Teddy Girls

Teddy Girls

aka 飛女正傳 aka Fei nu zheng zhuan

Written by Patrick Lung Kong and Lam Nin-Tung
Directed by Patrick Lung Kong

Teddy Girls
Patrick Lung Kong’s work is not mainstream pop cinema. It is instead cinema touching on social and economic problems not touched by most films, and the few times the topics are, it’s clearly in the realm of exploitation cinema. The approach to the subject matter is more mature than much of the Hong Kong cinema of the time. While there were plenty of dramas involving family issues, the issues tackled in Teddy Girls trend more serious, and show more of societies effects on the problems, both on how they’re caused and by what they do to the people trapped in them. These are common themes in Patrick Lung Kong’s work.
Teddy Girls
What makes Patrick Lung Kong’s films stand out from other dramas is the strength to tackle difficult and controversial issues in a mature manner and still tell a good and entertaining story. Both as a writer and a director, Lung worked to better Hong Kong film at the same time Hong Kong cinema was suffering from a decline. Mandarin-language Shaw Brothers flicks outperformed and outclassed local Hong Kong productions, and the highly respected Union Film had shuttered its doors.

His directorial debut was in 1966 with Prince of Broadcasters, which foresaw the influence of radio in Hong Kong and became a hit at the box office. He followed that up with what is arguably his most famous and influential film, The Story of a Discharged Prisoner (1967), a tale about a former prisoner desperately trying to not get sucked back into a life of crime. It had a direct influence on John Woo’s A Better Tomorrow. Woo also must have seen (and borrowed from) Lung’s next film Window (1968), which features a blind woman and a criminal who fall in love. Next up was a look at youth culture with Teddy Girls, the film we will discuss at length below. Yesterday Today Tomorrow (1970), about a plague affecting Hong Kong, caused controversy, the heavily censored version failed at the box office. He continued on with My Beloved (1971) and the domestic drama Pei Shih (1972).
Teddy Girls
Lung dealt with social issues at large with Hong Kong Nite Life (1973) and then The Call Girls (1973), which featured the stories of five prostitutes. Lung Kong tackled the issue of nuclear disarmament before it was even on people’s radar with Hiroshima 28 (1974), and followed up with the quickly made Mitra (1976), filmed in Iran while he was showing Hiroshima 28 at a film festival. 1976 also saw the release of the sci-fi influenced Laugh In (1976) and Lina (1976). His final film was 1979’s The Fairy, the Ghost and Ah Chung, though he continued to be active in the Hong Kong cinema world through the turn of the century. His films went on to inspire the Hong Kong New Wave directors as they helped reshape Hong Kong cinema.

Most of Lung Kong’s films are hard to find in general, and with English subtitles they are exceedingly rare. Despite a HKFA retrospective his material still remains hard to find for the true Hong Kong cinema connoisseur.

Lung was not afraid to create serious films that tackled social issues in a non-exploitative manner. Patrick Lung Kong became one of the most influential directors in Hong Kong cinema due to how he helmed films like Teddy Girls. His attempts to escape the boundaries and touch on subjects usually avoided stand out sharper now, especially with the ease of availability of the other older films, you can see just how fluff a lot of them were.
Teddy Girls
What other director of the time could do a teenage girls in prison film and not make it feel dirty in the slightest, but still fill it with believable and sympathetic characters, humor and tragedy? Characters who suffer all types of bad influences while growing up, rebelling for their own reasons, reaching further tragedy due to the consequences of their original actions. These aren’t bad girls who are bad, these are girls who had the entire deck stacked against them. It’s no wonder some of them just fold and give up. Teddy Girls is never so cruel as when is is making you think things just might be all right for once.

Josephine’s character is running, running from an unhappy home life and disintegration of everything she knew. Her father’s decay and death while her mother found comfort in a new man, a man who is obviously a sleazy parasite.
Teddy Girls
Of the stories of the girls, Josephine’s is the most avoidable, she seems to be acting out more of simple teenage rebellion. But she becomes part of a system that is bigger than her, and life is a cruel thing at times. Josephine’s downfall is the biggest as she has the longest way to fall. Her character seems to have it all, but she lacks the one thing she craves, and she cannot stand it. Her life becomes destroyed, and her rage focused on a single target, the man she blames for ruining everything. And he’s not innocent, his motivations are scuzzy and he leaves Josephine’s mom in ruin.

Josephine is swept up in revenge, but she becomes her own victim, by acting out rashly and destructively. Not only does she destroy her life, she brings downfall on others. Misery is spread, the only lesson is how many ways this could have been avoided, by many people.

