Angela Mao worked with director Huang Feng to create a series of martial arts films that are well-considered like Deadly China Doll, When Taekwondo Strikes, Hapkido and this movie. She’s best known for her appearance in Enter the Dragon as Bruce Lee’s doomed sister. After a career as a hard-fighting star, she moved to New York City in 1993 where her family runs several restaurants.
When Ling Shih-hua (Chang Yi) is left for dead by Yakuza attackers, he vows revenge as he is nursed back to health. His problems aren’t anywhere near over because Tien Li-Chun (Mao) is here, demanding that he take his own life for leaving his sister and causing her suicide. He begs her for a favor. He must have his revenge before he dies. Of course, he gets beaten down again and she has to save him after he gets buried in the sand up to his neck. That means that she has to save him and help him to defeat his enemies, all so that she can be the person who gets the pleasure of killing him.
In our country, this was given a sexy ad campaign and called Deep Thrust — wink wink nudge nudge — and the tagline “the deadly stroke of bare-handed combat.” It has no sexual content, so don’t be fooled. It’s about kicking some ass.
Besides that title, you know what else gets stolen? John Barry’s score from Diamonds Are Forever. Georges Garvarentz’s song “The Bulldozer Leads the Dance” is also in this, which doesn’t seem like music for martial arts mayhem, yet there it is, right?
This movie inspired me. I must find more movies where Mao, who looks so prim, proper and ladylike, unleashes hell and decimates ten or more human beings at once. This also has a wise old man who teaches the male protagonist the Tai Chi Palm and the bad guys have a villainess who uses a whip, which is all I ask for in a movie.
Lady Whirlwind has been released by Arrow Video in a set with Hapkido. Both movies have brand new 2K restorations by Fortune Star, an illustrated collectors’ booklet featuring new writing on the films by critic James Oliver and a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Ilan Sheady.
There are three commentary tracks: one by Frank Djeng and Robert “Bobby” Samuels, another with Frank Djeng and Michael Worth, and another with Samm Deighan. There are also newly filmed interviews with Angela Mao and her son Thomas King, as well as alternate English credits, a Hong Kong theatrical trailer, U.S. theatrical trailer, radio ad and an image gallery.
You can get this from MVD.
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