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Thread: Vintage Hong Kong action movies on DVD thread

  1. #1
    Scholar of Sleaze Paul L's Avatar
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    Vintage Hong Kong action movies on DVD thread

    I've been sorting through my DVDs over the past few weeks, and I've got a wacking great stack of Hong Kong action movies that I've picked up cheaply on DVD over the years - a number of them that I haven't watched yet.

    I also unearthed my DVD copy of Wong Jing's THE LAST BLOOD, which - and I don't care what anyone says to the contrary - I absolutely love.

    I thought it'd be nice to have a thread in which we can discuss matters relating to those HK action movies of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s that we so adore. This might give me impetus to work the way through my whole collection of these things

    Right now, I've got to decide between watching TIGER ON THE BEAT II (which I've only seen via naff VCD before, and which I recently bought on DVD via the Universe disc), THE RED PANTHER (which is a new 'un to me), FINGER ON THE TRIGGER and THE LAW WITH TWO PHASES. Any recommendations?
    'You know, I'd almost forgotten what your eyes looked like. Still the same. Pissholes in the snow'

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    Administrator Ian Jane's Avatar
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    We just watched The Enforcer, the Jet Li movie from 1995, yesterday. The US DVD is dubbed and extra goofy for it and honestly I think the kid steals the show way more than Jet does but it's a fun, if pretty brainless, feature. I find Anita Mui more likeable than average in this movie for some reason. The same kid appeared in Legend of Shaolin with Jet Li too, which is kind of cool I guess.

    Oddly enough, I have a pretty sizable stack of HK DVDs that I picked up cheap years back that I've never watched too. Oh, I watched plenty of them, but it's just that I bought so many that I didn't get around to everything.

    Good idea for a thread.
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  3. #3
    Scholar of Sleaze Paul L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Jane View Post
    We just watched The Enforcer, the Jet Li movie from 1995, yesterday. The US DVD is dubbed and extra goofy for it and honestly I think the kid steals the show way more than Jet does but it's a fun, if pretty brainless, feature. I find Anita Mui more likeable than average in this movie for some reason. The same kid appeared in Legend of Shaolin with Jet Li too, which is kind of cool I guess.
    I like THE ENFORCER, Ian. It's a fun little flick. I've never seen the dubbed version though: the DVD I currently own is the Kam & Ronson disc, under the title MY FATHER IS A HERO.

    My favourite Jet Li action picture of that period is probably THE MASTER. I keep returning to that one. It's lotsa fun. (Even the missus, who's not a huge fan of HK movies, enjoys that picture.) I also like HIGH RISK.

    I'm currently archiving my HK VCDs, ripping them to my laptop and converting them to mp4 files - I've had all sorts of trouble trying to play them in my DVD player. Again, with those, I bought stacks of them cheaply, over the years, and haven't got round to watching many of them yet.
    'You know, I'd almost forgotten what your eyes looked like. Still the same. Pissholes in the snow'

    http://www.paul-a-j-lewis.com (my photography website)
    'All explaining in movies can be thrown out, I think': Elmore Leonard

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    Scholar of Sleaze Paul L's Avatar
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    I'm halfway through THE RED PANTHER (teabreak!) and it's a wacky mess that oscillates between silly slapstick (the detective offers his mother a banana and she accidentally bites his finger) and grotesque, quite nasty violence. During an autopsy, the detective slaps the head of one of his subordinates for chewing gum, sending the young man face first into the gruesome exposed grue (exposed brain?) leaking out of the slashed skull of a murder victim. It's that kinda film



    Le trailer:
    'You know, I'd almost forgotten what your eyes looked like. Still the same. Pissholes in the snow'

    http://www.paul-a-j-lewis.com (my photography website)
    'All explaining in movies can be thrown out, I think': Elmore Leonard

  5. #5
    Senior Member The Silly Swede's Avatar
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    The Last Blood is insanely good!

    my personal fave of the era though is The Big Heat, which goes way over the top with gruesome violence in a fairly straightforward cop Movie.
    "No presh from the Dresh!"

