ADEARTH of decent movies in recent weeks makes World's annual Asian Movie Showcase doubly welcome, and this year there are some premium first-run films from which to choose. Japan is the first stop for the showcase with Dancer of Izu, and later in the week there's Zhang Yimou's A Terracotta Warrior, starring, as always Gong Li; Mike Newell's Soursweet, based on Timothy Mo's novel; and the marvellous To Liv(e), Evans Chan Yiu-shing's exploration of Hong Kong's dilemma over the Vietnamese refugee issue. Dancer of Izu (World 9.30pm) is a Japanese tale of love based on a short story by Kawabata Yoshinara. There's more than a touch of the Romeo and Juliet about this piece which sees Yamaguchi Momoe playing a student from Tokyo who falls for a 16-year-old dancer while travelling through the Izu vicinity. Miura Tokokazu plays the dancer, part of a travelling troupe with whom Momoe joins up. They fall deeply in love, but gypsy dancers are considered well below Momoe's class, and it looks as though he must give his love up. DAN O'Bannen's 1984 zombie fest Return of the Living Dead (Pearl 9.30pm, Original Running Time 91 mins) was marketed as a spoof of the George Romero's cult schlocker Night of the Living Dead. As such it's a failure since the sicko gags run out far too soon, and the movie becomes seriously nasty. However, any film which has a dead, balding and under-nourished punk lumbering towards the camera calling for ''more brains'' can't be all bad - bad taste yes, but not bad. James Karen is very funny as the supervisor of a medical warehouse, home to a zombie (being interred there by the CIA of course) which is unwittingly released along with a useful little gas that soon has all the corpses for miles fair leaping out of their graves. Pity the tasteless fun runs out along with the zombies. A PROFILE on Hong Kong's former Chief Secretary - and now the territory's London Commissioner - Sir David Ford, makes up the first half on this week's Inside Story (World 8.30pm). The programme will review his long career in Hong Kong, and include comment from Martin Lee and the Governor. The I.S. team also spent a night out on the street recently, talking to runaway teenagers for whom it is home. THE lack of specialised care for autistic children in Hong Kong is the subject of The Pearl Report (Pearl 7.20pm). Parents, teachers and doctors have been lobbying the Government for years to provide better care and resources, but little progress has been made. Lulu Yu also reports on concerns over the increased powers of the ICAC with the news that the anti-corruption body is to start screening top government appointments. HAVEN't seen Shooting Stars (STAR Plus 8.30pm, ORT 90mins), but the fact that it was directed by Chris Bernard, the man behind A Letter to Brezhnev, has to be a big factor in its favour. Gary McDonald plays footballer Calvin Clarke who is being sold to Hamburg because his English team United Football Club is on the verge of bankruptcy. On his last night in England a car crash leads to his being abducted. LATE night viewers can tune into repeats of the last series of LA Law (World 12.50am) from tonight. The programmes are being rerun as a warm-up to the new series, which starts here early next year.