Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tiger on the Beat (1988)

Tiger on (the) Beat
Just cool. Plain and simple.

After directing 20 or so old school flicks, legendary actor Liu Chia-liang took a bold leap into the 20th century with the contemporary gangster action-drama from 1998, TIGER ON THE BEAT aka TIGER ON BEAT. This is a winner of a film. Though even by 1988 the buddy cop pic was a tired trend, TIGER ON THE BEAT is wrapped tightly together by the cool Chow Yun-fat and the surprisingly stellar Conan Lee Yuen-ba. The film also stars Ti Lung, Gordon Liu Chia-hui, Philip Ko Fei, Shing Fui-on, Norman Chiu Siu-keung, the late Uncles James Wong Jim, David Chiang Da-wei, the late Lydia Shum Tin-ha, and Ms. Jet Li, Nina Li Chi. The list of notable actors that run through this flick goes on and on. Circa the late 80's flood of HK gangster action, the film just kicks ass and is near the high end of the heap. The above poster is an artists delight. From Pakistan, the print awesomely captures the films stars in full swagger. Reminds me a bit of the old painted HK film posters.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Body Weapon (1999)

Body Weapon

Angie and Vincent


One of my favorite posters here, main reason being the sleek and provocative Angie Cheung Wai-yee, finger on the trigger. Poster for Aman Chang's 1999 campy cult pic BODY WEAPON. The film stars some great talent: Vincent Zhou Wen-zhuo, Angie Cheung Wai-yee, Elvis Tsui Kam-kong, Pinky Cheung Man-chi, and in a far-out turn, director Clarence Fok appears. I could watch this silly goodness all day long. Director Chang was part of Wong Jing's stable of "talent" and has some low budget winners to his credit. MR. WAI-GO, RAPED BY AN ANGEL II & III, SEX & ZEN III, and FIST POWER are all enjoyable films to a meager budget degree. With BODY WEAPON, Chang leaves his legacy in this ridiculous effort that has super duper sexy Angie Cheung Wai-yee out to seek revenge on a murderous gang of rapists who dispatched her betrothed on their wedding night then gave her the dirty business. While not as sexy and lurid as the poster or film synopsis might suggest (Cheung never slips into the attire she is sporting on the films poster) the film offers up some fine fight scenes, stylish camerawork, and an unforgettable sequence (my favorite) that has popular film director Clarence Fok glam and ham it up as the Sifu of a 'special' kind of martial training. The snapshots below are from this sequence as Fok trains Cheung in the deadly ways of murder by kicking perineum! Isn't that how Fong Sai-yuk died in Chang Cheh's MEN FROM THE MONASTERY? A stab to the undercarriage? Maybe Aman Cheng was paying homage to Cheh's film? Naaaaaaah.

How I envision director Clarence Fok forevermore

Better than having a red spot on your G-spot!

Aaaiiiiiyyyyyyaaaaaaahhhhhh!?!? (ouch)

Ballistic Kiss (1998)

Ballistic Kiss

"Fighting mad as you've never seen him!"

On the flip side....

You're so vain.... probably think this flyer is about you!?

Japanese flyer for Donnie Yen's ultra slick 1998 action pic BALLISTIC KISS aka KILL A LITTLE, DANCE A LITTLE. A very cool and stylish actioner with a story by the great Bey Logan. A ton of B-movie talent inhabit this yarn: Yu Rong-guang, Annie Wu Chen-chun, Jimmy Wong Ga-lok, Simon Loui Yu-yeng, Vincent Kok Tak-chiu, Convoy Chan Chi-chung, and even hack director Joe Hau Wing-choi. I wish both parts of this flyer were actual theater size posters. Both halves are way cool. The comic book cover art of Yen high-kicking is pretty damn sweet and as the title states is, "Donnie Yen COOL." Would look great framed. BALLISTIC KISS, I believe, is Yen's best effort as director. I originally caught it on a copied VHS from the shady dudes down at the local flea market. They gave it to me for free as a 'favor' for keeping their ill business venture going with my patronage. I have long since upgraded to DVD and VCD and those flea market asses have long since disappeared. For the betterment of society.

