A docudrama-like look at schoolgirls in a rough district of Hong Kong, "Spacked Out" breaks little new ground despite good performances from the first-time cast. Themes of drugs, abortion and general delinquency earned film the now-rare Category III rating locally, but there's little here to disturb most viewers.

A docudrama-like look at schoolgirls in a rough district of Hong Kong, “Spacked Out” breaks little new ground despite good performances from the first-time cast. Themes of drugs, abortion and general delinquency earned film the now-rare Category III rating locally, but there’s little here to disturb most viewers. A commercial flop on release in May 2000, pic is an interesting failure from Lawrence Liu (aka Lawrence Ah Mon), onetime helmer of “Gangs” and “Queen of Temple Street.”

The rootless girls, all around 13 and attending the same school in Tuen Mun, include Cookie (Debbie Tam), perhaps pregnant by her scumbag b.f.; lesbians Sissy (Christy Cheung), who models part-time, and Bean-Curd (Maggie Poon), her shaven-headed g.f., who deals merchandise across the Chinese border; and the flirtatious Banana (Angela Au). Emotional center of pic is the lonely Cookie, who corresponds with an absent friend (Lam Hoi-man) and is painfully rebuffed by an ambitious girl swimmer (Vanesia Chu) when seeking friendship. Abortion sequence is over-cooked; otherwise, pic is full of frank teenage talk that matches its grungy look. English title is an invented phrase; Chinese one means “No One at the Wheel.”

Spacked Out

Hong Kong

Production

A Mei Ah release and presentation of a Milkyway Image (H.K.) production. (International sales: Mei Ah, H.K.) Produced by Li Kuo-hsing. Executive producer, Johnnie To. Directed by Lawrence Lau. Screenplay, Yeung Sing-ling, Au Shiu-lin, Rat.

Crew

Camera (color), Lai Yiu-fai; editor, Chan Chi-wai; music, Arion, Keith Leung, Yu Yat-yiu; art director, Chan Wing-kei. Reviewed on videodisc, London, Sept. 30, 2000. (In San Francisco Lesbian & Gay Film Festival.) Cantonese dialogue. Running time: 89 MIN.

With

Debbie Tam, Christy Cheung, Angela Au, Maggie Poon, Vanesia Chu, Lam Hoi-man, Bonita Fonda, Kenneth Lai, Emily Lee, Wong Yuk-ting, Wai Hon, Wong Wai-him, Ray Woo.

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