Dangerous Encounters of the First Kind (1980, Tsui Hark)

A bloodier, sleazier and more despairing predecessor to Made in Hong Kong, positing that the world is a violent shithole. I’d be completely in favor of this sleazy punk nightmare if someone would please censor the animal torture scenes for me… they’re sticking pins into mice right in the first scene… not sure if throwing the cat out the window Grand Budapest-style was faked. First movie watched in 2024, bad omens for the year to come.

Three boys are experimenting with antisocial behavior by setting off a homemade bomb in a movie theater. They’re followed by witness Wan-chu, malcontent younger sister of a detective (Five Fingers of Death star Lo Lieh), who blackmails them into committing ever-greater crimes. And she is not fucking around, starts by hijacking a bus full of passengers. She steals a lot of money orders from a foreigner, setting off a whole secondary gangster plot (the guy’s exposition buddy tells us they’re “in a deadly business”). Inevitably, Detective Brother gets involved in the gangster case until disciplined by his boss, the most dubbed white guy of all time. The girl dies in the same way as her cat, while all the boys get shot in a climactic cop-gangster shootout, only one surviving, wounded and poisoned and insane.

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