Written by: Carroll Jenkins on June 27th, 2009
Theatrical Release Date: Hong Kong, 1988
Director: Ngai Kai Lam
Cast: Pauline Wong, Ching-Ying Lam, Elaine Jin, Kelvin Wong, Fui-On Shing
DVD released: October 30th, 2008
Approximate running time: 88 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: IIB (Hong Kong)
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo Mandarin, Dolby Digital Stereo Cantonese
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese
DVD Release: Joy Sales
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC (Hong Kong)
Retail Price: $9.99
Her Vengeance is very similar in plot to the earlier Kiss Of Death. The tone is very grim and bleak, there is very little humor to be found (especially for a Golden Harvest production). Pauline Wong (Mr. Vampire, Blue Jean Monster) is excellent as the lead, and Ching-Ying Lam (Mr. Vampire) is winning as a wheelchair bound martial artist who runs a bar. The bad guys are all excellent, with Fui-On Shing (Blue Jean Monster) hamming it up a tad as the most psychotic of the bunch.
It would be best if you stopped here and watched the film. So go away and come back when that has been achieved (it might take a while to secure a copy).
Welcome back. Now that you have experienced the film, it can be revealed that there are two very distinct versions: the Cat III version (78 min) and the Cat IIb version (85 min). Assuming you viewed the Joy Sales DVD or the Deltamac VCD as opposed to the OOP Megastar VCD, you have witnessed the IIb version. Seems rather tame for a film from the director of Story Of Ricky, Erotic Ghost Story, and Seventh Curse? Well it is, because all nudity and most gore have been cut. Ahhh, but how can the uncut version be shorter? These are completely different edits, and the IIb has numerous scenes that help build characterization and tension, and help the plot make more sense (like the first version of The Big Sleep). That said, it really could use the missing ultra violence contained in the shorter version. So, a ‘director’s cut’ would be manna from heaven, but would require a completely new score (like Payback did).
This is one of Joy Sales best transfers. You have to hit the subtitle button 4 times to get to the English subs. The widescreen anamorphic transfer is quite fine. There is a lobby card gallery, and a trailer.
Her Vengeance is a good thriller that could / can be excellent. Barring a ‘director’s cut’ release, the best options would be a two disc set with both versions, or the Cat III release with the Cat IIb extended and alternate scenes as extras.