Red Lips and Cold Blood

Red Nights might be Carrie Ng Ka-Lai’s first giallo, but it isn’t her first foray into sexy thrillers, let alone murderous ones with plenty of kink.

For over a decade, she appeared in Hong Kong’s category III films and while she wasn’t always the lead, she made every one she was in with stylish, menacing sangfroid and red, red lipstick.

Carrie Ng started her career in television for Hong Kong’s TVB studios, playing the other woman. But she broke type with her first film role in Ringo Lam’s City on Fire, playing the girlfriend to Chow Yun-Fat’s undercover policeman. And she’s starred in a wide variety of films—from kung fu comedy with a very young Donnie Yen and romances to high quality women in prison films, and a remarkable number of films with “angel,” “naked” or “killer” in the English title. Those can be traced to one of the two films she’s probably best known for in Midnight Madness circles: Naked Killer, a Midnight Madness pick back in 1994, and Sex and Zen. Both are category III films, a designation that Hong Kong Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority uses for films with extreme violence, graphic sex or some combination thereof and that prohibit the admission of anyone under 18.

In Naked Killer, Ng plays lesbian assassin, Princess, who is part of a fashion forward hit team targeting rapists and takes a shine to Chingmy Yau’s Kitty. The film features frequent category III star and Midnight Madness favorite Simon Yam Tat-Wah as a cop who’s a rival for Kitty’s affections. Carrie Ng plays Lady Ku in Sex and Zen, a graphically sexual wuxia comedy. Or maybe comedic erotica in a wuxia setting. Regardless of what else Sex and Zen might be, it’s lovely and funny and has the best porn plot, production values and setting ever.

Carrie Ng also starred in, Remains of a Woman, the first category III film to receive Taiwan’s Golden Horse Award. It won Best Actress for her performance. (And might well have opened the way for another MM favorite, Anthony Wong Chau-Sang to win a Hong Kong Film Award for his performance in the category III film, The Untold Story). Ng has been nominated for the Hong Kong Film Awards seven times, including once for Remains of a Woman, and won Best Supporting Actress for The Kid in 2000.

Red Nights marks Carrie Ng’s return to film after 8 years. It’ll be something to see.

Red Nights screening times:
Wednesday, Sept. 15. 11:59pm Ryerson
Friday, Sept. 17. 2:15pm Scotiabank Theatre 2
Sunday, Sept. 19. 5:45 Scotiabank Theatre 11

You can purchase tickets from the official TIFF website.

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