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Nude Fear
Year: 1998 "But I already have a long distance carrier!"
Kathy Chow Hoi-Mei
Director: Alan Mak Siu-Fai
Producer: Joe Ma Wai-Ho
Cast: Kathy Chow Hoi-Mei, Tse Kwan-Ho, Cheung Tat-Ming, Shiu Siu, Chan Kin-Wing, Lui Kwok-Wai, Sam Lee Chan-Sam, Matthew Chow Hoi-Kwong
The Skinny: A decent set-up only makes half a movie, and Nude Fear is a perfect example.
by Kozo:
     Having little to do with either nudity or fear, this serial killer thriller tells the story of Joyce (Kathy Chow), a frigid homicide detective who finds herself embroiled in an eerily familiar case. A woman is raped and murdered, her hands tied and her tongue cut off. Shocking as that is, the exact same thing happened to Joyceís mother twenty years ago - a trauma that Joyce has never recovered from. 
     Convinced that this is the same criminal, she investigates relentlessly, but things donít add up. She and her team (including a subdued Cheung Tat-Ming) find that young killer Lee Ming-Chun (Sam Lee) is the culprit, but thereís no way that he could have raped and murdered Joyceís mother. It seems thereís a mastermind behind Leeís depravity: the very same man who killed Joyceís mother and now has his sights set on her. 
     Alan Makís thriller treads on the same ground as stuff like Dr. Lamb and The Untold Story, but itís nothing like those movies because it lacks the over-the-top gore and horror that made those films so repulsive - and compelling. The result is something that proves engrossing, but only half of the time. 
     The film starts on excellent footing, giving us equal doses of suspense and character development, but loses its way towards the end as events become implausible and disbelief sets in. The identity of the killer is never a mystery: itís another cop played by Tse Kwan-Ho, and he handles the role with dignity and grace, which is amusing because itís essentially a subdued Simon Yam role. Too bad the film couldnít match his disciplined performance, as the sloppiness of the narrative proves frustrating. The increasingly ubiquitous and always attractive Kathy Chow is fine in her role, but her character has moments of sheer inanity. This is a film worth watching for the excellent build up -  just bite your tongue as the whole house of cards comes tumbling down. (Kozo 1998)
Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Mei Ah Laser
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles

image courtesy of Mei Ah Laser Disc Co., Ltd.

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