Saturday, April 24, 2010

A Queens Ransom (1976)

So, what do you say about this line up of actors: George Lazenby, Jimmy Wang Yu, Angela Mao, Dean Shek and Bolo Yeung! The sources also claims that Sammo Hung is in A Queens Ransom somewhere! I don't know about the last thing, but the rest of the cast is the most attractive thing about this movie, which is not a bad flick, but could have been more exciting than it became.

A gang of international terrorists, among them Lazenby, Wang Yu and Yeung, has got a well-payed job: to assassinate Queen Elisabeth when she arrives to Hong Kong! This is a time of turmoil and unrest, and Cambodian refugees is coming to Hong Kong, and in the middle of this when the police will be more stressed and confused, the terrorists will hit. Among the refugees is some high ranking Cambodian military and personalities, that sets camp in a remote part of HK, but what is their purpose there? Dean Shek plays nice hillbilly that gets more curious, and befriends one of the women in the camp. At the same time, Wang Yu finds out that the return to Hong Kong after spending eight years in Vietnam brings more surprises than he ever could imagine...

First of all, you can't blame the screenwriters for patching the script together in a logical way. There's a lot of threads and several side stories that hardly hangs together, but still is there to makes us a bit more confused than it probably was planned. The main story is of course the assassination-team, but it takes time - and I guess that is one quite good plot twist - for us to understand what's going on with the other stuff. In a way it seems like the producer decided to cobble together a story around the real queens visit to Hong Kong, so that's why we're treated to a lot of real footage of the queen when she's in Hong Kong - which of course adds to the realism. But if you can look beyond the faults of the scripts, it's actually has a few fun twists and turns, and finally also some okey action.

Yes, it's quite low on action the first hour, just some minor chases and maybe one little fight. But in the end during the final attack, we'll get some fighting (to little though), shooting and explosions. Not bad, but the production looks a bit hasty, and that probably also affected the action. But Lazenby shows off his violent and sadistic side, and Jimmy Wang Yu beats the shit out of a lot of unlucky bastards (and as usual, he always gets a chance to have sex with some caucasian women too!). Bolo Yeung looks like a muscle cow and Angela Mao is excellent in her part. 

A Queens Ransom is still the weakest of George Lazenby's HK-trilogy, but not bad. And if you like HK-action from the seventies and don't demand a masterpiece, this is the movie for you. The Fortune Star Legendary Collection-disc is in anamorphic widescreen, only Chinese dub and with subtitles filled with weird misspellings. I have no idea if it's cut or not, but it had some nudity and blood.


Jack J said...

I got the VCD version of this but haven't watched it yet. It may not be the most awesome film of all films (lol) but people like us are psychotronic film explorers and getting the chance to watch something that's been out of circulation for a long time is always fun. Even if the film in question turns out to be less than awesome.

Talking of which, I've been wondering about the id's of some of the actors in the rare film "The Big Boss Part 2". Someone suggested they might be Thai actors. Do you know about them? The trailer is here:

... and the first actor is the guy who seems to be the leader of the bad guys (you see him 33 seconds into the trailer) and a girl (at the 50 sec. mark). It'd be cool if you could check for me. Cheers.

Ninja Dixon said...

I'm sure to 100 % that this is a Thai-Chinese co-production! I recognize both the man and the woman, Thai-actors - and it's shot in Thailand too. Looks very interesting :)

I can try to find their names (often I have a hard time tellings names, because many of the more obscure thai-movies only have thai-letters in the credits, and I can't read that) if you want too? I have some friends that might know, and I'm interested myself now.

Ninja Dixon said...

With help from Wise Kwai, the man is probably this guy:

Still nothing on the woman, but she has a very familiar face...