Fatal Love ★★★½

2017 Cult Movie Challenge
Week #9: Hong Kong Category III

FATAL LOVE (Lo Kin, 1993)
Universe Laser & Video DVD (HK)

Framed for theft and kicked out of the program, tough-but-sexy police cadet Debbie gets a second chance when she's offered the opportunity to go undercover. Following an elaborate training regimen that includes safe-cracking, boxing and excessive flirting, she's ready for some field work. Her assignment? Hong Kong billionaire Fuk Tin, an untouchable businessman suspected not only of international drug trafficking, but also the savage murders of at least eight women. Displaying her terrible skills on the golf course, Debbie immediately gets invited to live in Fuk Tin's guest bedroom, where her nightly searches for incriminating evidence only amuse her host, who's watching her every move on his closed-circuit security system. But do the police have the right suspect? And how far will his games go?

Constantly overlooked when compared to its more famous Category III brethren, FATAL LOVE is a surprisingly mean and focused thriller that lacks any of the slapstick shenanigans that typically interrupt the genre's finest. Ellen Chan is easy to watch and likable enough in the lead, though a few illogical choices exist solely to move things along. Or maybe she's just a horrible cop? Michael Wong sells his rich playboy well, with enough ambiguity to keep you questioning his real motivations. The film unfortunately shows its cards a little too soon, robbing some later reveals of potential impact, but overall its combination of lurid mystery, sweaty sex and shockingly brutal violence mark FATAL LOVE an underknown sickie that deserves more discussion amongst fans of Hong Kong's most depraved outings. "I love watching people dying." 7/10