Saturday, November 10, 2012

Underground Banker

Underground Banker (Xiang Gang qi an: Zhi xi xue gui li wang) Directed by Bosco Lam. Starring Anthony Wong. 1994
            What if you found out there was a sequel to Dr. Lamb or Ebola Syndrome and not only that, they teamed up as pals to butcher triads? You’d think you were dreaming right? I was pleasantly surprised by this one, it's hilariously dark as many Category III Hong King flicks are (that’s their version of NC 17).
             I know I trashed Dr. Lamb in my previous review, but this time he’s more likeable (he’s a reformed necrophiliac) and Anthony Wong gave up his addiction to slaughtering the innocent and frying them up as “African Buns” to serve in a dirty Chinese restaurant, because he is a family man now. See, psychos can team up and take down the Japanese mafia! Right? nothing out of the ordinary! So cut them some slack because they are the heroes in this unrelated, but related sequel. In the same way Todd Solondz did a sequel to Happiness called Life During Wartime and changed all the characters around, this uses the same technique. I actually like the new Dr. Lamb a lot better, he’s nicer (and helpful in the kitchen). He really bonds with the Marshmallow family and even buys the kid a gameboy. But wait! he gets burnt to a crisp and can’t play it! (so maybe he is still a sadist at heart). Anthony Wong plays Marshmallow, whose sexy wife Kitty gets mixed up with loan sharks who dope her with Mandarin Fly (the Asian Spanish Fly!) and she is raped and sold into prostitution. Dr. Lamb (played by Lawrence NG) shows up as a neighbor and the family hit it off with him right away. People are always trying to avoid the tyranny of fucked up Majong players or Triads, it goes with the territory in these incredibly entertaining HK flicks! There’s some gratuitous boner jokes and general wackiness! HK sites have compared this to Freddy VS. Jason in the same way Universal had different monsters teaming up to fight prohibition just like these guys fight the triads (HA! Yeah right, I wish!)
            I’m not going to spoil the fun by reiterating every detail like I usually do, just do yourself a favor and watch the films they reference before delving into this one. You may not get the Dr. Lamb or Bunman jokes (review coming soon), so there is some HW involved in this one. Bosco Lam also directed Chinese Torture Chamber if that’s not a ringing endorsement I don’t know what is!
Review of Ebola Syndrome and Dr. Lamb


Dr. Lamb in the kitchen
For who?

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