The Rules of The Game (1999)

The Rules of the Game

Koo, Lee, Fong, Uncle Sexy

Lui, Yeung, So


Cool poster for the 1999 CAT III triad drama THE RULES OF THE GAME, directed by Steve Cheng Wai-man. The film stars the George Hamilton of HK, (he of the ever present tan and impenetrable hairdo) Louis Koo Tin-lok, Alex 'Jet Pack' Fong Chung-sun, Sam Lee Chan-sam, Kristy Yeung Kung-yu, Edmond So Chi-wai, Frankie Ng Chi-hung, and Simon Lui Yu-yeng. A finely paced triad flick with very good acting, THE RULES OF THE GAME was a nice breath of fresh air when it was released into the midst of a downward trending HK cinema. Director Cheng seemed to be hitting his stride around this time, debuting with the entertaining Simon Yam Tat-wah flick MAN WANTED and having his hand in the original TROUBLESOME NIGHT before directing this triad opus. He went on to direct a few genre goodies like EROTIC NIGHTMARE and the Horoscope films, HOROSCOPE I: THE VOICE FROM HELL and HOROSCOPE II: THE WOMAN FROM HELL. He's had his fare share of limp films, one that springs to mind is BIO-COPS. After seeing BIO-ZOMBIE and loving that film to pieces I figured another film in the same vein with the word 'Bio' in the title would be equally as cool. I still can't shake that shitter from my mind and it it's been a decade since watching it. As HK cinema continued it's downward spiral, so did Cheng's career. He directed the American Idol reject William Hung film, WHERE IS MAMA'S BOY?, in 2005 and should have just receded from society then. Cheng did, however, come back a year later to direct an almost good film. The 2006 adult actioner LETHAL ANGELS, starring Jordan Chan Siu-chun. A promising film that channeled the early 90's CAT III actioners combining bullets and boobies, which you know I enjoy, but was a tired attempt. Take another look at the poster. Notice how Alex Fong Chung-sun's head appears to be superimposed onto his body. Cheesy looking but rather cool anyway.
If you are a fan of Mr. Alex 'Jet Pack' Fong, check out his fan page on Facebook!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Once Upon a Kung Fu Double Bill

AMC's Kung Fu Flicks

Kung Fu vs. Berber
I don't know when this promotion took place but I wish I was notified!? AMC theaters held a Kung Fu double bill once upon a time. There is no year offered on this flyer so who knows when this mainstream theater coolness took place? Any ideas? A double bill for 5 bucks!? I'm there. I bought these flyers off of Ebay for about $3, shipping included. What the hey? I can afford it. One less energy drink. February 6th looks like a goodie: FANTASY MISSION FORCE and THE CHINATOWN KID. I would love to see FANTASY MISSION FORCE on the big screen. Oh what fun! I like how they have a photo of FIVE DEADLY VENOMS but the actual film isn't being shown!? Seeing as it was AMC Theaters putting on this Kung Fu display, I suspect there prints were less than legit. Xenon? Shaolin Dolemite Collection? Their Kung Fu stance is weak!

Chinatown Swingin'

A few HK movie posters that I have spotted around NYC Chinatown over the past 6 months or so. All are set up outside of HK movie storefronts. Above are posters for the pretty awful LADY COP AND PAPA CROOK and the pretty awesome IP MAN. These posters were on the door of the entrance to P-Tune & Video Corp. on Chrystie St. in Chinatown.
THE STORM WARRIORS. Outside of NY Music and Gifts. Corner of Canal St. and Bowery.

REBELLION. Outside of unknown shady ass basement movie joint on Bowery.

CONFUCIUS. Outside of NY Music and Gifts.

THE SNIPER. A turd of a film. Outside NY Music and Gifts.

LAUGHING GOR. Outside of unknown shady ass basement joint on Bowery.

ACCIDENT. Excellent Soi Cheang flick. Outside of NY Music and Gifts.

This TO LIVE AND DIE IN MONGKOK poster was up outside of a tiny HK movie and tv shop on Main St. in Flushing, Queens, NY. There are a few movie joints in Flushing but most just sell bootlegs. This place has a small movie section of legit movies and the rest of the shop is all copies of Chinese tv shows.

Once Upon a Time in China II (1992)

Once Upon a Time in China II

Nice poster for the exceptional ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA II. While I have definitely seen better HK movie posters before (usually the ones blazing a CAT III symbol), this poster looks clean and bold. The title is set against a rich golden backdrop that is actually a map of China. I'm sure you have all seen the film so I will spare you a synopsis. Just enjoy this regal looking poster. Might look really sweet in a black frame. Sounds like a good idea?

