Black Cat (1991) (Import)

The Hong Kong rip-off machine rolls on with this low budget action movie that bears a not so subtle resemblance to La Femme Nikita.

Jade Leung plays a Chinese American drifter who gets involved in an altercation at a truck stop and accidentally kills a cop. On her way to trial she escapes, and is apparently shot to death by mysterious assassins.

Though she is thought dead, the CIA has actually kidnapped her and implanted a chip in her head to unlock her physical potential. Trained as an assassin and renamed Erika, she carries out assignments for the CIA, but she also falls in love with a HK conservationist (Thomas Lam), which puts his life and her happiness in jeopardy.

As low budget action films go, you could do a lot worse than this film. The action scenes are exciting, Jade Leung is easy on the eyes, and the plot moves fairly quickly. The ending is pretty silly, but that's a small price to pay for some cheap thrills.

The video is overly bright, hazy, and white speckles are common, but in general it's adequate. The Cantonese soundtrack has been put through Media Asia's usual remastering to Dolby Digital 5.1, so the sound effects (especially gunshots) sound hollow and the music occasionally warbles. The movie was shot with synch sound, and a good portion of it is in English. There are English subtitles for the Cantonese portions. They're typically bad from a grammatical point of view, but they get the point across.

In keeping with most of the later Media Asia discs, Black Cat has the theatrical trailer to this movie, as well as those for three other films: Black Cat II, Moment of Romance, and Jackie Chan: My Stunts.

Scott Hamilton, 4/17/00

Running Time: 91 minutes
MPAA Rating: N/R, probably R
Format: Widescreen 1.80:1
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
Languages: Cantonese, Mandarin
Subtitles: Traditional Chinese, Chinese-Simplified Characters, Japanese, Vietnamese, Spanish, Bahasa-Malaysia, Thai, and English
Region: All
MSRP: $29.95

Own It!