John Woo's operatic 1989 bloodbath The Killer brought the new Hong Kong cinema to world attention, and it established the dominant themes of Woo's subsequent thrillers: the thin line between law enforcement and lawbreaking, the divided nature of self and identity, the supremacy of masculine loyalty.
In the role that made him an international action hero, Chow Yun-Fat plays an assassin who accidentally blinds a nightclub singer (Sally Yeh) in a shoot-out; he accepts one last job to restore her sight, fully aware that a doppelganger cop (Danny Lee) is stalking him. What follows are tons of symbolism, unhinged melodrama, musical numbers, and kinetically staged gun fu, capped by an extraordinary finale in an abandoned church. The best scene has the blinded Yeh chatting amiably with Lee and Chow — unaware that each man is holding a pistol to the other's head.
An undisputed classic of action cinema, it hasn't been shown in Nashville in many years. Tonight, though, it plays at 8 and 10 p.m., projected from DVD in the Cult Fiction Underground bunker under Logue's Black Raven Emporium, 2915 Gallatin Rd.