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Film / Killer's Romance

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Simon Yam is about to shoot you. And he's not going to cry about it.

Killer's Romance is a 1990 Hong Kong Heroic Bloodshed action film directed by Philip Ko Fei, starring Simon Yam (who just finished filming Bullet in the Head). The movie is a loose adaptation of the manga, Crying Freeman, and is in fact one of two Hong Kong movies based on Crying Freeman (the other being Dragon from Russia, released 3 months later) released in 1990.

Jenny is a university student in London who witnessed the killings of a mobster. The killer is none other than Jeffrey, raised since birth by the Yakuza, whose identity was supposed to be untraceable until Jenny inadvertently took a picture of Jeffrey on her camera. Now the mob wants Jenny dead, but Jeffrey had feelings for her after saving her life...

While Simon Yam would later become an icon in action cinema thanks to Bullet in the Head, Bullet For Hire and this movie, however his success is short-lived for in a baffling career change, Yam would instead go on to making sleazy, Cat-III Hong Kong movies where he would play as villains, murderers, or serial rapists. For Yam's fans in Asia, this is one of his few Cult Movies that they can still enjoy watching him as an action star.

Tropes associated with this work:

  • An Arm and a Leg: Jeffrey loses an arm in the final battle against Yoshikawa. Could be an Actor Allusion, Simon Yam's previous movie, Bullet in the Head also features him playing a badass who loses an arm in his final battle scene.
  • Arch-Enemy: Jeffrey and Charlie want each other dead equally.
  • Bloodstained Glass Windows: Jeffrey’s first onscreen kill is a rival mob leader who’s being anointed in a church. The victim just had Holy Water rubbed on his forehead… then Jeffrey raises his gun. Cue Boom, Headshot!.
  • Cool Shades: Jeffrey’s sunglasses, although he only wears these while outdoors.
  • Destination Defenestration: Happens a lot throughout the movie, but especially the finale with Jeffrey sending one Yakuza after another through wooden sliding doors. Jeffrey himself is on the receiving end once from a huge Mook Lieutenant.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Charlie, the dangerous triad killer and direct rival to Jeffrey, who causes most of the problems in the first hour of the movie until Jeffrey guns him down in a direct confrontation.
  • Facial Horror: Yoshikawa’s fate is by having his forehead and skull cleaved apart by Jeffrey in a katana battle. We get an absolutely loving and delightful shot of his head, clearly split apart with massive amounts of blood as well…
  • Fair-Play Villain: In the climax, Jeffrey’s final confrontation with Yoshikawa and the Yakuza had Yoshikawa with his gun on an unarmed Jeffrey. But then Yoshikawa discards his pistol, deciding that its best to settle this using the traditional code of bushido with katanas.
  • Falling-in-Love Montage: One happens late in the film, between Jeffrey and Jenny in London’s Regent Park.
  • Giant Mook: After killing almost all the Yakuza in the finale, one last Yakuza, a hulking giant of a man, is the last opponent standing between Jeffrey and Yoshikawa. Their swordfight had their weapons being knocked out of their hands, quickly turning into Good Old Fisticuffs before they manage to retrieve extra katanas, ending with Jeffrey slicing his opponent’s jugular.
  • Guns Akimbo: Jeffrey in the final shootout against Charlie.
  • Hand Cannon: In the last shootout between Jeffrey and Charlie thugs, Jeffrey, after exhausting his pistol’s ammunition, whips out a huge, black Magnum-style revolver. This is the same weapon that finally stops Implacable Man Charlie, when Jeffrey blasts him repeatedly through the chest.
  • I Have Your Wife: Jenny, who gets kidnapped by Yoshikawa and his men, forcing Jeffrey on a Roaring Rampage of Rescue in the final action scene of the film.
  • Hitman with a Heart: Jeffrey.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: The final confrontation between Jeffrey and Yoshikawa’s mooks. Both sides have guns, but instead decide to settle their confrontation with katanas.
  • Knee-capping: Jenny gets shot in both her kneecaps at the end of the film. By the credits she’s a couple with Jeffrey, with him pushing her on a wheelchair.
  • Leap and Fire: Jeffrey does this a lot, sometimes even crashing through glass windows while firing away.
  • A Minor Kidroduction: Early on in the movie, there is a lengthy flashback showing Jeffrey as a child training under the Yakuza.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: Jeffrey wears a scarf in several scenes.
  • Single-Stroke Battle: Most of the Yakuza mooks against Jeffrey in the final battle.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Between Jeffrey and Jenny, respectively a hitman and a university student. Surprisingly for a Heroic Bloodshed film, they DO end up together, albeit with both of them being crippled by the end of the film, Jeffrey losing an arm and Jenny being confined to a wheelchair permanently.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Charlie, in probably the most disturbing scene in the movie, had his mooks tie a lady to a chair to interrogate her, and after failing to get the information he wants, simply kicks her to the floor and repeatedly stomps on her until she dies.