original Hong Kong/Chinese title WU TAI JIE MEI [Savage Land]
also known as JACKIE CHAN'S STAGE DOOR JOHNNY
director: Wu Ma
starring: Kara Wai · Ann Mui · Yin San Lai · Pauline Wang · Idy Chan
· Lam Ching-Ying · Wu Ma · Tiffany Lau
is a strong, intense movie about an all-female Shanghai theater troupe,
produced by Jackie Chan in the early '90s for his Golden Harvest powerhouse
studio. Perhaps the most surprising thing about the film was the low-keyed
promotion for it. Despite top-quality production values, eye-popping
visuals and kick-ass diva fighting scenes, the movie has pretty much
slipped into obscurity.
Ma plays Pops, the owner of an all-female Chinese Opera troupe in Shanghai.
Despite their quality work and impressive operas, attendance is dwindling.
In fact, the majority of the audience consists of Triad gangsters with
unreasonable demands on the female performers. Pops decides to entice
better a better clientele by "upgrading," by hiring famous
Peking Opera starlet Tsui to become part of his troupe. But this addition
causes jealousies among the girls who are annoyed with Tsui's snooty
attitude and higher salary. However, the plan works and performances
are selling-out. This success is observed by local crimeboss Chang who
poses a new threat to the troupe forcing the girls to fight back against
Ma - long-time Jackie Chan associate - may have been Hong Kong's most
prolific actor, starring in 270+ films between 1964-2014 (and directing
50). He died from lung cancer in February 2014 at age 71.
star here, Kara Wai (born Hui Ying Hong) was born in Shandong China,
February 1960. Her family moved to Hong Kong in 1966. They were poor.
While her siblings were selling goods on the street, she quit school
and - at age 14 - started working as a night club dancer. In the early
'70s, Kara was discovered by film director Liu Chia-Liang at Rennie's
Mill Club. He cast her in his martial arts film DIRTY
HO. She would make other movies for Liu (including LEGENDARY
WEAPONS OF KUNG FU) while joining the powerful Shaw Bros stable.
Kara made another 40 films before Shaw Bros closed its studio in 1985.
Her transition as an independent actress went smoothly, allowing her
many more motion pictures, much success and numerous HK film awards.
With the Chinese takeover of Hong Kong, Kara Wai relocated to Beijing
where she has continued starring in such projects as FOX
CHINESE GHOST STORY, HORRIBLE
MANSION OF WILD VILLAGE, BLOOD
STAINED SHOES. To date, Ms Wai has made 150+ movies since 1976.