The only real drawback is the moral message at the end literally given by Kenneth Tsang Kong as the mouthpiece to one of the young ladies, bringing to mind flicks like Reefer Madness where a character will suddenly address the audience from behind a desk.
Teddy Girls

Josephine Hsu Yu-ching (Josephine Siao Fong-Fong) – Troubled young lady furious at her mother disrespecting her dying father by hooking up with a scumbag and then ignoring her. Causes trouble and volunteers to go to lockup, but things don’t get better.
Hsu Mei (Teresa Ha Ping) – Josephine’s mother who falls for a scumbag and then things go from bad to worse as she neglects everything including her daughter and her business’s finances.
Li Chang (Patrick Lung Kong) – Hey, it’s that scumbag I mentioned in the last two entries! Li Chang is dating Hsu Mei because she has all this sweet sweet money he can use to live the high life and drop her when she’s all used up. Josephine is not too happy about that…
Ma Pi-shan (Nancy Sit Ka-Yin) – Troubled reform school girl from a broken home life, she’s doomed from the start and things just get worse and worse.
Do Shu-yan/Mr. Rector (Kenneth Tsang Kong) – Do Shu-yan is the head of the reform school and is called Mr. Rector by the students. Cares for the girls but is forced to accept reality that many of them come from desperate situations and things can easily spiral out of control.
Li Shu-chun (Yip Ching) – Girl in detention who comes from a poor family with too many children and no money to take care of her siblings. Escapes to try to help her family.
Yang Shiao-chiao (Lydia Shum Tin-Ha) – Girl in juvie who’s a funny thief, uses her personality to befriend all of the girls but doesn’t cross the line into dangerous behavior.
Chen Li-fan (Mang Lee) – Lockup girl who talks obsessively about her boyfriend, but everyone notices that her boyfriend doesn’t come around any more. Breaks out to find out what the heck. The results are…killer! Listed as “Sussie Huang” on HKMDB though that’s not her name in these subtitles.

Teddy Girls
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Baby Dolls Behind Bars (Review)

Baby Dolls Behind Bars

Written by Dean McKendrick
Directed by Fred Olen Ray (as Nicholas Medina)

Actual police uniform!

Once again we step into the wonderful world of films from late night Cinemax! And once again, it’s a Fred Olen Ray joint! Yes, Baby Dolls Behind Bars is more 2am camp for your viewing pleasure. Even though the company name on the door is now Synthetic Filmwerx LLC as opposed to Retromedia or American Independent Productions, the cast is the same gang and the locations and music are all familiar elements. These erotic parody Bikini flicks are the ultimate rep theater, reusing plots and actors to come up with interesting scenarios and B-movie inspired plotlines at a rapid pace that would kill many big money Hollywood production companies. It’s modern day movie magic, even studios like The Asylum or some of the SyFy Channel companies don’t reuse sets and actors so efficiently, nor are they as creative.

Of course, since these flicks feature people bumping uglies as their main attraction, they aren’t going to get all the high praise from the critics. But we here at TarsTarkas.NET will high praise whoever we damn well please! You can take your Tomato-meter and toss it out a window! Because the point of these films is to have a good entertaining time while also providing naked people engaging in recreational activities that involve nakedness, the added imagination and fun are a welcome addition and the reason it is so much fun to watch each installment.

And Catwoman fan fiction has hit the big time!

This time we jump into the world of Women in Prison flicks. Remember, this is a Bikini flick, so don’t expect one of them dirty, gritty women in prison flicks. This is a bubblegum camp women in prison flick style similar to Bikini Chain Gang. It’s still low budget. In fact, outside of the main actors, there are no extras at all, not even other prisoners or even guards at the prison! Must be minimum security. All the familiar elements that make these films so charming are there, including a plot that I expect Law & Order: SVU to rip off next season!

We have an entire collection of Fred Olen Ray Bikini flick goodies for you to also check out: Bewitched Housewives, Super Ninja Doll, Bikini Girls from the Lost Planet, Girl with the Sex-Ray Eyes, Tarzeena: Jiggle in the Jungle, Ghost in a Teeny Bikini, Voodoo Dollz: Lust Potion #9, Bikini Airways, Bikini Royale, Bikini Frankenstein, Twilight Vamps Lust At First Bite, Bikini Jones and the Temple of Eros, Bikini Chain Gang, Bikini Pirates, and Dirty Blondes From Beyond. They feature the entire gauntlet of B-film scenarios and wacky goofiness, which means an actual plot to go along with the softcore shenanigans.

I’m just so….evil! I love it!

But enough about other films, it’s time to check out these Baby Dolls Behind Bars!

