Billy Tang's Run and kill is a notorious example of the category III genre, I remember it being spoken about in hushed tones by fans who had seen it back in the day. I had mistakenly thought it was a horror film due to hearsay, and having finally seen it, I would have to say its notoriety is deserved due to one scene, which I am not going to spoil but I will say it had me exclaiming "Holy shit" at my screen.
My second Billy Tang movie after Dr Lamb, Run and kill is completely different yet still recognisable as Tang's work. A brutal revenge action movie that starts deceptively, looking like a family comedy but turns in to hell on earth come the finale.
Everything seems to be rosy for Fatty (Kent Cheng), he has a wife and child and he runs his own business. When he returns home from work early, and finds his wife with another man he goes into a tailspin, leading to a night drowning his sorrows in a bar. Completely drunk Fatty makes the biggest mistake of his life, accidentally ordering a hit on his wife and setting a chain of events in motion that beggars belief.
|Kent Cheng doing what he does best|
Run and kill is as strong a deterrent to ever getting drunk again as you could ever see, what Kent Cheng's character and family go through as a result of a drunken misunderstanding should be enough to make even the most avid alcoholic stay sober! The nihilistic tone of Run and kill seems almost at odds with the blackly comic side of the film, where just when you think things couldn't get any worse for our portly hero, they do, massively.
Simon Yam has a ball as yet another of his psycho characters, handling the brutal violence with a level of glee bordering on the worrying side of enjoying it too much. He has proved over the years to be an incredibly versatile actor, who can play just about any role but he does seem to have a special affinity with the psycho roles he played in the early nineties category III craze.
While Kent Cheng isn't the best actor in the world, considering I'm more used to seeing him playing comic relief characters, he handles the mental disintegration of his character in Run and kill pretty well. Cheng's willingness to show himself as a drooling slob at the start of the movie is refreshing, particularly in an industry so obsessed with vanity, it really adds to his character. However even for a character who is obviously a soft touch, I'm not sure his reaction to finding his wife with another man is that convincing, but that is really the script more than Cheng's performance.
Billy Tang does another great job here, much like Dr Lamb the film is very impressive technically. Featuring some great claustrophobic photography, with tight close ups being particularly effective on Kent Cheng's sweating face as his situation turns from bad to worse. The action is excellent too, with the hit in Cheng's apartment a really good example, again its very tight inside the small flat and what the stuntmen and actors achieve here is great. Just one caveat, I won't spoil it, but the scene with Cheng's mother and a stuntman!
The dvd I watched is the German one, I was going to buy the HK dvd but that version is cut. After Kingwho? and I covered Intruder I wanted to find a dvd of that movie and Ken from sogoodreviews recommended the German dvd of Run and kill as it is uncut and features Intruder as well.
The dvd is anamorphic, has English subtitles and is pretty good, the compression could have been better as the two films are on the same disc but overall I'm very happy with it. It even has a reversible sleeve so you can make Intruder the main film. I may go back to Intruder and review the dvd as the previous post was based only on the vcd.
|Another poor German cover|
Run and kill is a very enjoyable, solid action movie with some strong category III overtones. It certainly isn't just a one scene film, although the notorious reputation of the movie does pretty much come from one scene, but that is doing the rest of the film a disservice. It boasts an excellent performance from Simon Yam and pretty good performances from the rest of the cast. Technically the movie is very good, and I would love to have seen what Billy Tang could have done with a decent budget.