Friday, 2 December 2016

ONCE UPON A TIME IN TRIAD SOCIETY (Cha Chuen-Yee, HK 1996)

I've just watched ONCE UPON A TIME IN TRIAD SOCIETY for the first time and now I'm kicking myself in the head for having had it on my shelf for bloody five years without watching it. It is awesome! So different, so inventive, so smart and clever. Different from any other HK film I've seen, and mind you this isn't even some art-house film, it's "just" a clever gangster film - and somehow it's the complete opposite of THE KILLER, the message in this one is trust no one, everyone's bad, everything is a lie, and the main character bad guy (Francis Ng) isn't good underneath it all, he's just a cunt. But even so has sympathetic features. 

Five years ago this Malaysian DVD was the only DVD release of the film anywhere in the world and it might still be. A quick google turns up zilch. The DVD carries the burnt-in theatrical HK subs in English and Chinese (and optional Malay subs). There's an unrelated sequel by the same director.



People who complain about the level of medical attention in their home country should try and seek help at a Hong Kong hospital. Here's a scene of a guy's been shot in the chest and a nurse is trying to save his life putting a Kleenex on the wound. o_O

PS: by the way, the hot nurse in the screen grab is poor Pauline Chan. Six years later she jumped out a 24th floor window. Her sad story is on Wiki.

Monday, 24 October 2016

The LOST sequel to THE BIG BOSS is finally getting released to home-cinema!!!

Awesome news!!!

THE BIG BOSS PART 2 starring Lo Lieh and Bruce Le from 1976 (which I strongly believe is an official sequel to Bruce Lee's THE BIG BOSS) is finally getting a blu-ray release!!!


Years ago I posted about the film and the elusive 35mm copy that the person behind the South African video label Globe owned and later sold off to a cinema in Zambia. Well, it seems he DID make a copy (I have no idea in which format - dvd-r maybe?) before he sold off his 35mm print to the Zambian cinema, and he has now sold off his copy (dupe) to a label. They (the label) wrote to me recently because they though I owned a 35mm print (as I had re-uploaded the Globe guy's 10 min footage to YouTube). I am certain it's the same label. I won't mention who they are till there's an official announcement but it's a good, well-known label in the USA. No release date yet.

I have the info about the Globe guy's copy from a post of his on Kung Fu Fandom message board from last Tuesday.

This is indeed great news and I can't wait to see the film. I'm fully aware that fans of "real" martial arts films consider BIG BOSS PART 2 to be a piece of shite like the rest of the brucesploitation films. But I kinda come from the other side of "karate film" fandom, the "dark side" if you will, I'm totally into trashy B movies and as I said I can't wait to see this.

Finally. After fuck knows how many years I've been looking for a copy. I tried several times to get a copy from the Globe guy but without any luck.

Here's a link to my old main post about the film (which includes the trailer and 10 minutes of footage which was uploaded by the Globe guy). And here's the entry for the film at the Hong Kong Movie Data Base.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

BLACK CAT 2: The Assassination of President Yeltsin (HK 1992)

I just rewatched Stephen Shin's Hong Kong film BLACK CAT 2 from 1992. Not surprisingly it's a sequel to BLACK CAT (1991) also directed by Stephen Shin. The film's original cinema title is actually BLACK CAT 2: THE ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENT YELTSIN, hahaha.

Anyhoo, while the first film is a direct remake of Luc Besson's French film NIKITA, the sequel is a film all of its own. I remember when it came out 20 years ago, nobody - as in NOBODY - had anything positive to say about the film and, uh, maybe I bought into that notion a bit. I remember watching the film many years ago and disliking it not least because I thought there were simply too many gwailos in it. LOL. 

It's been a number of years since I watched the first film so this time I was able to watch the sequel as a stand alone film and quite frankly I enjoyed it quite a bit. No, it's probably not all that well written in the plot department, and no, the main character of the film, the "Black Cat" aka Erica, isn't even really the main character in the film. She's so two-dimensional that she comes across as a cartoon character, no depth what so ever. 

What saves the film are the action scenes, the shoot-out scenes and the fight scenes. And they come aplenty. As I said the first film is a remake and maybe because Stephen Shin & Co. actually had to come up with a plot of their own this time they kinda forgot what kind of character Erica is (a hitman). Instead they turned her into almost a cyborg. If part 1 was Nikita this film is Terminator 2!!! 


The ending is terrible but, hey, that's just Hong Kong for ya. But don't worry, there's two more sequels, BLACK CAT IN JAIL (2000) and THE BLACK CAT AGENT FILES (2003). Part 3 is right out terrible and part 4 only exists on unsubbed DVD (after having owned part 4 for something like a full decade I still haven't bothered to watch it). 


I highly recommend part 1. It's a better film than the film it remakes! Part 2 is recommended for those of you who are able to accept a wild action movie with a shit plot. Forget about part 3 and 4 and watch part 1 again. 


PS: it's a old (and now stained due to being right next to the coffee machine) poster from one of the Chinese cinemas in Melbourne on my wall. I actually watched BLACK CAT there in the early 90's.