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Film / Fatal Termination

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When you blow all your budget for the stunts, action, explosions, insurance and therapy bills for child actors... and realize you have 12 bucks left to make the poster.

Fatal Termination, also known as Death Blow, is a 1990 Hong Kong action film starring Ray Lui, Robin Shou, Simon Yam and Moon Lee.

When an arsenal of stolen weapons smuggled into Hong Kong gets confiscated by Police Officer John (Ray), leading to the death of the lead smuggler, the smuggler's brother swears revenge, which will inevitably get John's entire family - including his wife Moon (Moon) and young daughter dragged into danger. And everything else is made further complicated by Jimmy (Simon) and Billy, two other cops involved in the arrest, and a corrupt customs official (Robin).

This movie is notorious among Moon Lee's fans for what is possibly the most f***d-up stunt ever performed by a child actor, happening in the scene where the child portraying Moon and Ray's onscreen daughter gets abducted by being grabbed from the hair, and hoisted outside a moving vehicle while hanging a few feet off the ground through the hair in an intense 2-minute chase scene. It can be seen here (WARNING: Some may find the linked video disturbing). note 

Fatal Termination presents examples of:

  • Absurdly Youthful Mother: Moon Lee's character, Moon. She was 25 when this movie came out. But then again sometimes people do have children at 18-19 years of age, so that's not really unusual.
  • Action Girl: Moon, played by Moon Lee, this time a Mama Bear to boot.
  • Adorably Precocious Child: The little, 6-year-old daughter of John and Moon, who is the emotional center of the family when John starts becoming overly obsessed with his promotion. Also to invoke a Kill the Cutie effect to set up the final scene.
  • Avenging the Villain: Mr. Ko’s vendetta towards John is mostly stemmed from John killing Ko’s brother, another arms dealer. The confiscated weapons cache is purely secondary. Ko eventually resort to Revenge Myopia instead by shooting John’s daughter, his only child.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In the final scene where Moon and John are being pinned down by Mr. Ko and his mooks in an intense shootout, Jimmy suddenly arrives in a helicopter, firing away with an M16 machine-gun to assist John and Moon.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Officer Miu takes out one of the Middle-Eastern arms dealer in this fashion, in the middle of a negotiation. A few dealers tries drawing guns on Miu, before the lead dealer ordered a ceasefire.
  • Break the Cutie: John and Moons' daughter. What did the poor little girl ever did to deserve all that? By that, that means getting abducted, hoisted outside a moving vehicle by the hair, tied to a rooftop about to be thrown to death, having a bomb strapped on her, and shot in the chest.
  • By the Hair
    • The kidnapping of John's daughter had the child being grabbed by her hair and dangled right outside a moving vehicle running at full speed.
    • For a more subdued example, earlier on in the film there’s a scene where Robin ambushed and subdues a mobster during the warehouse raid by grabbing the hair on the back on his head.
  • Car Fu: The final action scene culminates into Moon and John chasing Mr. Ko throughout the rock quarry, trying to shoot at each other while crashing through rock piles, construction vehicles, trucks, and the like.
  • Chopper on Standby: in the climax, Jimmy manage to reinforce John and Moon because the police precinte happens to have a spare helicopter – with a Gatling gun on board – ready for him to use.
  • Cool Shades: Simon Yam’s Jimmy is often seen wearing dark sunglasses.
  • The Cutie: The little daughter who is the only child of Moon and John. She's seen bonding with her parents in several scenes, happily playing with a giant stuffed parrot, cries for her daddy when he gets too obsessed with his work, and only wants to make her parents happy again, especially her overly-stressed dad. So obviously she's there to invoke another cutie-related trope...
  • Dainty Little Ballet Dancers: John and Moon’s little daughter was last seen in a scene where she is being picked up from ballet lessons by her mother, just when the kidnapping happens. Notably, the child spends every subsequent scene – including her demise – in her tutus.
  • Death of a Child: John’s little daughter survives getting hung outside a moving vehicle by her hair, gets a Time Bomb strapped on her next to her mother, was hung from the rooftop of a building before getting dropped, but she survives every single ordeal until Mr. Ko, angry at John and his family successfully getting away, randomly shoots the poor girl without batting an eye.
