Tag Archives: sammo hung

MIFF 2014 – Mr Vampire (1985)

Director: Ricky Lau
Starring: Lam Ching-ying, Ricky Hui, Chin Siu-ho, Moon Lee

Pure cinematic comfort food that I must have already seen dozens of times on SBS TV in Australia when it was thrashed to death in the 90s. I am not sure if I have ever seen it on the big screen.

Yes, it is all about Lam Ching-ying’s eyebrows, or eyebrow in this case. I even bought some fake eyebrows to stick on and watch the screening, only to find they did not include any sticky stuff and were actually sideburns. Next time I will just draw them on.

Lam Ching-ying as Master Gau was actually younger than most of the cast at the time, but played the elder and this role is his most famous.

The main story concerns a rich businessman asking for his father to be reburied, but when they open the coffin they find the corpse has not decomposed after 20 years and there is a lot of trouble after this. The vampires in this movie are not wimpy sparkly ones, they may only be able to hop but they are like the Terminator as nothing seems to stop them except for extreme force.

The supporting cast are nothing to be sneezed at with Ricky Hui as Man Choi and one of the legendary Hui brothers comedy group. I like him even more when he turns into a vampire as he is a very goofy vampire.

The fight scenes are really great in this especially the final scenes where everything is destroyed and they have to start hitting the lead vampire with giant poles. I liked the fight scene in the prison where they are locked in the yard after the local police chief tells his subordinates not to open the door under any circumstances.

This film was included in the Hong Kong horror program at the festival I saw it at along with Close Encounters of the Spooky Kind and Rigor Mortis, but I could not get to see everything.

Action, HK Style – Pedicab Driver (1989)

Director: Sammo Hung
Starring: Sammo Hung, Nina Li Chi, Max Mok Siu Chung, Suen Yuet, Fennie Yuen Kit Ying, Lowell Lo Koon Ting, Meng Hoi, John Sham Kein, Billy Chow Bei Lei, Lau Kar Leung, Lam Ching Ying

Sammo Hung stars as the head of a group of sworn brothers who happen to work as pedicab drivers and help each other out when it is needed including fighting with the cargo haulers in the very first scene or helping out one of their friends who is down on their luck.

Sammo lives with his aunt who is renting out their property to a bakery. He falls for a young lady working there, only trouble is so has her boss which causes some conflict between them. Real trouble occurs when a seedy brothel owner tries to kidnap the young lady and Sammo has to pedal like hell away on the pedicab while being chased down in a car. One thing leads to another and they end up crashing through the window of a gaming house, leading to Sammo being beaten in a hard fight by the gambling house owner, Kau Kar Leung, but he earns the respect of him and is let go.

One of Sammo’s buddies has fallen in love also, but unfortunately she turns out to be ye olde “hooker with a hear of gold’, which causes a big bust up in the groups ties. Sammo’s love interest slaps them around for being so judgemental and they make up. Everything looks peachy with Sammo’s friend marrying the girl, but the evil brothel owner from before doesn’t like his women to leave, sending around goons to bust up the wedding night and leading to the final throwdown with Sammo vs. the entire gang.

This film was personally recommended to me so I was looking forward to it. Also it is not available on DVD and hard to get on VHS. I am not sure if it has even screened on SBS TV in Australia as I would have remembered it otherwise.

The fight scenes are a lot different from ordinary kung fu films as they seem a lot more harsh and brutal and you see Sammo getting more and more beaten up during the course of the scene. This is especially the case with the fight with Lau Kar Leung in the gambling house and the fight with the gangsters at the end.

I did enjoy the opening scene fight as it starts with a misunderstanding and does have the more playful elements such as the two combatants using fluorescent tubes as light sabres and being electrocuted by them with visible electricity like a cartoon. I did not think the movie was like “the Gods Must be Crazy” but it does have some funny parts to balance out the more serious drama that comes later.

In a lot of ways it does remind me of Kung Fu Hustle and certainly some of the cast from this movie appeared in that film with Sammo Hung doing fight choreography on the fight with the three masters in Pig Sty Alley.

It is a shame that this film is not as widely available as some of the other films from the 1980s as it easily stands alongside movies like Mr Canton and Lady Rose or the Project A movies if you like period drama mixed with kung fu.

While it is a kung fu story it does have things in the film that make it different like showing the result of getting into fights and even not having a normal ending as the main character says he has killed too many people in his quest for revenge and has to now try and dodge the police.

The fight with Lau Kar Leung in the gambling house including a stick battle is easily a stand out and can be watched by its own as it is very satisfying. You do end up understanding why the character who is fighting Sammo ends up respecting him as he does take quite a lot of punishment.

If you can manage to get a copy of this I would definitely recommend it as it is something special.

