Deadly Melody (1994) / Fantasy-Adventure
MPAA Rated: Not rated, but probably R for violence
Running Time: 91 min.
Cast: Brigitte Lin, Yuen Biao, Carina Lau
Director: Ng Min Kan
Review published April 22, 1999
In Ancient China, a powerful magic lyre is sought after by evil forces who fear it's power to destroy them. In their attempts to destroy the musical instrument, they brutally murder the family of a young peasant girl, who runs away with it and her life. She grows up seeking revenge, learning the ways of the lyre for her ultimate showdown with those who killed her family.
There isn't much in the way of surprises here, as the plot is relatively simple and predictable. The story starts off slow, but in it's deliberate pace it picks up speed mightily, ultimately becoming riveting when the forces of good and evil battle each other for dominance in the breathtaking final fight. Along the way, the film is a mixed bag, with hit-and-miss gags and some rather cookie-cutter type villains engaging in poorly edited fight scenes. The real reason to watch the film is for the talents of Brigitte Lin, who captivates whenever she is onscreen. If there's anyone who doubts that she can carry a movie single-handedly, look no further than this vehicle. DEADFUL MELODY is recommended for those starving for Hong Kong action, but especially fans of Lin.
©1999 Vince Leo