Sissy Dunlop (Jazy Berlin) – Ditzy police officer who does the right thing even if it angers the mayor’s family. She stands up to power and doesn’t let them get off above your fellow man. And she probably doesn’t even know they’re powerful. Her family is a poor mountain family like all police officers everywhere.
Matron Grell (Christine Nguyen) – Matron of the jail who will be giving Sissy a hard time while she’s doing hard time. Also possibly evil…
Maggie Grey (Erika Jordan) – The famous cat burglar (who probably enjoys being on hot tin roofs, if you know what I mean…) who has been caught but is somehow still stealing things. It is a mystery!
Jack Randolph (Voodoo as Alex Boisvert) – A defense attorney who becomes obsessed with freeing Sissy from her bonds and from her clothes.
Inspector Bill Hartford (Michael Gaglio) – Cop in charge of the undercover program to send Sissy to find out about Maggie’s dealings and thievings. I’m sure he’s on the level.
Judge Raymond Bean (Dale DaBone as Dale Rutter) – The most casual judge in the universe, and also one of the most crafty.
Baker (Jenna Presley) – She may seem like just a court stenographer, but she’s also a great planner and comes up with the megaplot to expose corruption!
Security Guard (Jade Starr) – The crafty security guard who takes down one of the world’s greatest thieves and still has some fun…
I’m no expert, but I think they should be wearing flip-flops in that communal shower…

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Escape from Hell (Review)

Escape from Hell

aka Femmine infernali

Antonio De Teffè as Doctor Farrell
Ajita Wilson as Zaira
Christina Lai as Vivienne
Cintia Lodetti as Katie
Luciano Pigozzi as Warden
Serafino Profumo as Martinez
Yael Forti as Marika
Anna Maria Panaro as Marie Antoinette
Directed by Edoardo Mulargia

Women in prison (WIP) movies have a special place in many people’s hearts. The shining stars of exploitation cinema, they can be incredibly entertaining pieces of filth, or so poorly made you wish flaming death to reign down upon its creators. Which one is this? Let’s just say I’m cooking napalm in my backyard and taking flying lessons. Escape From Hell is a complete pile of junk. Made when Italy was pumping out films faster than you could blink, the directors there were bridging into areas that pushed the boundaries of good taste (including cannibal films with real footage of animals being slaughtered.) There is no animal death here, but there is plenty of brutality, rape, and disgustingly greasy people both male and female (and she-male as it turns out!) If you’ve suspected from that list that Troma is involved, you are right, as they produced the most recent DVD release. You expect a deal of filth in WIP flicks, but there is a limit that when crossed turns it from a naughty pleasure into a disturbing look into the director’s psyche. The major flaw of this film is the fact it takes itself far too seriously, not letting us have fun with the violence, lesbianism, or other nonsense. The serious tone makes the film far more depressing than it should be, as the exploitation factors become troubling to sit through.

Another film called Savage Island was spliced together from both Escape From Hell and Hotel Paradiso with 10 minutes of new footage starring Linda Blair. The two original movies shared some of the same actresses, but they were playing very different roles, and thus when combined together it makes an incoherent mess. Which means it’s only slightly less coherent than Escape From Hell is by itself. Escape’s few attempts at a good plot pop out with the alcoholic doctor, who became so embittered by the horrors around him he crawled into a bottle and never came out. The rest of the film seems to be the standard WIP cliché list. We have lesbians, a sadistic warden, rapist guards, an evil female turncoat guard who used to be a prisoner, beatings, lesbians, women tied up and left to die, the one good employee who helps the escape, posses, lesbians, gun battles in the jungle, and lesbians.

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Alley Cat (Review)

Alley Cat

Karin Mani as Billie
Robert Torti as Johnny
Michael Wayne as Scarface

Women revenge flicks are a guilty pleasure, especially trashy eighties ones. My pleasure reaches full heights with this entry into the genre. It has all the trimmings: cute girl, tough girl, corrupt cops, girl shoots people, women in jail, gratuitous nudity, villains straight from a stereotype convention, and terrible lawyers. The striking Karin Mani is Belinda “Billie” Clark, a gruff, no-nonsense type of gal who doesn’t hesitate to kick butt of the scum of society that threaten her. As a karate expert and also a crack shot, she takes down all the men who stand in her way and harm her family. Corrupt judges, dirty cops, and the bottom feeders in the park best get out of the way, when the Alley Cat comes, revenge will be had!

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Female Convict Scorpion — Jailhouse 41 (Review)

Female Convict Scorpion — Jailhouse 41

aka Joshuu Sasori — Dai 41 Zakkyobo

Meiko Kaji — Matsu/Scorpion/Sasori

Fumio Watanabe — Warden Goda

Kayoko Shiraishi — Oba

Yukie Kagawa — Haru

Directed by Shunya Ito

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Female Prisoner #701 Scorpion (Review)

Female Prisoner #701 Scorpion

aka Joshuu 701go: Sasori

Female Prisoner 701 Scorpion

Meiko Kaji as Matsu/Sasori (Scorpion)
Directed by Shunya Ito

Female Prisoner 701 Scorpion

Female Prisoner 701 Scorpion

1970’s exploitation cinema reached new heights with the Scorpion series of movies from Japan. The Scorpion series of movies are classic example of revenge movies, of women wronged and chained, who fight back and kill those that used and discarded them. Anyway, those types of movies are right up my alley, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing some obnoxious character get killed horribly by someone he abused earlier. And this film is full of it!

Female Prisoner 701 Scorpion

Female Prisoner 701 Scorpion

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