Written by: Michael Den Boer on August 30th, 2008
Theatrical Release Date: Hong Kong, 1976
Director: Chung Sun
Writer: On Sito
Cast: Lap Ban Chan, Kuan Tai Chen, Ping Chen, Han Chiang, Ho Ai Chiang, Nan Chiang, Li Chuang, Teresa Hsia Ping, Queenie Kong, Kuan-chung Ku
DVD released: May 26th, 2005
Approximate running time: 93 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Cantonese
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese, Malaysian, Indonesian
DVD Release: Intercontinental Video/Celestial Pictures
Region Coding: Region 3 NTSC (Hong Kong)
Retail Price: $12.81 ($100HK)
Synopsis: Three women who work at a garment factory are brought together through their troubled pasts. The eldest of the three women Fung Ying is forced to deal with her former boss who is still mad that she left him. He has swindled the factory owner out of a large sum of money and is collecting the garment factory as payment. Not wanting to go back to the life she thought she left behind Fung Ying with the help of her friends take on her former boss.
Big Bad Sis was directed by Chung Sun whose other notable films include The Sexy Killer, To Kill a Mastermind and Human Lanterns. Visually Chung Sun keeps things interesting with his inventive compositions and brisk pacing. The most memorable moment visually is a scene involving a rich playboy named Henry Chui seduces one of the girls’s who works at the factory named Ah Ping. The camera leers at Ah ping’s naked flesh. There is also some fancy camera work were the camera shots the lovers from beneath the glass see through bed they are having sex on. This is the most exploitative scene in the film and it feels out of place with the rest of the film. Even though Big Bad Sis shows some resemblances to the Pinky Violence films made in Japan the end result is a film that is far removed from this type of film.
The plot for Big Bad Sis has trouble making its mind up if it is a film about strong women overcoming those in their lives who oppress them or if it wants to be an exploitation film with its handful of salacious moments of titillation. Big Bad Sis‘s lack of identity lessens the films attempt to portray its leads female characters as strong and independent. The only female character that succeeds in this respect is the films lead Fung Ying played by Ping Chen. Fung Ying is the glue that holds the other women together in a time of crisis. Performance wise Ping Chen is convincing as Fung Ying. Her strongest scene is the flashback which reveals her back-story. A notable secondary role of note is Kuan Tai Chen (Challenge of the Masters, The Master) in the role of Big Brother Cheng. Ultimately Big Bad Sis starts off strong only to lose steam about half way through the film.
Big Bad Sis is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films aspect ratio. Colors and flesh tones look accurate throughout. The image looks detailed and free of any print damage.
This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital mono in Cantonese. The audio sounds clean, evenly balanced and there are no audio defects. Removable English, Traditional Chinese, Malaysian and Indonesian subtitles have been included.
Extras for this release include a trailer for Big Bad Sis and trailers for other Shaw Brothers films currently available on DVD from Intercontinental Video/Celestial Pictures. The remaining extras are a photo gallery and cast & director filmographies/biographies. Overall Big Bad Sis is another first rate audio/video presentation from Intercontinental Video/Celestial Pictures.