Thursday, November 11, 2010

C-town visit and other crap

Wei and I made a quick jaunt into C-town this evening for dinner and HK movie shopping. Wei's cousin R attends NYU and lives in the city, so she met up with us, as she usually does when we are in C-town, and we all went to Big Wong's for dinner. Before meeting up with R, Wei bravely tagged along and humored me, as she always does, and assisted me in my HK movie search.

The past few times in C-town I began to slowly discover that I have been buying so much over the years that my favorite joints supply is drying up. I used to come home with 40 movies for $80. Recently, i've been taking home less and less, mostly buying new flicks, but still breaking the bank. This was the case tonight. I bought 10 or so movies, mostly all new films, and I spent over 100 bucks!? I've used and abused my favorite haunts and the HK cinema well seems to be running dry. So it goes, I suppose?

Regardless, I was quite satisfied with my haul. Among the swag were new DVD's of, AFTERSHOCK, OCEAN HEAVEN, THE LEGEND OF CHEN ZHEN, AMPHETAMINE, THE BREAK UP CLUB, CITY UNDER SIEGE (this time WITH English subs!), STOOL PIGEON, and DREAM HOME. Not bad. Not Bad. I'm re-watching DREAM HOME as I write this. If you missed my first blog entry about the dark comic brutality of DREAM HOME, click.....right.....HERE.
I also took a few cheesy shots of store front movie posters. Didn't have my camera with me so my Blackberry had to suffice. After shopping, met up with R, headed over to Big Wong's on Mott St., and had the usual, Roast Pork and Roast Duck over rice with a fried egg, Chinese broccoli, and ginger-scallion sauce on the side. My man boobs are kept luscious because of this delicious din-din.

I also had a nice mail call today. FINALLY picked up this book from Amazon after a few years of eyeballing it. HONG KONG MURDERS (a used copy from the Cleveland Public Library. Cleveland does indeed rock.) by Kate Whitehead runs (I hope in depth?) through the history of the fragrant harbors baddies including the stories of HK's only two serial killers, Lam Kor-wan aka 'Dr. Lamb', and Lam Kwok-wai aka 'The Tuen Muen Rapist'. Lam Kor-wan was immortalized, of course, in DR. LAMB, portayed by some guy who's name escapes me at the moment. Ahem. The story of Lam Kwok-wai was also set to film in the 1994 Cha Chuen-yee true life thriller THE RAPIST. To read an old-ass review I wrote of Chuen-yee's exceptional thriller, go HERE. Also included in the book is the tale of Cheung Chi Keung aka 'Big Spender,' as portrayed by Ray Lui Leung-wai in, well, BIG SPENDER, and also played by that damn actor who's name is escaping me now?! It's driving me nuts! Anyway, that movie is called OPERATION BILLIONAIRES. Wan Kuok-koi aka Broken Tooth Koi is also chronicled. That gosh darn actor who's name I can't think of and it's beginning to really piss me off now......well, he also headlines the supposed true to life story of Broken Tooth Koi in the film CASINO. Ten or so other sensational, ripped-from-the-headlines yarns about the seedier side of HK fill out the book and I am itching to rip into the pages.


And finally, a little shout to all of my Bay Area friends. My buddy Coffin Jon over at the yakuza cool Vcinema is teaming up with The Red Lantern for a West Coast premiere/San Francisco screening of the Ninja flick KAMUI GAIDEN! Check out the pic below or go HERE for more details.

If there are any naked lady ninjas in the film, let me know. Have fun!


  1. I like those pics of the posters!

    You got any pics of the roast duck and rice?

  2. Do you ever shop at Lai Ying on 75 Chrystie st? If not I highly recommend that you pay them a visit as they have a great selection and Paul or Michelle are very helpful. They don't sell bootlegs so everything in the store is legitimate.

  3. Glenn, I think I have a pic of the roast pork and duck over rice somwhere in facebook photos? It's really, really good. The ginger scallion sauce is unbelievable as well.

    Anonymous, I always stop by at Lai Ying when i'm in C-town. It is one of my regular stops. Unfortunately I don't usually buy much from them as they are very expensive. I can usually find the same discs online for a few bucks cheaper. And the other places I go to in C-town usually have the same movies a lot cheaper. They are out of region and some are 'questionable', but I have found them to be reliable and legit for the most part. I just wrote a friend recommending Lai Ying for their legitimacy. I will be heading back into C-town in a few weeks and if my other spots don't have Kenneth Bi's Girl$, I saw it at Lai Ying for about $19, and I plan on picking it up.

  4. I have that book too! It was too short for me; I would have loved much more details and societal info. Broken Tooth Koi is one of my most favoritest gangsters. You know he funded CASINO, right? Very interesting stories about him and the movie. As of last year, he was still in prison. I try to keep up on his news...

  5. Achillesgirl, just finished the book last night. I agree. Way too short. I wanted more when it was done. It read like a news expose, failing to go into too much depth. And it needed more pictures. I want photos of Dr. Lamb and the Tuen Muen Rapist. Mugshots. Crime scene photos. I LOVE THAT STUFF!!! And I was well aware of Broken Tooth before this book. I did some background checks on him years ago before watching Casino. What a character!

  6. Hi Kingwho? --

    Re the HK video situation: it's not the cinema that has run dry but the videos. So many films are just not available on DVD or even VCD -- and the video people seem to be focusing on reissues of familiar films along with new films rather than bringing more old gems. Which is why I find myself going a lot to the Hong Kong Film Archive and such. (Sorry to rub that into your face but... well, at least take solace that there are lots of yet unseen titles out there!)

    Also, really like the "Hong Kong Murders" book. And indeed re there being quite a few stories in there that inspired Hong Kong movies. (One that you may be less familiar with - chapter 12 inspired "From the Queen to the Chief Executive", Herman Yau's best film IMNSHO.)

  7. Hi YTSL,

    Thanks for rubbing my face in you being able to visit the Hong Kong Film Archives. I will hopefully get to HK someday!? =P

    You are definitely right about companies not releasing old gems in favor of reissues of popular films and newer films. The shops that I go to in NYC rarely replenish their old stock and usually only get newer films or new re-mastered version of old films. On occasion they do get nice Fortune Star "Legendary Collection" dvd's and vcd's in, but, again, they usually only focus on the more mainstream actors films. What I have also noticed, especially with younger HK film fans, is that they tend to utilize the internet much more. My fiances cousins are in there late teens/ early twenties and they love Jay Chou and Wang Leehom. When I offer to pick up their latest movies in Chinatown they look at me like i'm crazy and say that they have already seen the movie online for free! That being said, the movie shops in Chinatown are closing down, downsizing, or turning to cheap bootlegs.

    I finished the book "Hong Kong Murders" last week and I knew I had seen a movie with that story line from Chapter 12. I just couldn't place it?! Thanks for pointing out Herman Yau's film. I did see it and it was very good. I was thinking it was a CAT III film (of course =P) like Suburb Murder. I noticed most of the other stories that inspired movies. It was a fun read. I think the story in Chapter 2, about the homosexual Police Officer, John MacLennan, would make a great movie. Maybe if Lawrence (Ah Mon) Lau would stop making the same exact movie over and over again, he can take a look at this story. And maybe have Scud write it? =P


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