April 4: Remake, remix, ripoff — A shameless remake, remix or ripoff of a much better known movie. Allow your writing to travel the world (we recommend Italy or Turkey).
If you’re going to make a female revenge movie, you can’t get a better inspiration than Ms. 45. Except that this movie, directed by Yao-Chi Chen and written by Chia Lau isn’t just inspired, it’s literally the same movie — it’s by Taiwanese talent but set in Hong Kong — with some minor changes.
Hsia Yin is Liang Pi-Ho, a mute worker in the garment industry who is the Thana or this movie, but she has so much to live up to, as Zoë Tamerlis is perhaps one of the most untouchable actresses ever for connecting with a role and making you believe in it. Liang Pi-Ho has to deal with the same indignities, like street gangs accosting her and a photographer who keeps touching her and the man who comes into her apartment to defile her. She deals with things the same way, blasting them with dispassion. Yet Hong Kong doesn’t seem like the end of the world that Abel Ferrara showed off in his film. And when it gets really grisly, the movie deals with censorship by going to inversed white on black.
It also begins with news stories about attacks on the homeless and gives a backstory to Liang Pi-Ho, showing how she’s mute because of the death of her parents. The film also closes with her receiving treatment instead of her decimating a party while dressed as a nun, then being cut down and yelling, “Sister!” See — I somehow spoiled two movies at once.
According to Girls With Guns, Godfrey Ho — yes, you knew somehow he would get involved — released a Westernized version called American Commando 5: Fury in Red and Crackdown Mission that has some white faces and a Satanic cult randomly thrown in.
Also known as Fury In Red, this also has the landlady’s dog replaced with a cat who our heroine feeds parts of her first victim to as well as a nightclub scene with the Human League’s “Love Action” playing on the soundtrack. The Ocean Shores VCD version of the film also has the theme from Ghostbusters and Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” and I can promise you none of those songs were legally obtained.
In case you’re wondering, at no time does the lead dress as a nun, but the cop on the case does.
I learned about this movie from Ed Glaser, author of How the World Remade Hollywood, which you can buy from McFarland Books. Here’s a fun video he made about it.