Raped By An Angel 5: The Final Judgement (2000)

Directed by Billy Tang Hin Shing

Produced by Lee Siu Kei

Starring Gigi Lai Chi, Kelly Lam Hei Lun, Pinky Cheung Man Chi, Li Fei, Anita Lee Yuen Wah, Jimmy Wong Kar Lok, Helena Law Lan, Samuel Leung Cheuk Moon

The Final Judgement

Whilst not screaming for yet another sequel, production reigns on this fifth entry were handed over to Lee Siu Kei who employed the ever reliable Billy Tang to craft a direct sequel to the second film in the series. Confused yet? Okay, check out the box art of the DVD, and you'll notice that although the English title has a "5" in its text, the Chinese title clearly denotes a "2" amidst its characters. Were you to translate directly from the Chinese title, you come to an English title approximating "Uniform Fan 2: Underground Court". Hopefully, that's now as clear as mud. But on with the show…

Although I'm still trying to figure out what the point of casting five of Hong Kong's most attractive actresses and then filming them so mundanely was all about, the plot of this entry isn't such a bad one. Laura, daughter of wealthy matriarch Lady Hong (Law), has been raped and left dangerously close to death in a deep coma. Five women visit Hong and her daughter, five women with a disturbing bond. They are Hoi-nan (Lai), a psychiatrist, Shek (Lam), a respected lawyer, Pinky (Cheung), a salesgirl, Bond (Li), a Taekwondo instructor, and Moon (Lee), a nightclub mamasan. Their bond is that all five women have suffered the humiliation of rape.

Pooling their resources, they vow to Hong that they will apprehend the assailant by whatever means necessary, even if that means operating outside of the law. Thus their deadly game begins. As fate would have it, this being genre cinema and all, their target is extremely more cunning and resourceful than they anticipate, and in next to no time the gang of five becomes a gang of four…then three…then two. A literal tidal wave of rape and murder ensues as the survivours skirt perilously close to the truth.

No stranger to the sub-genre of "rape thrillers" unique to Hong Kong cinema, Billy Tang ("Red To Kill") mounts an engaging thriller that is sadly short changed by a glaringly obvious climax. Let's just say, you won't have a taxing time sussing out who the deviant predator is in this entry (they might as well have stamped the word "rapist" on his forehead!). The grimmest thing about this final (for now) entry in the series is that with five leading ladies, the opportunity for Tang to up the ante with the subject matter is hugely amplified. Thus, not only are we "treated" to each woman's horrific past in flashback, we are also forced to witness their subsequent humiliation at the hands of this outing's villain. Although not as explicit as previous episodes, the overriding effect is one of overkill that left this viewer feeling decidedly grubby, and more than just a little queasy. The finale was small payback for witnessing five gorgeous women horribly abused and painfully suffering for an hour and a half. It's the old adage though, you get what you pay for…

Without intending on sounding like a broken record, Universe's disc is exceptionally good of its source elements. Black levels, per most Hong Kong discs, are never true blacks, but the image is vibrant, detailed and colourful. You've probably noticed by now that I never mention subtitling on these things, but that's only because I'm not a nitpicker. Thus, they service the film well, have the odd grammatical error, and are in sync with the Cantonese (original) audio. Audio is good, both crisp and clear without being overly showy, and although listed as monaural I could swear this thing has a 2.0 stereo track on it (didn't have time to plug in the headphones, sorry!). Henry Lai's score sounds great, in a sort of Enigma on speed kind of fashion (with a hint of Goblin thrown in for good measure…you'll hear what I mean). Extras are the usual, Star Files for Gigi Lai and Pinky Cheung, the theatrical trailer, and attractions trailers for "My Name Is Nobody" (a gambling film), "Troublesome Night 7" (ghost flick) and "Super Car Criminals" (a lame action flick).

And there you have it, every "Raped By An Angel" episode up to date and accounted for! With Alan's approval, I'll be off now to visit the smallest room in the house to be violently ill, as this has been a marathon of depravity that has left me rather exhausted. Tang's film is good of its sort, on a par with the third film in the suspense stakes, but nowhere near the wild extremes of his finest hour, "Red To Kill" (a film that constantly does my head in). Strangely enough, I have the oddest intuition that this is not the last we have heard oft this series, and you may just see me reviewing "Raped By An Angel 27" sometime in the near future…

Review by M.C.Thomason

Released by Universe Laser & Video
Category IIB - Region 0
Running time - 87m
Ratio - Widescreen 1.85
Audio - Dolby 2.0
Extras :
Star files; Trailer; Attractions trailers