Devil Hunters (1989)

Directed by
Pretty slapdash
Reviewed by Simon on 2023-08-31

Two gangs meet for a drug deal but they are interrupted by the police. The gang leaders manage to escape, but when one of them is later assassinated his son swears revenge on the other. Actually it was an ambitious underling who organised the killing in a power play to assume control of the gang, which somehow results in that boss's daughter teaming up with the other's son and an angry Sibelle Hu to take down the true villain.

Devil Hunters is something of a mess - there's a plot there, and it more or less explains what happens, but it's thrown together without much attention to detail, it clearly wasn't a major concern as long as it opened up plenty of opportunities for action - which it does. There's shootouts, fist fights, stunts and a very poorly judged boat + helicopter "chase" where they clearly didn't have enough time to shoot even remotely exciting footage.

Not as poorly judged as the amount of gunpowder they used for the big explosion in the finale though, which famously put the film's three leads in hospital... an event that halted production and also unceremoniously ends the film, as a title card wishes them a speedy recovery and the end credits roll over newspaper clippings of Moon Lee, Sibelle Hu and Ray Lui wrapped in bandages.

It's amazing it didn't end at least the career of any of them - in fact Moon Lee and Sibelle Hu were really just getting started, and would make a ton of films like this over the next few years.

The film is pretty slapdash - I guess blowing up the cast was a strong clue that was the case - but it is suitably over the top and vicious. Francis Ng is an absolute scumbag here, which is always a treat, and he even throws some pretty convincing moves in the final fight.

Definitely a minor footnote in the Hong Kong action cinema story, even in the Tony Liu story, but it's entertaining enough if this is the sort of thing that floats your boat.