15 May 2003 | Bogey Man
HK terror with Michael Wong and Ellen Chan
Kin Lo's Fatal Love (1995) is from the later days of the infamous CAT III boom of Hong Kong cinema. Fatal Love stars Michael Wong and Ellen Chan in a tale in which a young female police (Chan) gets a dangerous job to hunt down a suspected killer rapist Wong who is also a well-liked business man with rather good looks. So he may or he may not be the sadistic killer that likes to do sick things to the innocent female victims of his..The film is a traditional mystery thriller with the elements that were the reason it was made for in the first place, the CAT III elements, that are graphic sex and violence.
The film is pretty effective at times as it has an atmospheric, as usually in these HK films, soundtrack that includes low and menacing sounds to make the imagery and forthcoming terror even more horrible and unpleasant. One can just remember the opening frames (and sounds) of Hermay Yau's harrowing The Untold Story (1993) to get a great example of this terror created through sound and also unique camera techniques. But overall Fatal Love is nothing special as a totally serious film as it is so commercial and gratuitous in its excesses.
The sex and nudity is plentiful as can be expected and the ending is definitely unforgettable, totally and severely mean spirited that makes it hard to justify an existence of a film like this. Something that could be expected only from Hong Kong exploitation cinema. The amount of violence and gore is not too high but it is strong and its spirit very wicked.
Fatal Love is still slightly more above the most braindead examples of the boom, like Ivan Lai's two Daughter of Darkness (1993 and 1994) films or the same director's Peeping Tom (1997) to name just a few. Fatal Love doesn't have the typical "humor" or unbalance, it is pretty calm serial killer mystery all the way without any need to throw in the usual "funny" and noisy guy that plays with food and tells sex jokes and so on. Fatal Love is only violent exploitation cinema with low artistic and cinematic merits but it still could be much worse. 2/10