Temptress Of A Thousand Faces (1969)

Directed by
Tremendously entertaining
Reviewed by Simon on 2004-04-18

This film isn't getting 4 stars for being a *good* film, but for being tremendously entertaining and for the grand effort (and bust) Tina Chin Fei puts into the film. It's a super-thief/crime caper in the cheesiest of 60's styles - very silly, almost incomprehensible and in many ways badly made, but somehow this only makes it more enjoyable. They don't make 'em like this anymore, and probably couldn't even if they tried - screw Austin Powers and Charlies New Angels, go to the source!

A female super-thief called "The Temptress" is stealing things by slipping on rubber masks and flawlessly impersonating people to take their things, much to the distress of the Hong Kong police. Sexy reporter Tina Chin Fei gets caught up in the intrigue when she writes an article on The Temptress, posing as her for pictures - which is really just inviting The Temptress to start posing as her.

The film is a super-camp piece of 60's film-making, full of wonderful 60's styles and the kind of bizarre scenes that no film-maker in their right mind would dream of putting into their films these days (not to mention a plot with the daftest twists imaginable). The highlights of the film are undoubtedly the scenes where Tina fights off gangs of bad guys in her underwear, but there are many other scenes that caused great audience amusement - especially the has-to-be-seen-to-be-believed final shots. Quite mind-boggling.

The film has to lose a star for being... well, not very good (in the technical sense), but it's so much fun I feel mean for holding this against it.

The San Francisco International Film Festival screened a print that was provided by Celestial but had not been restored/remastered - allegedly it was a print made at the time of the films release in 1969, but it looked damned good if that's the case. Those not lucky enough to have caught the screening will probably have to wait until the DVD release scheduled for December 2004 to see it. And if you like cheesy fun and underwear kung fu, I recommend that you do.