Big Bad Sis
aka 沙膽英 aka Sa daam ying
Written by Sze-To On
Directed by Sun Chung
Shaw Brothers gives us a tale of bad girl factory workers! It is an interesting spin on the delinquent schoolgirl approach, having the girls just out of school and holding down jobs, but still being delinquent. Big Bad Sis is an interesting hybrid, because it’s an action film with clear influences from the Japanese Sukeban/Pinky violence flicks, but it’s also a Hong Kong Triad film and manages to throw in some left wing pro-labor and pro-women’s rights issues. With just enough exploitation to satisfy those who need that as well. Big Bad Sis may be a stew made from many random ingredients, but they work together to give an entertaining flick.
Big Bad Sis shows that sometimes you gotta fight. Whether it is for your job or to protect innocent people in the bathroom or because of crazy triad gambling den drama or because your boss is a piece of garbage or all of those reasons combined into a gigantic reason. A bid bad reason, which is why you need your sisters!
We have action in the opening credits. Confusing action that has nothing to do with anything. Action, action! We love action, I guess. Chan Fong starts a job at a textile mill, and Sai Chu is to teach her the ropes. One thing she learns the hard way is that fellow coworker Da Lin will lesbian assault you in the restroom! She says she will be Chan Fong’s boyfriend. That doesn’t even make sense in a lesbian sense, but let’s keep going. Sai Chu tries to bust in and save her, but Da Lin has some bodyguards at the door that also cause trouble. Another young lady named Ah Ying steps in and offers to be Da Lin’s “friend.” All the other girls leave and Ah Ying beats up Da Lin alone. Ah Ying is not to be trifled with, even if she randomly decides to save some person she has never met.
After work, Sai Chu and Chan Fong catch up with Ah Ying and want to be friends, but she blows them off. Finally, they convince her with ice cream. Ice cream, the universal tool to befriend tough women. At Ah Ying’s place, we find out Chan Fong has had many jobs, but sex maniacs keep making her quit. Darn those sex maniacs! And her step-father makes her bring home money or else he will starve her. He also beats her mother and is a drunk. This heart-felt confession is punctuated by a quick shot of a black-eyed old woman with tears in her eyes being wang-doodled by an off-screen horrible step-father. Now this is just crazy! Director Sun Chung knows his stuff. After step-dad does disgusting things to mom, he then tries to rape Ah Fong (all of which is shown, including the fight of mom vs. step-dad that follows.) She beats him and runs off, not to return home again.
Sai Chu tries to top the story saying she is an orphan who was in Tai Lam girls correctional quarters because she stabbed her boyfriend when he tried to rape her cousin. She was also topless at the time engaged in a topless bike ride with some other women. That’s an important fact to remember. So both girls get to move in with Ah Ying, and she will teach them to be tough. The two new girls will start exercising, such as jogging to work and other things, so they can learn to fight. Their first lesson doesn’t go so well.
The girls begin to help their coworkers who have problems. First up they save a coworker who was nabbed to pay off her brother’s gambling debts by being forced into prostitution. They try to pay off Long Life Kwun, but he raises the money and a brawl breaks out, only stopped when he recognizes Ah Ying and decides to report the issue to his superior.
Ah Ying explains to the other girls that she was a former gang member – by ripping open her shirt showing tattoos all over her breasts! Her dad was a gambling house owner who died and had the local boss Dai Gi Luk raise her. He taught her to cheat customers, and became more corrupt over time, even beating her when she refused to lure someone into prostitution. As a dealer, Ying fixed a game so a gambling addict with kid would win, then beat off the goons sent to get the money back from him. A goon named Wai tries to help her escape when Big Boss comes, but she stays enough to see boss orders her dead.
There is a well-done running fight that ends up in a restaurant run by Brother Shing, who tells Boss Dai Gi Luk to get lost. He doesn’t, but Brother Shing wins the resulting fight and forces Big Brother out. Shing even helped Ah Ying get her factory job.
The three girls become sworn sisters, giving each other nicknames: Sai Chu – snake, Ah Fong – Dog, and Ah Ying – Tiger (because she’s the oldest!)
Ah Fong faces her evil step-dad and some goons, beating them up with Sai Chu as Ah Ying watches from her apartment and smiles. The girls raise money for a coworker who is getting married.
And now…a random long sex scene with two people we’ve never seen before! To a song that goes “Na na Na na Na!” constantly. Turns out the guy is named Chiu and he’s sleeping with Ping, though he was dating Siu Fung until she got pregnant and he dropped her. Chiu is declared a Sex Maniac by the girls.
Revenge time! They grab Chiu after luring him with promise of sex with Sai Chu, and he only avoids getting castrated via hedge clippers because Siu Fung backs out. So the girls beat him up instead.
The gang plot intersects with the factory as the owner owes Big Brother lots of money, and Big Brother demands the factory as payment. Ying is desperate, and brings bags of gasoline to the casino, demanding the IOU note or she’ll burn everything and everyone. She gets the note, but burns the casino anyway.
Big Brother captures her later and nails her into a crate to be burned alive (not immediately, because you got to have time to be rescued!) Her sisters ask Brother Shing for help, while Wai also tries to save Ying, by knocking the burning crate into water and opening it. Wai and Yin battle scores of gang members until they escape by motorcycle, the gang in pursuit in cars.
The chase is pretty exciting, but eventually ends and we get back to the fighting. Wai is crushed by a car, while Ying beats people up with a shovel. Just before she’s overwhelmed, her sisters and Brother Shing arrive, turning this fight into overdrive!
In the midst of the action, we learn a valuable lesson about buckling your seat belt. But Big Brother didn’t live long enough to learn the lesson. Finally, the cops show up to break everything up, and the crown chants “Big Bad Sis! Big Bad Sis!”
Rated 7/10 (Shaw, mustache, pa, goon, shades, Charlie, owner)
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