Saturday 24 November 2018

The Current Cinema - The release of WIDOWS prompts John Snadden to recall a Hong Kong derivative

A new release this week at the cinemas is WIDOWS (above), a big screen remake of a small screen UK mini-series from the early 1980s. The latter was written by Lynda La Plante (PRIME SUSPECT, TRIAL AND RETRIBUTION) and produced by Euston Films (creators of THE SWEENEY and MINDER TV series). This latest version is helmed by art-house fave Steve McQueen (12 YEARS A SLAVE), and has been transplanted from the East End of London to the Windy City, Chicago.
Widow Warriors poster
The original TV series was popular and the inspiration for a number of similar themed programmes and film projects. In 1990, the booming film industry in Hong Kong saw the premiere of WIDOW WARRIORS, with a larger-than-life bevy of Canto screen femme fatales seeking revenge for the murders of their husbands by a rival triad gang.
Widow Warriors
The widows calling the shots are played by HK stars Kara Hui (8 DIAGRAM POLE FIGHTER, WUXIA), Michiko Nishawaki (IN THE LINE OF DUTY 3, ANGEL TERMINATORS) and Elizabeth Lee (LONG ARM OF THE LAW 3, TOUCH OF EVIL). Ex-Shaw Brothers actor turned director Johnny Wang Lung-Wei, was renowned for his violent and tough-as-nails Hong Kong crime dramas such as BLOODY BROTHERHOOD and HONG KONG GODFATHER.
Widow Warriors
Many HK movie aficionados consider WIDOW WARRIORS to be Lung Wei's best film, it's definitely his best looking pic and comes with a well-structured story-line. The action content is front and centre and the location work has all the grit and sleaze of the best Cantonese crime dramas. 

It's a hard film to find but worth searching for...maybe even a download?

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