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    Senior Member Robin Bougie's Avatar
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    Yeah, THE BIG HEAT is pretty underrated. Good call on that.

  7. #7
    BIG HEAT is good!

    I also like HIGH RISK...Wong Jings personal piss take of Jackie Chan apparently....More good stuff!

    You cant go far wrong with a WONG JING flick in my book!

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    Administrator Ian Jane's Avatar
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    I remember the first time I saw High Risk not realizing it was intentionally digging at Chan and wondering why the guy in the movie was doing such a goofy Jackie Chan impersonation.

    Once I figured out it was intentional it made more sense.
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  9. #9
    Scholar of Sleaze Paul L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
    I'm halfway through THE RED PANTHER (teabreak!) and it's a wacky mess that oscillates between silly slapstick (the detective offers his mother a banana and she accidentally bites his finger) and grotesque, quite nasty violence. During an autopsy, the detective slaps the head of one of his subordinates for chewing gum, sending the young man face first into the gruesome exposed grue (exposed brain?) leaking out of the slashed skull of a murder victim. It's that kinda film

    Having watched the whole film last night, it has to be said that THE RED PANTHER really has to be seen to be believed. A useless middle-aged detective - torn between his overbearing mother and his girlfriend, and who suffers from a posterior ulcer(!!) - is commissioned with the task of tracking down a serial killer who has been targeting people with various medical problems. One of the suspects is a medical student who works as a butcher by day and, by night, sneaks into the mortuary to remove the organs of the cadavers there, so as to use them as ingredients in the meats he sells on his family's market stall(!!) - of course, our wacky cop ends up devouring some of this offal.

    Slapstick comedy is offset by fetishistic and often gruesome murder scenes, largely shot from the killer's point of view, that recall those of the 1970s thrilling all'italiana pictures.

    I'd say this is a spoiler, but these things are so formulaic that the pleasure isn't in seeing what happens but rather how it's depicted. During the climax, the hero ends up being anaesthetised by the killer and wakes up in the hospital's morgue. He is chased through the hospital by the killer, an scalpel-wielding elderly woman(!!). He is spun around inside an industrial washing machine(!!) Then, whilst unconscious, the killer tries to operate on his posterior ulcer, but the cop wakes up and shoves a scalpel into the killer's brain. The - seemingly dead - killer than suddenly sits up and thrusts said scalpel into the arse of the cop, who runs around the room in a Benny Hill-stylee(!!) I kid you not.

    I've discovered that the whole ending is up on Dailymotion. Enjoy!


    Anyone else seen this one?
    'You know, I'd almost forgotten what your eyes looked like. Still the same. Pissholes in the snow'

    http://www.paul-a-j-lewis.com (my photography website)
    'All explaining in movies can be thrown out, I think': Elmore Leonard

  10. #10
    Scholar of Sleaze Paul L's Avatar
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    Yesterday, I watched the Jet Li film HITMAN (released in the US as CONTRACT KILLER) for the first time. I bought the HKL DVD back when it was first released (in '99 or thereabouts, I reckon) but, for whatever reason, never got round to watching it - various house moves, etc, kept getting it hidden in storage.

    It's not a bad little film. I liked Eric Tsang's role as the comic relief. The cast give it their all - Simon Yam is as deadpan as usual. (And doesn't he look young in the interview segments that are part of the DVD's extra features?) The narrative is fairly predictable and formulaic - but that's not too much of a problem as the action, for the most part, is nicely handled. However, I felt that in many of the dialogue scenes, the beats were all wrong - the rhythm of the editing in the non-action sequences seemed askew. Perhaps this perception had something to do with the weak (imo) score - maybe the reason why it was rescored in the US?

    The US version, titled CONTRACT KILLER, is said to be six minutes shorter. Anyone know what's missing from that cut of the film?

    'You know, I'd almost forgotten what your eyes looked like. Still the same. Pissholes in the snow'

    http://www.paul-a-j-lewis.com (my photography website)
    'All explaining in movies can be thrown out, I think': Elmore Leonard

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