One night in C-town makes a hard man humble....and broke

The gf and I were in C-town last night for dinner with cousin 'R' and some HK movie shopping. We hadn't been in Chinatown for about 2 months because we have a lot of things in the hopper and we're trying to save some money. So, I was only planning on maybe picking up a few newer titles and maybe a handful of bargain bin garbage. No such luck. As you can see by the above pic, I went large. Spent approximately $150 and came back with 24 posters, 15 laser discs, 14 DVD's, and 10 VCD's. I'm weak. I just couldn't resist. A few of the newer titles I picked up are LITTLE, BIG SOLDIER, TRUE LEGEND, BAD BLOOD, 14 BLADES, and TREASURE HUNTER. The older titles, some DVD, some VCD, are: LOVE @ FIRST NOTE, FRACTURED FOLLIES, I WANNA BE YOUR MAN, TILL DEATH DO WE START, THE FIRST TIME IS THE LAST TIME, FOX SPIRIT, WHITE HAIRED DEVIL LADY, and the Shaw Bros. drama SUNSET, directed by Inoue Umetsugu. A few of the laser disc titles: AH FAI THE DUMB, FIRST LOVE UNLIMITED, HAPPY TOGETHER (the Max Mok version), ORGANIZED CRIME & TRIAD BUREAU (x2), CAUSE WE ARE SO YOUNG, and TOUCH AND GO. Couldn't pass up the laser discs. They were a buck each! (thanks for the reminder Ian! I shall now blame you for my $ woes.)

As for the posters, they are mostly of newer films from the past few years. I hope to eventually get ALL of them up on the blog. Some of the posters: CONFUCIUS, MAD DETECTIVE, KUNG FU CYBORG, WARRIORS, RED CLIFF (including a gigantic wall banner of Tony Leung Chiu-wai!!!), ON HIS MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE, WRITTEN BY, ACCIDENT (x2), NIGHT AND FOG and TRUE WOMEN FOR SALE. There are others and I hope to show them to you!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Category III is for me!....and repeat....

Posted these screen shots just because they make me happy. "Category III is for me" is my daily life affirming mantra. I try and watch something Category III related every week. Who needs psychotropic drugs when you have Billy Tang Hin-shing blood and Otto Chan Juk-tiu boobies?

Dragon Lord (1982)

Dragon Lord


Another poster from my friends over at the Kung Fu Friday's blog. Jackie Chan's 1982 martial arts flick DRAGON LORD aka YOUNG MASTER IN LOVE. The poster was already torn when given to me but I don't really care. I suspect the poster was proffered to lighten the load of an extensive collection that didn't have any room for a cripple. But I will gladly give any crippled or crumpled poster a loving home. Note to anyone that is looking to get rid of any HK movie junk: Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled memorabilia, yearning to breath free, the wretched refuse of your overstuffed closets and cramped crawl spaces, send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door.....of Bullets Over Chinatown. I'm an ass.

Friday, March 19, 2010

VHS goodies

Happy Together, The Wrath of Silence, Bloody Mary Killer

Some more of my ever growing collection. Pretty cool World Video VHS of Wong Kar-wai's HAPPY TOGETHER. It's a double VHS a la many a Tai Seng VHS title. Beautiful movie. THE WRATH OF SILENCE is a pretty sweet thriller starring Anita Yuen Wing-yee and Takeshi Kaneshiro. Directed by the middling Frankie Chan Fan-kei, the film was produced in 1994, around the high water mark of the CAT III sensation and while not mentioned in the same breath as genre classics like RUN AND KILL, RED TO KILL, or THE UNTOLD STORY, the film definitely has it's place. The VHS shown above is actually a copy of the movie. Early on in my HK movie collecting frenzy there was a nearby video store that had a few hundred HK flicks on VHS. I may have mentioned it before. Stocked mostly with Tai Seng or copies that they bought from a gray market company (I think one of the video stores owners ran his own gray market company?) This was the days well before the Internet and as the only local product were about a dozen or so overpriced Tai Seng titles, I bought a dual deck VCR and began copying. I copied hundreds. As time went on I would, and still do, update my copies with legit VHS, VCD's, or DVD's and get rid of the old copied films. I have since updated my copy of THE WRATH OF SILENCE and now have a legit VHS and VCD. This old copy was readily available so I took it's picture. BLOODY MARY KILLER aka UNDEFEATABLE is a Godfrey Ho shitter starring Cynthia Rothrock. Godfrey Ho. Shall I go on?

