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'Silent Assassins' (1988) - Lee Doo Yong / Scott Thomas.

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  • 'Silent Assassins' (1988) - Lee Doo Yong / Scott Thomas.

    The indifferent title notwithstanding, 'Silent Assassins' (1988) almost immediately struck me as having enormous potential to be, perhaps, a neglected, low budget 'maverick cop on the rampage',80s crime-busting, DTV classic. 'They must stop the masters of the ritual art of killing...' Who are 'they'? 'They' are, sinfully sultry Sam J. 'Flash Gordon' Jones and the perfectly delectable star of 'Savage Streets, the petite scream Queen supreme, Linda Blair!

    This outrageously entertaining, Gun Happy fight film also features zesty contributions from, Jun Chong, star of schlock classic 'Bruce Lee Fights Back from the grave', the voluptuous Rebecca 'Gor' Ferrati, and, last, but no means least, firm fight-fan favourite, 'Best of The Best' Philip Rhee; this time out, arrogantly playing the wilfully obtuse Kung Fu sensei, the hugely irritating, yuppified, errant son to 'guest star', Mako's honourable Yakuza boss. So far, so B-Movie bodacious, even if you combined the wafer-thin plotting of nefarious scientist and his weaponized, death-bringing bacilli, along with the Mr. Big's 'yadda-yadda', 'blah-blah' kidnapping scheming, said lunk-headed narrative wouldn't stretch the confines of a fortune cookie. Happily, this encourages the noisome action to swiftly take precedence, which, quite frankly, is the sole reason I'm watching something called, 'Silent Assassins' in the first place!!!

    The feisty fight scenes, while, plentiful, are resolutely not in the stylised mode of martial arts magicians, Sammo Hung/Ringo Lam or balletic maestro of martial mayhem, Yuen Woo-Ping, arguably, more in line with the somewhat less burnished DTV ouvre of action impresarios, Joseph Merhi, Aaron Norris, Gordon Hessler, and beloved 'American Ninja' mastermind, Sam Firstenberg. Interesting to note that the story/screenplay credits go to the celebrated scrivener John Bruner, whose wondrous writing credits include personal favourites: 'Invasion U. S. A.', 'Mission in Action', and the triumphantly tense Chuck Norris, Golan-Globus action-fest, 'The Delta Force'. I think it would be fair to say, that if this fine fellow's glistering literary CV means little to you, 'Silent Assassins' won't strike much of a chord either!

    Objectively, this is not a 'good' film, 'subjectively' it could still be terrible, but thankfully the magnificently mercurial merits of exploitation/action/gore cinema isn't based on anything quite so prosaic as good taste, and thus 'Silent Assassins' remains an edifying, B-movie barnstormer, and, curiously, this frantic fight-film is a also remarkably sanguineous example of cheap-o Gun Fu gore! The beautiful Sam J. Jones & his perky beau, Linda Blair, do make for the most adorable screen Couple, and for a super-splattery, DTV punch-fighter, their warm relationship has been rendered in a remarkably heartfelt manner, having a volatile chemistry, which, er, is rather apropos, considering the pseudo-Bond machinations they both become so hotly embroiled in!

    I am in no doubt that my final fanboy summation will garishly expose how hopelessly unfashionable my opinions have become of late, but, honest injun', I genuinely appreciated the wickedly appealing look of sensationally swarthy Sam Jones's ubiquitously 80s action-hero 'spiky hair/Raybans combo'. While far from a top-flight fist-fighter, boisterous directors, Lee Doo-Young & Scott Thomas's explosive 'Silent Assassins' is a considerably more compelling B-Movie than its lack of reputation might suggest. And, gore-hounds rejoice!!! As those hellaciously horrific, hemoglobin-spilling hatchet kills are most righteous to behold! If one should be intimately familiar with, and subsequently relish the blissfully bellicose oeuvre of B-Movie mavens, Bruno Mattei, Niko Mastorakis, and the, by all rights, should-now-be-funking-legendary, David A. Prior, 'Silent Assassins' might resonate louder with the more unrepentantly schlock-savouring, trash-loving freaks who still avidly seek out the weirder examples of psychotronic DTV action!

    The 2003 'Musicbank' DVD I own, while wholly lacking digital definition, is apparently uncut, whereas the previous VHS release wasn't; so absolutely no improvement of its blurry, analogue fidelity, but the gleefully grisly assassinations have been lovingly restored!

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