Johnny Wong, Eddy Ko, Ray Lui, Lung Wei Wang - Dir:Kirk Wong
Imagine an old-school martial arts melodrama about competing fighting schools dropped into the grungy sci-fi world of Blade Runner
, and you have an idea of the curious mix of styles in Flash Future Kung Fu
. Eddy Ko is the maverick star pupil of an honorable school who secretly engages in underground "Black Boxing" bouts, a black market sport off limits to the school. The ambitious X-Gang, a bloodthirsty neo-Nazi-like organization, plots to take care of Ko and his friends and take over the city with their army of mind-controlled zombie soldiers. In true Hong Kong fashion, it boils down to a showdown of champions, and this one takes place in a boxing ring in an eerily empty warehouse with video coverage broadcasting the event all over.
This 1982 thriller has the cyber-punk look and texture down cold: misty dark rooms lit by the cathode-ray blue of TV monitors, a funky mix of punk fashions with decorative gas masks and radiation suits, and bizarre nightclub theatrics (two women in pink tutus savagely club a third in a leopard-skin jumpsuit, then try to drown her). It doesn't make much sense, but this pre-Hong Kong New Wave adventure from future Hong Kong luminaries director Kirk Wong (Crime Story, The Big Hit) and editor David Wu (Hard-Boiled, The Bride with White Hair) is a fascinating twist on a familiar genre. --Sean Axmaker