My Wife's Lover, Hong Kong Night Guide, The Raiders of Loesing Treasure

MY WIFE'S LOVER is a 1992 adult drama about infidelity. There is a nice amount of soft core goodness for the pervs but little else on offer. Director Kevin Chu Ga-wang is a member of the Hong Kong Film Development Council, a collaboration who's aim is to support HK films in other Asian markets. A link to their site is at the bottom of this post. Check it out! HONG KONG NIGHT GUIDE is a faux documentary about the sex industry throughout HK. It's akin to Otto Chan's UNDER THE ROSE and KEY TO FORTUNE. The VHS pictured above is a copy like THE WRATH OF SILENCE. I have yet to upgrade this film but will eventually do so. I only have a few dozen 'copied' HK flicks left on VHS. The majority are rare and either extremely hard to find or OOP. My goal is to get legit copies and to phase these fake ones out. I'm running out of room! As for HONG KONG NIGHT GUIDE, I am hoping to put up a review and some screen shots pretty soon. So watch for that. THE RAIDERS OF LOESING TREASURE aka THE RAIDERS OF LOOSING TREASURE aka THUNDER MISSION (yes it's 'Loesing' and 'Loosing') is a 1992 action film starring Mr. Alex 'Jet Pack' Fong Chung-sun, Wu Ma, and Michiko Nishiwaki. It's an OK yarn involving a fair amount of action and ninjas. Action? Check. Michiko? Check. NINJAS???? CHECK! You could do a lot worse on a rainy weekend afternoon. I would suspect this film would be better enjoyed by HK cinema fans than the casual viewer though. Be advised.

Nick Chin and Magazine Gap Road @ NYAFF '09

Magazine Gap Road

I was lucky enough to attend a few special screenings last year at the New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF). Held at the IFC Center in the West Village of NYC and run by the fine folks over at Subway Cinema. It's a bit late (as is this entire blog) but I hope to post a few pics of the films and people I met at the fest. Up first is Nicholas Chin and his first full length feature film, MAGAZINE GAP ROAD. Chin's film is a molasses moving meditation on broken lives that mingle and crash together amongst the upper class backdrop of HK's Victoria Peak. If you didn't know, Magazine Gap Road is an actual road on Hong Kong Island that leads up to the Peak. If you were to look at a capsule review of MAGAZINE GAP ROAD, you might be lead to believe the film is something that it's not. One such review might read: Elvis Tsui Kam-kong stars as a broken down, boozing, ex-cop who has a chance at self redemption as he tries to rescue a high price call girl from hooker oblivion! Sounds like a kick-ass CAT III goodie! A bit cliche? Sure. But it has Tsui Kam-kong and hookers! Score! A CAT III film MAGAZINE GAP ROAD is not. Though it's themes and a little violence scrape that loving film rating, this film aims to be much more. I'm not quite sure it succeeded.

As I mentioned above, the film is slow moving. This is only partially forgiven by the talent on screen. Chin was fortunate enough to tap a few wonderful HK actors who play there parts to perfection. Tsui Kam-kong, Jessy Meng Guang-mei, and Richard Ng Yiu-hon are quite excellent and hold this film by the young rookie Chin together. Richard Ng Yiu-hon's son, Carl Ng Ka-lung, who I have seen in a bunch of films, is the weakest link. He is HK's Hayden Christensen. He is tough to watch. His performance is wooden and his speech is monotone. Chin's forte is photography and while the film has it's narrative shortcoming's, it is quite sharp, clean, and beautiful to look at. Chin knows how to film a movie. Writing one on the other hand, he appears to need some seasoning...

Case in point....after the screening of the film Chin was on hand to be interviewed by NYAFF MC Grady Hendrix as well as take questions from the audience. I wish I had better pictures to show you but my camera sucks. In those pics you would see a nervous young man who appeared very unsure of himself. Hand grabbing the back of his neck. Not speaking into the mic until an audience member yelled out to him to do so. A question from the audience was raised as to why, in a film concerning prostitutes, was there no nudity or sex scenes? Now this is my kind of audience member and question! Good job sir! Chin was forthcoming and seemed honest in his reply, finally saying that he was, "kinda shy and scared to ask them to take there clothes off." He saved himself slightly by also saying that, "this wasn't that type of film." OK. I can get on board with his rationale. I would have prefered....well, you know what I would have prefered. But I understood his reluctance. Maybe this film wasn't "that type" of film. I believe him. But with these answers, the former at least, he shows immaturity. I just think of a director being bold and omniscient. There is no "shy" and "scared". This cautiousness is transparent in the film and while not a total misstep, the film is also not a total success. But I suppose as Chin is a new filmmaker, I can forgive him. A little.

