old guard crime boss, a traditionalist who opposes the lucrative drug trade. Sullen, sensual Simon Yam (Bullet in the Head), who looks half-dressed until he grows some photogenic chin stubble, is an orphan who was raised and trained to kill as the adopted son of the Old Boss. He plots revenge against his father's enemies, and becomes enmeshed in a series of double-crosses. Joey Wong (the sexy spook from A Chinese Ghost Story) is a photographer who accidentally records one of Yam's kills. The final battle sequences have a much smaller body count than their Woo counterparts, but they do add some hand-to-hand kung fu, and a little old-school swordplay, to the martial mix. This is a minor movie, but a pleasing one, with a dark romantic score and a savory sense of gangland ritual and melodrama.

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newVHS Killer's Romance VHS (1981/Simon Yam) $5.99