Monday, October 11, 2010

Cherie Chung Week: The Good, The Bad and The Beauty (1988)

Any film that opens with Kent Cheng climbing a tree to rescue a little girl's cat -- shades of Armed and Dangerous (1986)? -- is probably gonna fall on its figurative ass just like Kent will in that bit of "comedy". 1988's The Good, The Bad and The Beauty is a Frankie Chan-directed film with Frankie starring as an undercover cop alongside Kent Cheng.

Only in a 1980s Hong Kong picture could a cop blow a guy's brains out at point blank range and have it almost played for laughs!

That sequence alone made me feel like I was treading on the sort of turf better covered by Kingwho? over at the wonderful Bullets Over Chinatown blog. This film isn't Cat. III but that scene was sleazy.

So Cherie Chung and her sister are having a beach barbecue at night when two black guys show up and try to rope them -- after debating whether to rape them or not. It's the 1980s in the Hong Kong film world so this sort of casual racism shouldn't totally surprise me.

Luckily, cop Frankie Chan was snorkeling at the time (!) and, so, is there to rescue Cherie as the guys begin a shootout. Frankie uses his harpoon gun to fight the guys and rescue Cherie but the trauma lands her in the psych ward.

We know she's in the psych ward because Cherie is next shown in a straitjacket in her hospital bed.

Without giving away all the joys of this scene, let me just say that if you've ever wanted to see Cherie Chung feed Kent Cheng grapes held between her toes, The Good, The Bad and The Beauty is the film for you.

Anyway, two whites -- glad to see it's not just black Americans being racially stereotyped here -- masquerade as a doctor and a nurse in the hospital, murder some people, and kidnap poor Cherie. All that is just an excuse for Frankie Chan to show up and shoot a bunch of people in a very poor Charles Bronson sort of fashion.

There's a double-cross among the villains and, for various reasons, Cherie Chung has to hideout at the apartment of Kent Cheng and Frankie Chan. Frankie's a ladies man which we know because his room is loaded with sub-Playboy-style posters on the wall and an inflatable sex doll (!) in his bed. Kent is cool because his room is full of the kind of posters and prints of cars that one would find in a teenage boy's bedroom in 1983 or so.

Bill Tung shows up to sort the guys out for a moment and then Cherie makes breakfast for them.

Look, my plot description isn't going to make this make sense; The Good, The Bad and The Beauty is nonsensical crap and it was probably easy for Cherie Chung to crank out nearly 20 films between 1987 and 1989 when some of that crap was stuff like this.

The Good, The Bad and The Beauty is just bad on so many levels that even an inveterate Cherie Chung completist such as myself has a hard time defending my purchase of the DVD.

You can order The Good, The Bad and The Beauty on DVD here.