(1983, HK, 105 min) Dir Jackie Woo. Cast Jackie Woo, Rosamund Kwan, Phillip Ko.
No real need for a synopsis here as it’s basically, as above, Hamlet with a cyborg. Okay, yeah, so what’s the deal, I hear you say: why’s the guy a cyborg? Fair enough, maybe it’s a bit different. Okay, so John Hamlet runs the biggest electronics company in Hong Kong and his proudest achievement is his cyborg son. Young Hamlet (director Woo) was on death’s doorstep when his father, apparently without repercussion, grafted a load of metal to him in order to save his life. Of course his father dies in mysterious circumstances, his electronics empire being taken over by the shifty Tony Claudius (Ko) who is also having his way with Hamlet’s mum, in case murdering his dad weren’t enough. Cyborg Hamlet is thus all sad in a rainy alley one night when the genuinely terrifying ghost of his father appears and demands bloody vengeance. Who is Cyborg Hamlet to decline? It all goes a bit off-piste from there – slaughtered henchmen didn’t play the biggest part in Shakespeare’s original text from what I can recall. Between crushing skulls in his metal hands there’s still time for some romance with Rosamund Kwan’s Ophelia before she goes mad (which is the bad guy’s fault too of course) and then it all comes to a bloody head at the wedding of Claudius and Hamlet’s mum which involves a massive martial arts rumble across three floors, a daring rooftop chase and someone getting a big metal pole like a javelin through the face. Great fun but no good for revision, kids!