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The robbery went fine, but afterward his partner betrayed him. Left him to die with a bullet wound in a burning house. Stole his woman.

But he didn’t die. Now he’s back, and he wants two things–revenge and his money. And nothing’s going to stop him…

Lousy back of book blurb for an edition of The Hunter that you haven’t seen yet? No, it’s a lousy blurb I wrote myself for Full Contact, a Hong Kong action film directed by Ringo Lam and starring the legendary Chow Yun Fat (The Killer, Hardboiled) as the Parker figure.

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Full Contact [Xia dao Gao Fei] (1992)

Parker figure: Chow Yun Fat
Name in film: Jeff (Gao Fei)

Although Quentin Tarantino has caught a lot of flack for ripping off elements of Ringo Lam’s City on Fire for his Reservoir Dogs, I have yet to hear anyone in the press mention that Mr. Lam isn’t exactly the most original fellow in the world either. He was obviously familiar with either The Hunter or Point Blank (I suspect both), and plundered them in glorious fashion for this movie.

This is a sick film, with loads of sex and violence, all as gratuitous as it comes. However, it’s pretty fun for the strong of stomach, and you read Parker books, so obviously you’re pretty strong of stomach.

There are some major differences, but the Parker feel is generally there. Chow isn’t amoral like Parker, but he certainly doesn’t care about the life of anyone in his way. He’s as brutal as Parker, and he’s got the charisma for the part as well.

This film bombed in Hong Kong, but it did pretty well on the college and art house circuit in America, and is readily available on DVD.

Devil and Angel [Mo Gui Tian Shi] (1973)

Devil and Angel is another film that bears too much resemblance to Point Blank to be excused as coincidence. A crook is left for the cops by his partners during an armored car heist. He tracks them down and eliminates them one by one while attempting to claim his share of the loot. Besides the similarity in plot, this movie features some other similarities to Boorman’s film: a trippy nightclub sequence (about one one-millionth as effective as Boorman’s), a character thrown off of a balcony, and an ending that leaves some doubt as to whether or not the main character is alive or dead.

Non-Parker related highlights include music recycled from Shaft’s Big Score and villainous thugs dubbed with incredibly effeminate voices.

This film is very difficult to find, although it was issued in the early 1980s in a poorly done VHS edition by a company called Ocean View. I wouldn’t go through the effort of finding it if I were you. It’s an awful film, a serious endurance test even for people who like cheesy martial arts films. The general public and the non-brain dead need not apply.

The Parker character is played by Lo Lieh, star of Five Fingers of Death, the movie credited with starting the kung fu craze of the 1970s.

Thanks to John Grace for bringing these movies to my attention and for helping me acquire Devil and Angel.

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