29 March 2020 | BA_Harrison
From the mighty pen of Godfrey Ho.
Directed by Chu Yen-Ping, but co-written by king of the 'cut and shut' ninja flick, Godfrey Ho, this is, rather unsurprisingly, a right mess of a movie, albeit an entertaining one. It begins as a women-in-prison film, turns into a prison break movie, becomes a 'women on a mission' adventure, throws in some strange comedy along the way, and ends in the cat-stroking villain's fortified lair much like a Bond movie. There's kung-fu, gun-play, sword-play, and bloody violence aplenty, meaning that it's never boring--just a bit dumb. No, make that very dumb!
Set in 1944, the film opens by introducing us to its seven main characters, sentenced to either death or a life sentence in a maximum security jail: traitor Black Fox (Brigitte Lin); warrior woman Amazon (Chun-Chun Hsu); gambler and sharp-shooter Black Cat (Hui-Shan Yang, looking like Jareth the Goblin King); drunken swordswoman Brandy (Hao-Yi Liu); murderous prostitute Sugar Plum (Joyce H. Cheng); cat burglar Quick Silver (Hsueh-Fen Peng); and explosives expert Dynamite (Sally Yeh). With their special skills, these seven young women are recruited for a dangerous mission to destroy a laboratory, meaning that they first have to escape.
What follows is a scrappy action/adventure (set to various stolen Morricone soundtracks) in which the 'Dirty Seven' break out of prison, shoot people and blow stuff up, avoid deadly booby-traps, get captured by forest bandits (who let them go after they win a series of challenges), battle an army of Japanese soldiers in Nazi-style uniforms, and enter the Valley of Death, where the Warlord and his cronies have built their laboratory. And As with most mission movies, not all of the main characters make it out alive.
None of this makes much sense (exactly where does Dynamite get her explosives? Similarly, where does Quick Silver hide her lock picks and wire-cutters?), but it's entertaining in a completely mindless manner. If anything, there's always Sally Yeh in a tiny pair of cut-off jean shorts...