Director: JOHNNY MAK

100 minutes| Hong Kong| 1984| Subtitled| Colour| 35mm

A seminal precursor to the ‘heroic bloodshed’ genre as popularised by John Woo’s immortal classics A Better Tomorrow and The Killer, Johnny Mak’s oft-imitated and never-bettered 1984 gangster saga still packs a hell of a punch. A tale of mainland hoods destined for disaster when they muscle in on the Hong Kong crime scene, Long Arm of the Law offers old-school pleasures aplenty, not least a final shootout located in Hong Kong’s infamous Walled City, a labyrinthine ghetto razed to the ground shortly after filming was completed. Utilising off-the-cuff documentary-style techniques and an unknown cast, this classic is especially recommended for those who like their Hong Kong action flicks down and dirty, as opposed to the high-gloss sheen put on so many of today’s entries. Long Arm of the Law is so razor-sharp that we’re amazed Quentin Tarantino never ripped the whole thing off. No wait, he did. Quelle surprise.

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