Raped By An Angel 2: The Uniform Fan (1998)

Directed by Aman Chang

Produced by Wong Jing

Starring Athena Chu Yan, Francis Ng Chun Yu, Jane Chung Chun, Joe Ma Tak Chung

The Uniform Fan

Andrew Lau's "Raped By An Angel" isn't the first film you'd immediately nominate for the sequel route, but obviously producer Wong Jing felt that the property held enough commercial viability to pursue it as a potential series. You can take that as either due warning or a disturbing insight into how the Hong Kong movie machine operates. That said, this sequel works on a number of disparate levels: as a sadistic serial rapist/killer film, a sometimes fleetingly erotic sexy thriller, a generic Hong Kong police procedural, a gory slasher flick, and (most amusing of all) a goofball romantic comedy. There are so many diverse elements thrown into the mix, that thankfully by film's end the good has drastically outweighed the bad.

Opening across a vista of erotically charged imagery, against a backdrop of monologue by titular rapist Philip (Ma) detailing his youthful sexual corruption by his older cousin, "The Uniform Fan" pulls no punches from its outset. Images of glossily shot, anonymous female body parts are juxtaposed against tales of bondage, rape, urophilia and uniform fetish. He also imparts that he has become a dentist, so that he might be closer to his fetish. Meanwhile, Bulky Kong (Ng), a small time triad, has just parted company with the penal system, and he entertains thoughts of going straight. Breakfast at a street side stall chances him a fleeting encounter with tough female cop Po Wan (Chu), and before he knows it he finds himself smitten with her.

As fate (or Wong Jing's pen) would have it, things swiftly turn sour for poor Po soon thereafter. While effortlessly resisting the advances of the buffoonish Kong, her sister, Jenny (Chun) has fallen under the predatory eye of deviant dentist Philip. It's not long before our resident sleaze concocts a disturbingly sick plan to get little Jenny out of school uniform, and out of his fantasies. Kong, who has been peripheral until this point, discovers frightful Phil's modus operandi, deciding to tackle the psycho at his own level. But when rape turns to murder, things can only get nasty from there on in.

Again, a former Cinematographer, in this instance Aman Chang, gives a sordid subject the ultra-slick treatment. Chang's visuals make use of askew angles, varying film speeds, and an assault of similar technical trickery to catapult the viewer through a series of setpieces to a fairly cliched dénouement. The effect, yet again, is extremely voyeuristic in tone, leaving the viewer feeling uncomfortably perverse for sharing in the protagonist's twisted obsession. This one, however, pushes the envelope that tiny bit further by suggesting that harboured deep inside all rapists is a serial killer, just waiting to emerge. Thus the tone takes on an even darker edge, with degradation evolving into destruction. It is an element that makes this sequel marginally more unsettling to sit through than its predecessor, if that were possible.

The cast does what they can with such limited material; veteran actor Francis Ng plays his character insanely loose, over-acting with comic aplomb. Athena Chu, here venturing into what would be her first "sexy" role, is a picture of smouldering allure (thus, I guess she achieved her goal there!). Poor little Taiwanese starlet Jane Chung is on offer to function as no more than a sexual fantasy for Ma's Philip, parading around is school uniforms and, when the pace is lagging, getting her kit off for Chang's leering camera. Ma is about as over the top as you'd expect of a Hong Kong psycho…Nuff said! EMP's score is hypnotic in its effect, mesmerising in its play over the glossy visuals. At the end of the day, although the undercurrent is quite salacious, the comic buffoonery diffuses whatever edge the film may have hoped to achieve. Mind you, a scene with a power drill and a set of teeth does catch you unaware…

Although what amounts to a bare bones disc, Mei Ah's DVD does manage to do justice to its source material with a relatively sharp transfer. Colours are good (if a little overstated for the most), shadows are average (as usual), but there is an abundance of razor sharp clarity held in much of the image. Generally, this is a more than acceptable presentation of a nasty little shocker, marred only occasionally by a number of small trims performed to gain the film a more commercially viable Category IIB classification. That said, I couldn't imagine this film being released in a number of Western territories without cuts. The only extra you get with this disc is the film's theatrical trailer that compresses the film's "highlights" into two minutes.

Hmmm, how does one recommend a film like this? I guess one doesn't really, but those a bit more adventurous in their cinema leanings might want to check it out. I tend to switch off a bit to the more "controversial" elements of a feature like this once the technical aspects and back plot has kicked in. Rape is certainly not a plot element most viewers would gravitate to, and if there is one complaint I can make of this series then it is the fact that the films do tend to "glamourise" (even sexualise) their subject matter somewhat. Okay…if you can stomach the harder moments this film has on offer, then what remains is a cartoonish thriller offset with a goofy romantic subplot, splashed across your screen with a visual panache unwarranted. Otherwise, it's all a bit of an unsettling, upsetting ride really…

Review by M.C.Thomason

Released by Mei Ah VideoDisc Co Ltd
Category IIB - Region 0
Running time - 93m
Ratio - Widescreen 1.85
Audio - Dolby 2.0
Extras :