Monday, September 26, 2011

Mail Call!!! Kingwho? Spends Money He Shouldn't Have!

I've been a baaaaaad boy.  I'm hoping Wei doesn't see this post as I'm supposed to be saving money for our wedding and a place to live.  But that whore/goddess Ebay flashed me her goodies once again and I just couldn't resist.  I'm a horndog for those sweet, luscious, and beautiful HK/Taiwanese movies.  Above is the HK oddity, HONG KONG ADAM'S FAMILY, starring an all-star dream cast; Chan wai-man, Sek Kin, Shing Fui-on, Jimmy Lung Fong, Shum Wai, Lee Shu-kei, Wu Fung, William Ho Ka-kui, Maria Cordero, and Karel Wong Chi-yeung.  THE TRANSMIGRATION ROMANCE is a VHS that I once had but lost while moving house many moons ago.  I hadn't seen it way back when and am so stoked to have it back!   Cynthia Khan and Carter Wong Ka-tat star.  I recently got this one in as a DVD-r as well.  

THE DEADLY WARRANT is a Taiwanese shooter aka A KILLING ORDER.  I found the VCD in C-town a few years ago under the latter title.  If I recall correctly, It's a simple, run of the mill, gangster yarn (aren't they all?) starring David Lam Wai, and Dick Wei.  The film was also written and directed by Mr. Dick!  GAMBLING BARON, directed by veteran Richard Yueng Kuen, is an action/crime film that I assume also displays HK cinema's ever present gambling shenanigans.  Max Mok Siu-cheung and Roy Cheung Yiu-yeung are the heavy hitters in this one while Jimmy Lung Fong, Ng Suet-man, Lee Suet-man, Hugo Ng Doi-yeung, Billy Chow Bei-lei, and Karel Wong Chi-yeung play supporting fiddle.

More Taiwanese madness as Wu Ma and Mark Cheng Ho-nam in a Taiwanese gambling pic WIN THEM ALL.  I can't find any info on the film under this title but it appears to be the early 90's production aka, GAMBLING GHOSTS ARE READY, also starring Siu Yam-yam, Yukari Oshima, Alexander Lo Rei and Ku Feng.  I also recently got this in on a DVD-r under the 'aka' title.  NO GUILTY is an HK/ Taiwanese co-production starring one of my fave CAT III starlets, the pixie cute, Chan Wing-chi.  It's listed as CAT II but I believe may have been a bit more hard core than that?  Also starring David Lam-wai, Ku Feng, and Alexander Lo Rei. 

HARD TOUCHING is a mid 90's CAT III shot-on-vid pic that up until this VHS have only been able to find unsubbed.  I have the DVD, VCD, and LD, ALL unsubbed.  I hope this one is worth having 4 copies of?  Sleazy K has told me it isn't.  The film is an Alex Fong Chung-sun vehicle as well as the other VHS posted in the pic, DESPERATE DUO.  No info on DESPERATE DUO but it looks like an early 90's Taiwanese gangland odyssey with Ku Feng and Dick Wei joining the fray.

And my BIG SCORE of Ms. Mail Lady's delivery, CITY ON FIRE.  Nooooo.  Not THAT CITY ON FIRE.  But a 1993 Taiwanese action romp starring Mark Cheng Ho-nam, Michiko Nishiwaki, and, of course, Wu Ma.  I have been looking for this film for about a dozen years or so and have never come across it in any format.  When I saw this for sale I moistened my leopard print boxer briefs.  John Charles reviewed the film in his book, HONG KONG FILMOGRAPHY, and gave this celluloid classic a 1 out of 10.  In Kingwho? speak that translates to a must see. 

Ahhhh.  The ever-elusive documentary, TAIWAN BLACK MOVIES.  Like chasing after the wind, getting a hold of this film has proven fruitless.  There was once a copy posted to Youtube but it lacked subtitles.  But finally, thanks to a fine friend, a subtitled copy is now in my possession!  Bwwahahahahaha!  And now the edumacation of Kingwho? and Taiwanese cinema can now commence!  Taiwan Black Movies were a collective of films born out of the late 70's, booming into the 80's, spinning tales of socio-political crime and violence.  This doc immediately goes to the front of my queue.  For an excellent review of this film, read John Chalres write-up HERE!!!!

HK film critic and essayist, Perry Lam's, book ONCE A HERO: THE VANASHING HONG KONG CINEMA is a collection of his essays on more recent films from the late 20-oughts.  Perry and I would appear to get along well as we both jockey aboard the same wavelength and sing the same mantra; "They don't make 'em like they used to anymore."  In the book, Perry, for the most part nicely explains the differences between  heyday HK cinema and the mostly weak and empty cinema of today's HK and it's filmmakers.  Citing examples to back his claims, Perry's book isn't all disdain, and though we share the same temperament, we don't always agree.  But it's a 90/10 split.  Among the films covered in this volume are NIGHT AND FOG, SHINJUKU INCIDENT, CRAZY RACER, A SIMPLE NOODLE STORY, INVISIBLE TARGET, VENGEANCE, LOVE IN A PUFF, AFTER THIS OUR EXILE, EXODUS, FIRE OF CONSCIENCE, and EYE IN THE SKY, to name just a few. This book comes enormously recommended and is well thought out and competently opinionated. Order it HERE!

Another film that has been quite the hard find for the past 15 or so years is the intense under cover cop flick, EDGE OF DARKNESS.  Old school actor Fung Hak-on directs this crime actioner with deft force.  EDGE OF DARKNESS was scripted by former Royal Hong Kong Policeman turned reliable actor, Philip Chan Yan-kin and is wonderfully acted by Alex Man, Chin Siu-ho, and John Shum Kin-fun.  Shum, whose better known as a comic presence in films, almost steals the show as a put upon friend of undercover 5-0, Chin Siu-ho.  The fodder present in this film is true grit and EDGE OF DARKNESS is an astounding HK crime film.


  1. Naughty Kingwho? Excellent mail call, as usual I've never heard of most of these movies. The Hong Kong Adams family, I can only dream as to what that must be like!
    Thanks for bringing the Once a hero book to my attention, always on the lookout for new reading fodder on my favourite subject. Must get a copy of that asap. I'd love to see the Taiwan black movie doc, I'd love to hear your take on it when you've seen it.

  2. "I'm hoping Wei doesn't see this post as I'm supposed to be saving money for our wedding and a place to live."

    It is annoying how things like a wedding and having a home get in the way of really important stuff like collecting essential HK movie stuff.

    "Once a Hero" sounds good--I just ordered it. In addition to the link to the publisher there are some quotes from it at HKcinemagic. Thanks a lot for mentioning it.

    Full agreement with A Hero Never Dies--"Hong Kong Adams Family" sounds like a must see movie if it is anywhere close to outrageously horrible as the title hints at.

  3. Thanks, AHND. I think you will dig the book a lot. Even if there aren't any pictures! =P
    If I get the chance, I will definitely post something about Taiwan Black Movies. Currently, Sleazy K and I are trying to gather as many of these rare titles we can and possibly put together a podcast?

    ewaffle, those pesky real life plans always ruin a good time. HK movies trump all!

    I gave the HKcinemagic review of Once A hero a cursory look and it's how I first found out about the book. It's a fine and somewhat informative book without getting overly academic.

    I'm hoping to watch HK Adams Family soon and review it for the blog and/or an upcoming Podcast on Fire. There is a torrent of it floating around if you are interested???


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