The Lady Avenger

(Taiwan, 1981)
91 minutes, HDCAM, in Mandarin with English subtitles
Directed by: Yang Chia-yun
Starring: Luk Siu-fan, Richard Cui, Wa Lun, Tsui Siu-lung, Hsu Siu-ning, Lung Suen

Actress Carol (Hsu Siu-ning) is tired after a long day of getting shot in the back during a cosmetics commercial so she decides to hitchhike back to the city after storming off the (extremely remote) set. She is picked up by Lee (Wa Lun) and he immediately decides to rape her. Carol tries to bring him to justice but he is rich, and all the men in the courtroom can’t get past the fact that she models in her underwear, so she loses the case and eventually ends up dead under mysterious circumstances. Wendy (Luk Siu-fan) is a reporter who becomes involved in the case and refuses to give it up.

Lee decides to get some of his friends together and chase Wendy through a construction site and rape her, after which her fiancé (Richard Cui) leaves her because she is “dirty.” So she decides to embark on a revenge spree befitting of the Punisher. Bear Traps, knives, blow torches, meat hooks and cranes become weapons of vengeance. This film is brutal and bleak, and directed by Yang Chia-yun who is one of the only female directors from the Black Movie cycle. The rape sequences are terrifying and not played for titillation and, in fact, the two rapes are never shown on screen, just the terror and violence that leads up to them. Instead we have Luk Siu-fan’s devastated face as she cuts a swath of bloody violence through a society that would allow this violence to happen.

Part of Taiwan Pulp! – Tales of Gangsters, Female Avengers, and Ninjas!

Friday June 28, 4:00PM Walter Reade Theater Buy Tickets