  • Family Versus Career: Invoked with John who is too absorbed in his eventual promotion after breaking the triads’ gunrunning activities, until he starts ignoring his wife and daughter. Moon even questions if his career means that much to him when he starts neglecting his only child. He eventually snaps out after his daughter gets shot in an unfortunate hostage exchange attempt.
  • Fatal Family Photo: Played with; one scene had a framed photo showing John, his wife Moon, and their adorable little daughter in a family pic, before the frame suddenly gets smashed. Only one of the three failed to outlive the credits. Don’t worry, ''nothing'' bad ever happens to children in action movies
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Mr. Ko, the bespectacled Big Bad who runs a gunrunning and weapons smuggling operation.
  • Guns Akimbo: Moon in the final scene. Uzis akimbo.
  • Happy Flashback: John and Moon imagines the happy memories they have with their little daughter, while looking at the girl’s photo, after her death. It was the push for them to go on the Roaring Rampage of Revenge which is the climatic finale of the movie.
  • I Have Your Wife: And your 6-year-old daughter. John’s wife, Moon and his daughter, gets kidnapped by Mr. Ko and his minions, in exchange for him to reveal the location of the confiscated weapons cache. While Moon eventually made it, his little girl on the other hand
  • Hellish Copter: In the finale, Jimmy is reinforced by another police chopper behind him, only for the second chopper to be hit by a rocket launcher.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: During the hostage exchange goes wrong, John managed to kill the muscular Caucasian Giant Mook by shoving him into a pointed rod. The mook’s body remains upright throughout the entire scene.
  • In the Back: In the climax, Mr. Ko managed to shoot John when his back is turned, although he only hits the shoulder, with John surviving.
  • Mama Bear: Moon definitely counts, willing to chase after the henchmen who abducted her child, leap on its bonnet and forcefully punch her way through the windshield demanding for the henchmen to stop. Too bad its not enough to eventually save her child.
  • Outside Ride: During the abduction scene, Moon ends up chasing after Mr. Ko’s vehicle and jumping on it, where she clings on its windshield as the vehicle swerves about on the street like crazy in an attempt to knock her off... did we mention during all this, Moon’s poor little daughter is being hung on the side of the out-of-control vehicle from the hair?
  • Parents as People: John and Moon may be elite members of the police force and lethal ass-kickers, but deep inside, they are still parents to their child.
  • Revenge Myopia: Mr. Ko, unable to get back at John for killing his brother and confiscating his weapons cache, decide to settle for shooting John’s only child. It only leads to a Cycle of Revenge, as seen in the next trope.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: John and Moon in the climax, after finding out where Mr. Ko will be meeting the foreign gunrunning syndicate, setting up an ambush to avenge their deceased little girl whom Mr. Ko shot in cold blood to intimidate John.
  • Saintly Church: A scene in a church features most of the characters being gathered together, including John, Moon, Jimmy, Billy, Miu, all which is for the Meaningful Funeral of their Superintendent.
  • Taking You with Me: Attempted; in the end of the hostage exchange, Billy, who had explosives strapped all over him, managed to escape and lunge towards Mr. Ko. He didn’t make it – Billy gets shot during his charge and gets flung off the balcony, where he explodes in mid-air.
  • There Is No Kill like Overkill: Mr. Ko’s final fate, when Moon empties an entire magazine from an M16 machine gun into him. .
  • Unwilling Suspension:
    • Occurs to John’s family, with Moon and her daughter being hung from ropes on the top of a derelict building. And a Giant Mook is nearby to cut the ropes if John ever tries anything funny. The little girl almost falls to death when her rope snaps, but Billy arrives on a lower balcony on time to grab the child.
    • John himself is subjected to this treatment, being hung from his wrists while being beaten up in a Cold-Blooded Torture moment in order to get him to reveal the location of the confiscated weapons, in the same scene.
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: Sadly, both John and Moon had this reaction at the end of the final battle. After Moon emptied every single round of her machine gun into Mr. Ko, the look on her face – and John’s – says it all. Will killing Mr. Ko bring their dead daughter back?
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: John, played by the exceedingly handsome Ray Lui, in a sauna. Clad in only a towel.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Should be called Would Hang A Child Outside A Moving Vehicle By The Hair, but you get the point.
    • Or Would Strap A Time Bomb On A Child, and Shoot The Child When The Bomb Gets Removed.