Hong Kong action cinema delivers a GIRL POWER take on “Police Academy” with “The Inspector Wears Skirts”!
Starring Sibelle Hu, Cynthia Rothrock and Kara Hui, this comedy classic makes its Region A & B debut on Blu-ray from a brand new 2K restoration courtesy of 88 Films.
THE INSPECTOR WEARS SKIRTS is OUT TODAY, 4TH DECEMBER 2023, yep, in time for Christmas – so get your copy from 88 Films or Amazon!
The Taiwanese actress, singer and TV personality began her movie career in 1979, emerging as a standout star following the success of the Lucky Stars and Inspector Wears Skirts series of films. She appeared in other action classics such as “Crystal Hunt”, “Angel Terminators 2”, “Fong Sai Yuk” and “Tai Chi Boxer”.
In 1989, Hu was seriously burned in an explosion stunt during the filming of “Devil Hunters”, but eventually recovered.
A bona fide martial arts champion, Cynthia also appeared in many other popular action hits such as “Righting Wrongs/Above the Law”, “City Cops/Beyond the Law”, “Prince of the Sun” and “Lady Reporter“.
Her popularity in Hong Kong action films is a feat rarely replicated by other Westerners, with perhaps only her regular co-star Richard Norton coming close.
Returning to her native USA, Rothrock carved out a successful career with films such as “China O’Brien”, “Martial Law“, “Rage and Honour” and “Blonde Justice”. She continues to teach martial arts and appear in movies, including “The Martial Arts Kid” and the upcoming “Black Creek”.
Action actress Kara Hui Ying Hung stars as “May”. Kara Hui got her big break in 1976’s “Challenge of the Masters”, going on to appear in many Shaw Brothers classics including “Invincible Shaolin”, “Mad Monkey Kung Fu”, “Dirty Ho”, “Legendary Weapons of China“, “Clan of the White Lotus” and “Return to the 36th Chamber”.
She established herself as a leading martial arts star in the leading role for the acclaimed movie, “My Young Auntie“. Still active today, in recent years she has appeared in the martial arts horror movie “Rigor Mortis” and opposite Donnie Yen in “Dragon/Wuxia“.
Frequently playing in comic roles, Hong Kong actress Sandra Ng Kwun-Yu plays “Amy”. Ng has appeared in over 100 film and television shows, including titles such as “Peking Opera Blues”, “She Shoots Straight“, “Vampire vs Vampire”, and “Royal Tramp I & II”.
A prominent Hong Kong actor since the 1960s, Stanley Fung Sui-Fan stars as “Inspector Kan”. Coming from a family of Cantonese Opera performers, he is probably best known as one of the “Lucky Stars”, but has also made notable supporting appearances in “Where’s Officer Tuba?”, “Pom Pom Strikes Back”, “Mr Vampire II“, “Ghost Punting”, “Tai Chi 0” and “Tai Chi Hero”.
American wushu maestro Jeff Falcon makes for a barnstorming finale as “Leader of the Robbers”.
Having trained in wushu in China throughout the 1980’s, Falcon made several appearances in Hong Kong action movies as a martial arts and stunt performer. As well as some notable action scenes in “The Inspector Wears Skirts I & II”, he appeared in “Burning Ambition”, ”The Blonde Fury/Lady Reporter”, “Prince of the Sun”, “The Outlaw Brothers”, “She Shoots Straight”, “Lethal Contact”, and “Caged Beauties”. In the west, he found cult success in the action comedy “Six String Samurai”.
Look out for cameos from popular Hong Kong stars Ricky Hui, Mars, Ken Lo, Benny Lai, Billy Lau, and Bill Tung.
No nonsense cop, Madame Wu is assigned to the Hong Kong Police Academy to train a specialist group of elite female officers, alongside their male squad members lead by Inspector Kan.
As they progress through their tough training, rivalries and friendships grow among the recruits.
Will the team of high-kicking female supercops prove themselves a match for any man alive, as they tackle foes from terrorists to jewel thieves?
An action packed opening sees Sibelle Hu and Cynthia Rothrock fighting and shooting their way through the town set of Jackie Chan’s movie “Project A 2”.
Cynthia Rothrock Impresses Using a Walking Stick as a Weapon
Cynthia carries a Magnum pistol that is almost as big as she is, but proves the point that if it’s good enough for Dirty Harry, it’s good enough for her! Particularly impressive is Cynthia’s use of a walking stick as a weapon, using it to strike, block and flip her ninja opponent.
Lucky Stars Meets Police Academy!
So with a kick off like that, we’re all set for a hard-hitting, violent cops and gangsters film, right? Not quite. Cynthia’s character is absent for much of the next portion of the film that focuses on the training of a new, elite, all female police squad. Although the stunts remain impressive, the emphasis is much more on a “Lucky Stars Go to Police Academy” style of comedy.
There is a bizarre musical interlude on roller skates featuring several prominent members of the Jackie Chan Stunt Team performing a choreographed dance that wouldn’t look out of place in an Elvis Presley movie!
Plenty of High-Speed, High Kicking Action…
With the re-introduction of Cynthia Rothrock’s character, the squad are given a sterner test of their skills. Set on a large freighter ship, we get back to the high-speed, high-kicking action that defined Rothrock’s Hong Kong action film CV.
A fashion show is the setting for the action-packed finale, giving the female squad a chance to show how glamorous they all are, before they let loose and kick everyone’s butt!
American Stars Shine Thanks to Hong Kong Action Choreography
The highlight is a sequence in which various weapons and kung fu styles are employed, including Jeff Falcon performing Monkey Boxing and Monkey Pole.
It’s interesting that the main stars of arguably the best action scene are American. It’s that unique Hong Kong style of action choreography that really makes them shine to the best of their abilities.
Stick around for the bloopers during the end credits!
“Inspector Wears Skirts” is a perfect example of a classic 1980’s Hong Kong version of a screwball comedy.
The main cast and notable guest cameos are all experts at this type of movie, with the female leads also proving very capable at performing many of their own stunts, whether they be slapstick pratfalls or full contact fights.
Extras on the 88 Films Blu-ray include a new interview with Cynthia Rothrock giving a great insight into her work on the movie. There is also an interview with director Wellson Chin who talks about his career in the film industry.
Frank Djeng’s audio commentary is packed with background information about the production and the cultural and political nuances of the situations and dialogue used in certain scenes.
Fans of not only the Lucky Stars style comedies but also the incredible fight action in the likes of “Yes Madam” or “Righting Wrongs”, will love this restored release.
- The Jackie Chan Stunt Team were responsible for the action.
- The Chinese title literally translates to “Beautiful Bullies”. The film was originally released as “Top Squad” in the UK and USA.
- Cinematography was by Andrew Lau who would go on to direct the smash hit “Infernal Affairs” films, that inspired Martin Scorsese’s Oscar winning movie “The Departed”.