Run and Kill (1993) Review

"Run and Kill" Chinese DVD Cover

"Run and Kill" Chinese DVD Cover

Director: Billy Tang Hin Sing
Writer: Bryan Chang Wai Hung
Producer: Suen Ging On
Cast: Kent Cheng, Simon Yam, Esther Kwan, Danny Lee, Melvin Wong, Johnny Wang, Lily Lee Lee Lee, Terrence Fok Shu Wah, Yee Tin Hung, Wan Seung Lam
Running Time: 91 min.

By Gwailo

Here it is. Although Run and Kill is not the first, it is, in my opinion, the patriarch of all Category III films. King of Category III director Billy Tang (Red to Kill, Street Angels) pushes stars Simon Yam (Full Contact, Dr. Lamb) and Kent “Fatty” Cheng (Powerful Four, Sex and Zen) over the edge in a sharp, dangerous, nasty, killer of a flick.

Fatty (Cheng) arrives home one bird-chirping, sunny day and finds his wife boning some dude. Distraught, he sets out into the now dank, rainy HK nightlife and proceeds in getting tanked. After inebriated miscommunication with a hitman he unknowingly hired and a nice little overnight stay in an alley, Fatty returns home and again finds his wife with this dude. The nerve of this tramp! Not more than two minutes through the door, death comes knocking. Wife and new boy toy are dismissed from their existence and Fatty is left a blubbering mess, bewildered.

Fearing for his mortal being, Fatty packs up his daughter and sends her to live with granny and then hightails it to his summer home on the mainland. There he finds a neighbor and his big brother’s (Yam) gang squatting in his home. Yam is a rude, unflinching man of nasty spirits. He and his band of outsiders are involved in dirty deeds of their own and need Fatty’s house to “hide up”. Fatty in turn gets some protection from the ‘bounty’ hunters who are on his trail for the rest of Fatty’s owed green. During a troubled encounter in a movie theater with the ‘bounty’ hunters, Yam’s little bro’ is mortally wounded, Fatty escapes unscathed. Yam blames Fatty for his younger siblings demise and, to say the very least, is pissed. When the chips are down, the chips are really down and Fatty now has to contend with two killers on the rampage. Poor ol’ Fatty, and the audience, goes through and endurance test of sanity from here on in.

As if it weren’t enough his hoochie of a wife is dead and he’s to blame, he’s on the run from this wicked, out of touch, ex-mercenary who’s swearing revenge on him and his family. Yam proceeds in torturing and dispatching granny and Fatty’s daughter in ways so horrific, I’m surprised they passed the ratings board. Oh, how I love Category III. Jeeeezzz….Fatty’s poor little girl. This scene needs to be seen to be believed. In front of a tied up, tormented Fatty, Yam broils the little one to a crisp, picks up the chared carcass and plants it in front of the now out of his gord Fatty.

He then begins to mimic the little girl in a childlike voice,”Daddy, I’m so dark. Can you recognize me?” If that doesn’t make you shake your head in disgust, after Fatty frees himself from capture he grabs his charcoal kid and double times it to safety. With his little girl in tow he accidentally smacks her head against the wall, shattering it into dust. Probably the most evil image I have seen yet in a category III film.

An always reliable, and underrated, Kent Cheng gives his best performance and earn’s our sympathy in a grimmy, mean spirited film that also boasts Simon Yam at his demented best.

With the end of the category III hey day in the mid 90’s, Tang has yet to return to this angry form. He is truly one of the most ambitious, angry, and wild filmmakers in HK. I can’t recommend a film much higher. Insanely perfect.

Gwailo’s Rating: 10/10

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