On the way out of the theater after the Q&A I managed to stop Nick and ask for an autograph. I wasn't a total geeky fanboy as I was with John Woo. I told him how much I liked his film, which was the absolute truth at the time. I didn't lie. My mind wasn't made up until my train ride home when I was able to sit and digest the film properly. It's a film that needs marinating time. Nick was gracious and signed a glossy photo of the poster that I had printed out (pictured above). Chin appears to be a very talented filmmaker. I can comfortably give MAGAZINE GAP ROAD a slight recommendation. If Chin grows a bit in his form and proves it in his content, I will definitely be in queue to see what he has to offer.

OK. A little fun here. So, below is a video that shows part of the Q&A session with Nick Chin after the screening of MAGAZINE GAP ROAD. The question that I had mentioned above, about why there isn't any nudity or sex scenes in the film is asked at approximately the 0:42 mark. Nick gives his answer. At about the 1:06 mark you can hear me, mockingly "BOOOOOOO" Chin and his reasoning. It got a nice response. I'm such an ass. Enjoy.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Gen-X Cops (1999)

Japanese mini poster for the 1999 Benny Chan Muk-sing action pic GEN-X COPS. By no means a great movie but a fairly entertaining one, and at the time of release, was very accesible to even non-asian film fans. I recall seeing it in video rental stores as well as music/movie stores for a fairly reasonable price. As per HKMDB the film grossed more than $15 million in HK, thus unfortunately spawning a sequel. The sequel, GEN-Y COPS, however, is almost so bad it's good! Edison Chen, before he became an amateur nude photographer, stars in the film and his performance is just god awful. Maggie Q is also in GEN-Y COPS and the only reason to to American actor Paul Rudd's wild hairdo. What is Rudd doing in this film? Hard times and needed money for rent? Smack habit? Vacation in Hong Kong? I have always been curious? Anyone know?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

CJ7 and Shou Gou!

CJ7 and my girlfriend's dog Shou Gou

Impetus Fire (1988)

Here is the 1988 Hong Kong/ Filipino co-production "adult drama", IMPETUS FIRE. Well, who knows if this information is true? It is, at least, according to everyone's favorite Asian film historian, a one Mr. Thomas Weisser (tongue planted firmly in cheek). And as we all know, like E.F. Hutton, when Mr. Weisser talks Asian Cinema, people listen! Anyway, there is little info around on this film so instead of lambasting Mr. Weisser I will thank him for being the first to point this curiosity piece out to me. Even though this film sucks. The VHS copy I have (pictured above) was bought many moons ago from some crap gray market company. Took a few pics of the awesome quality of this super long play VHS. The things I do for you guys......
If things go well I might be showing her my O-face. Oh!...Oh!...Oh!

Being a porno, and trying to keep this blog as CAT IIB rated as possible, there weren't many screen shots I could really use. I'm not quite sure what audience this film was actually made for? It's extremely low budget and filled with some of the ugliest actors i've ever seen. Their genitalia isn't anything to write home about either. The film is unsubtitled and has minimal dialogue. It also goes on for long stretches without any...."action." Sometimes it looks like the director (the film is credited to someone by the name of Hwa Hu, or Hu Hwa....Hu cares?) set up a stationary camera and just let it roll for minutes at a time. There is an inordinate amount of awkward dancing in a nightclub for some reason? A lot of time goes by with people just dancing to awful instrumental versions of 80's American pop music. I was able to hear some great muzak renditions of Phil Collin's "Against All Odds" and Whitney Houston's "Saving All My Love For You." There is also a nookie scene where the instrumental Lionel Richie ditty "Say You, Say Me" plays. It was really lovely. This is an endurance test folks.

Bite my lip and close my eyes, take me away to awful HK porno paradise

Captain Winky is mine! All mine! Bwaaaa haaaa haaaaaa
There is a fair amount of hardcore happy time in this garbage porn flick. But it is really just awful to look at. To be honest, the fast forward button was my best friend. Even during the groove scenes. There really wasn't much of a story or anything I could really follow. The climax of the film had something to do with blackmail and, as you can see by the above pic, the dirtbag villain gets his comeuppance as our nubile heroine chops off Mr. Johnson! Yikes! That smarts!
I can't really recommend this film. But, you will either succumb to your curiosity and seek this one out, or stay away in droves. I would advise the latter.

Here lies an unknown poster....? (2)

Name that movie!

Sit still! I have to suck out the venom!

They call me Back Door San-ta

Group hug!

Another poster I recently acquired. And another mystery? This one is a damn sight better than the last unknown poster though. Lot's of lascivious monkey affairs going on here. Hooray! Any ideas or leads as to the name of the film or maybe an actor or body part of an actor that looks familiar?