The Story Of Mao Zedong (Mao Zedong De Gushi), with Gu Yue and Sun Min. Directed by Han Sanping. In Mandarin with Chinese subtitles. On Southern circuit. A Day Without Policeman, with Simon Yam Tat-wah, Yu Lei, and Tommy Wong Kwong-leung. Directed by Johnny Lee Kwing-kai. On Regal circuit. THE Cult of the Personal ity is alive and well in The Story of Mao Zedong, a fawning bit of idolatry reminiscent of the Cultural Revolution. For 21/2 hours, the late Chairman is depicted in an uncritical manner, the film-makers heavy-handedly attemptingto paint a portrait of the Great Helmsman as both a ''regular guy'' and saviour of the people. Not one profound issue is dealt with in this disingenuous look at the ''personal'' side of the final decades of Mao's life. We see Mao visit his hometown some years after the founding of the People's Republic, and the great concern etched on his face on discovering that the masses are still hungry. But there is nary a hint that it is Mao's policies that might have something to do with the famine. We see him as a doting father to his infant daughter, a little actress who appears to have learned her acting technique from Shirley Temple re-runs. But not once does a wife ever appear to add dimension to this ''intimate'' family portrait. ''I like people who are honest, even when it doesn't sound good,'' Mao says to a soldier, the film-makers neatly ignoring the Great Helmsman's increasing isolation and alienation from ''honest'' voices. At one point, he delivers a platitudinous sermon condemning corrupt party cadres, a tirade that utterly fails to address the root of the problem. It sounds less like an outraged Mao than the movie producers giving lip-service to the current anti-corruption campaign. Throughout, Mao is presented as a benign leader who, on the surface, seems continually surprised by the people's idolisation and yet, underneath it all, really gets off on all the attention. More than once, he insists on journeying among the masses incognito. He then ''accidentally'' reveals himself, to an outpouring of public reverence worthy of Jesus Christ or Kim Il-sung. Amusingly, in a bizarre way, is the presence of Richard Nixon's daughter Julie and son-in-law David Eisenhower. The story is told within the context of their visit to Mao in 1975. The stilted English dialogue includes conservative Republican Party member David exhorting the aged, doddering communist not to die because ''the Chinese people need you''. The couple is also awed by a recitation of Mao's poetry on the radio. No comment, of course, that during the Cultural Revolution, odes by or in praise of Mao were virtually the only poetry officially sanctioned. Content aside, the movie is shot in the customary static style of Chinese revolutionary epics. There is no shortage of material resources at the film-makers' disposal, including the usual thousands of extras. But why must the picture be done in such a dull, unimaginative manner? Even if the story is pure propaganda, it is so listless that it will fail to convert the uninitiated or even arouse any but the most fervent Maoists. IT would be hard to come up with a less appropriate holiday film than A Day Without Policeman, a blood fest that splatters along for 90 minutes of mindless mayhem. The bare bones of the plot concern a band of mainland Chinese criminals who take over an outlying island to revenge the rape-murder of the wife of fisherman (and former army comrade) Cheung (Tommy Wong). They terrorise the inhabitants, who are rendered helpless by their impotent chief of police, Chan Wai (Simon Yam). He is impotent both on and off the job, a chief reason for his estrangement from wife Li (Yu Lei). This framework serves as a flimsy excuse to indulge in a non-stop orgy of murder and rape. The story-telling itself is disjointed, jumping back and forth from the present to flashbacks of policeman Chan's cowardice under fire, and sexual fantasies with his ex-wife. There's a totally nonsensical scene in a motion picture dubbing studio where the scantily clad Li, drenched in sweat, dubs a porno film. It doesn't make much sense, but provides one of the few non-blood-drenched moments in the entire movie. The grand finale features Li's rape, her nubile sister's violation and murder, and Chan's multiple bullet wounds after regaining his courage and facing the assassins. It is during this ordeal that Chan chooses to make an anguished confession to his ex-wife: ''I never cheated on you - I'm impotent.'' For the sake of the impending reconciliation, one hopes he's not half as impotent as A Day Without Policeman.