Thursday, August 5, 2010

Phantom Killer (1981)

One of my favourite genres, no matter the country of origin, is the classic murder mystery. I guess that’s why I love giallo’s for example. It’s always fun when some other country delivers a nice mystery, and when I saw Phantom Killer at DDDHouse, I knew I needed it. Directed by the legendary actor Stanley Fung (who you all will recognize if you google his name), this is a both a dark and violent movie, but also in the tradition of old-school kung fu.

Wai Pak plays the hunky and popular Siu, a well respected man by everyone. There’s just one problem: all the girls that he meets ends up getting killed by a mysterious skeleton-masked serial killer! Wai is of course a suspect, but his good looks and charming personality is more or less proof that he’s innocent. Instead he helps the police with the investigation, during which the body count continues…

Phantom Killer isn’t by any means a unique movie, but it’s never boring and has a lot of good fighting. Not fantastic fighting, but still above average. The end fight especially, which is top-notch. The red herrings are many, and the twists are more than in a normal giallo. I had a few ideas who the killer was, but didn’t have a chance when new leads was introduced! No problem with the acting either, but it would have been nice with some more blood – because this is a serial killer movie!

I’m not sure if the music is stolen or is stock music, but it sounds different – very European – and fits the movie perfectly. Some cues here and there reminded me of Fabio Frizzi’s score to The Beyond, but I’m not sure.

Not a classic that will rock your world or make world peace, but I liked it a lot and it was a hugely entertaining mix of murder mystery and martial arts.

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