Regarded as a prized Shaw and pop cinema classic, this wacky spy caper brims with Bond conventions and the ensuing destruction of their wry sacredness.
A nightclub starlet and her band of pickpockets get recruited into an international counter-intelligence organisation to recover a microfilm that contains secrets to a potential doomsday device. Competing for the same are the campy villains of the Chu Loong syndicate and a single smarmy agent who takes no sides.
The success of Lo Wei’s spy picture Golden Buddha (1966) and the Cantonese Bonds it spawned in Hong Kong in the ‘60s sets the stage for parodies of this genre known as bangpian. Coasting on the youthful vitality of its big-name leads Cheng Pei-pei and Paul Chang Chun, director Inoue Umetsugu’s directorial tomfoolery conjoins war weapon anxiety, femme fatale subterfuge and a requisite romance with zany fisticuffs and cheery song and dance numbers by musically-inclined assassins.
Cast & Credits
Inoue Umetsugu’s directorial career began in Japan in 1947 under the banner of film studios like Shintoho. Contracted by Shaw Brothers in the ‘60s, Umetsugu brought to Hong Kong his experience in directing films like Operation Lipstick (1967) and Hong Kong Rhapsody (1968). A prolific director, he made 116 features and passed on in 2009 at the age of 86.
Cheng Pei-Pei, Chin Fei, Paul Chang-chung