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The Stewardess
Year: 2002 "What floor, sir?"
Seina Kasugai
Director: Sam Leung Tak-Sum
Cast: Sam Lee Chan-Sam, Lee San-San, Seina Kasugai, Lai Yiu-Cheung, Lam Suet, Michael Chan Wai-Man
The Skinny: Though it's uneven and makes not a lick of sense, this horror-comedy from the director of Color of Pain is sometimes surprisingly amusing. It's still not a good film, but it manages some effective moments.
by Kozo:

     Since his last film was the egregious Color of Pain, Sam Leung can only improve with his latest, The Stewardess. A horror-comedy about a loopy stewardess/stalker, the film doesn't amount to more than a fluffy chiller, but at the very least it has more zing and zip than Color of Pain did.
     Sam Lee stars as Keung, a screenwriter who spends his time reading porno comics and hanging out with buddy Lai Yiu-Cheung. One day he makes a move on stewardess Apple (Lee San-San), and amazingly she goes home with him. However, all is not well in Apple-land. It turns out that her father is famed triad boss Nine Dragons (Michael Chan, possibly referencing his role from Metade Fumaca). What this means is Keung is officially chained to Apple until she's tired of him. Nine Dragons' various thugs spy on Keung so he can't play around on the side. And if he does, he'll get the John Bobbitt treatment.
     Feeling suffocated, Keung eventually gives into the charms of neighbor Yurei (Seina Kasugai), a Japanese stewardess who apparently knows only fifteen or so vocabulary words. His reasoning is typical: he's always wanted to sleep with a Japanese girl (to avenge the Chinese, he reasons), and he's tired of Apple's dominatrix act. However, that's just the beginning to the problems, as Yurei is most definitely not all there. She attaches herself to Keung and proceeds to wreak havoc with his life, which was pretty lousy to begin with anyway.
     The hows and whys of this movie are completely unexplained. Why does Yurei choose Keung? When she first appears, it looks as if we're getting a ghost story (she dresses in red like most Chinese ghosts), but the evidence shows that she's nothing more than your standard deranged maniac. If she's human, then how can she kick ass so efficiently? How is she able to chase after cop cars like the T-1000 from Terminator 2? Whenever somebody steps on her shoes, she goes totally crazy. Why is that? And how is she able to take massive beatings from triad regulars and keep coming back? Will writer-director Leung ever answer these questions?
     Well, the answer is no. Basically, we're supposed to accept that Yurei is just one amazingly tough chick who nevertheless is totally insane. Not that reality is supposed to be a factor here. Some consistency would probably pump up the fear factor on the movie, but as such there's no suspense or real fear going. It's just a lot of freaky plot devices that seem like scary ideas, and the twists and turns seem like nothing more than bizarre non-sequiters.
     Sam Lee is consistently amusing in this sort of low-budget dreck, and he comes through gamely. The rest of the cast is uniformly passable, though extra points must be given to Seina Kasugai for having the ability to smile like a freak for apparently hours at a time. What actually makes the film somewhat amusing is Sam Leung's direction, which manages some measure of creepiness and off-beat humor. His muted comedic tone is actually effective, and out-of-nowhere parodies of In the Mood for Love and A Better Tomorrow enliven things. There's even some Japanese horror homages thrown in.
     Still, Sam Leung hasn't done much more than assemble a mishmash of random parts. The whole of the film amounts to little, but some parts are surprisingly funny and effective. However, it would be overly-charitable to say that Sam Leung has redeemed himself for Color of Pain. It would take a lot to do that, and The Stewardess is far from a product that could redeem anybody. We'll just call this "improvement". (Kozo 2002)

Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Universe Laser
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles

image courtesy of Universe Laser & Video Co., Ltd. Copyright 2002-2017 Ross Chen