DVD 87 mins IMDB 5.0
Suitable for 18 years and over
The Black Sheep Affair
In Collection

Seen It:
Action, Thriller
Hong Kong  /  Cantonese

Man Cheuk Chiu Yim Dong
Qi Shu Chan Pun
Ken Wong Hung Wai-Kwok
Hoi Lin Keizo Mishima
Xin Xin Xiong Captain Kiang
Kenneth Tsang
Jude Poyer Prisoner

Director Allun Lam

In The Black Sheep Affair special forces agent Yim Dong (Chiu Man Chuk--the brilliant wu shu marital artist star of 1995's The Blade) is transferred to the fictional ex-Soviet Republic of Lavernia, actually Hungary, where the explosive Now You're Dead (1998) was filmed. Soon he has arrested Mishima, played by Hoi Lin who delivers a chilling performance as a ruthless Japanese terrorist who believes he is Christ returned to bring bloody redemption. Before long Mishima's fanatical followers are causing mayhem, while in a bittersweet sub-plot Yim revives his relationship with the girl he loved in Beijing before the 1989 uprising.

The comparatively low budget shows occasionally, and even in the Cantonese version all the Lavernians are dreadfully dubbed with American voices, one duplicitous official coming across like a camp Oliver Reed. Against that there is an attempt to offer some political substance, and the action--a mixture of martial arts and gunplay--is fast, furious and stunningly staged, so that even as it goes ludicrously OTT it remains exhilarating. The "shoot-the-hostages" finale reaches an emotional intensity and breaks rules no Hollywood action flick would dare, turning into a John Woo-like slaughterhouse which makes the likes of Die Hard (1988) look tame.

On the DVD: The end titles carry the Dolby Digital logo, so why both the Cantonese subtitled and English dubbed versions of a 1998 film are presented in two-channel mono is a mystery. The anamorphically enhanced 1.77:1 image is good but not exceptional, and exhibits some clear compression artefacts. The "music promo" is essentially one of Hong Kong Legends' own specially-made trailers, and is accompanied by more trailers for a further five films. The photo gallery is pointless but the text biographies of the two main stars are detailed enough to be interesting. Two minutes of poor quality video show Chiu Man Chuk demonstrating some wu shu moves, while a four-minute interview conducted at the same time via a translator for French television does little more than reveal the star as an amiable chap. Several of the features are also present on the DVD of Chiu Man Chuk's Body Weapon (1999). --Gary S Dalkin

Edition Details
Edition 1998
Barcode 5032438503599
Region 2
Release Date 10/07/2000
Subtitles English
Audio Tracks English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
Nr of Disks/Tapes 1
Personal Details
Links Amazon UK