Sunday, 24 March 2013



Call me a boring weirdo, but I've never been a huge fan of nudity of movies. I mean, I don't mind it particularly, and I'm not about to demand that women all dress up as Daleks or Darth Vader rather than flash a bit of skin at the camera, but in the words of the old cliche, it needs to be essential, or at the very least relevant, to the plot. If it's just there to keep the right hand busy for a few minutes I get bored with it: they rather feel they've only been included as a sales gimmick, not because they belong there. Yes, they're very nice, but if I'd wanted porn, I wouldn't be watching a movie.

Evil Instinct is a Hong Kong thriller from 1996 which was awarded a Category III rating: the HK equivalent of an 18 certificate. It probably doesn't need its nudity and sex scenes, pretty as they are and attractive as the ladies might be; on the contrary, it would probably have been a shade better (and shorter) has those sequences been excised. Riffing on the formula of Basic Instinct right down to its generic title, it has a homicide detective falling in love/lust with one of the suspects in a string of baffling murders. All the victims were rich men, clients of the same insurance company; and they'd recently changed their beneficiaries. Could one of the glamorous insurance agents be bumping them off for their money?

It's all pretty unremarkable, it isn't even particularly good, and the inclusion of an interrogation sequence that directly echoes That Scene from Basic Instinct makes the film feel more of a ripoff than it really is (and it doesn't even have the balls to go as far as Verhoeven and Sharon Stone did). Evil Instinct rattles along modestly enough, with a neat alibi-busting twist, until the bizarre denouement coughs up an unexpectedly cruel fate for the villain and the promise of more killings to come in the closing moments. Much as I love my Hong Kong cop thrillers, this is one of the weaker ones I've caught, and it isn't helped by the UK DVD's iffy picture quality.



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