Action, HK Style – All the trailers*

(*) All the trailers I could find in the original language where possible. In some cases there was a clip I liked better than the trailer.

While my personal preference is for the original Shaw Brothers trailers over than the new Celestial Pictures re-release ones, it is a different marketplace so they have a particular style of their own.

A Better Tomorrow

A Better Tomorrow 2

A Hero Never Dies

Aces Go Places

Ashes of Time Redux

Breaking News

Bullet in the Head

Challenge of the Masters

City on Fire

Cold War

Come Drink With Me

Dangerous Encounters – 1st Kind

Dirty Ho

Drunken Master

Drunken Master 2

Election

Election 2

Enter the Dragon

Fist of Fury

Full Alert

Full Contact

Whoops, I mean…

God of Gamblers

Golden Swallow

Hard Boiled

Infernal Affairs

Infernal Affairs 2

Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan

Ip Man

Ip Man 2

King Kong’s Adventures in the Heavenly Palace

Kung Fu Hustle

Last Hurrah for Chivalry

Legendary Weapons of China

Long Arm of the Law

Martial Club

My Young Auntie

Once Upon a Time in China

Once Upon a Time in China II

Once Upon a Time in China III

One Nite in Mongkok

One-Armed Swordsman

Pedicab Driver

Police Story

Police Story 3: Supercop

Portland Street Blues

Reign of Assassins

Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow

The 14 Amazons

The 36th Chamber of Shaolin

The Big Boss

The Blade

The Boxer from Shantung

The Chinese Boxer

The Five Venoms

The Killer

The Magic Blade

The Man from Hong Kong

The Mission

The Prodigal Son

The Sword

The Way of the Dragon

Throw Down

True Story of Wong Fei-hung, Part One

Vengeance!

Wong Fei-hung, King of Lion Dance

Wong Fei-Hung’s Battle with the Gorilla

Wu Xia

Young and Dangerous

Thanks to the following people for the the trailers
http://www.youtube.com/user/1980Alain
http://www.youtube.com/user/AussieRoadshow
http://www.youtube.com/user/BestMAFights
http://www.youtube.com/user/bobbybulletbobson
http://www.youtube.com/user/Chinesemovietrailer
http://www.youtube.com/user/chinesemovietrailers
http://www.youtube.com/user/ChopSockyCinema
http://www.youtube.com/user/EarlKlingi
http://www.youtube.com/user/econdor7
http://www.youtube.com/user/elguaxo
http://www.youtube.com/user/fortunestarmedia
http://www.youtube.com/user/FrankBolte
http://www.youtube.com/user/GoodKineStuff
http://www.youtube.com/user/Heroicbloodshedfan
http://www.youtube.com/user/indebioscoop
http://www.youtube.com/user/karlmaka1
http://www.youtube.com/user/kungfumovietrailers
http://www.youtube.com/user/KungFuTrailers
http://www.youtube.com/user/kungtriadsociety
http://www.youtube.com/user/MadmanOnline
http://www.youtube.com/user/metalduro88
http://www.youtube.com/user/MovieTrailerGrave
http://www.youtube.com/user/MrKungFuFlix
http://www.youtube.com/user/myasianheroes
http://www.youtube.com/user/n1mr0d85
http://www.youtube.com/user/ObscureTrailers
http://www.youtube.com/user/Ogizzie
http://www.youtube.com/user/ryy79
http://www.youtube.com/user/shiftinTV
http://www.youtube.com/user/spannick
http://www.youtube.com/user/VarianceFilms
http://www.youtube.com/user/VintageFilmTrailers
http://www.youtube.com/user/whanginsik
http://www.youtube.com/user/WorleyClarence
http://www.youtube.com/user/yabbbaaa
http://www.youtube.com/user/yusochau
http://www.youtube.com/user/zhukaiww

Hong Kong cinema season at Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) 2013

Action, Hong Kong Style
6 September – 8 November 2013
Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA)
http://www.qagoma.qld.gov.au/cinematheque/current/action_hong_kong_style

While the website does have all the films listed, they are not listed by date, which is important to those wanting to come up for a weekend and who need to pick between all the movies.

I have done my best to sort through the movies and list them by date, best to check with the official site before making any plans based on these dates.

Friday 6th September 2013
Once Upon a Time in China
Once Upon a Time in China 2

Saturday 7th September 2013 (election night!)
True Story of Wong Fei-hung, Part One
Wong Fei-hung, King of Lion Dance
Drunken Master
Drunken Master 2

Sunday 8th September 2013
Challenge of the Masters
Martial Club

Wednesday 11th September 2013
Once Upon a Time in China III

Friday 13th September 2013
Come Drink With Me
Golden Swallow

Saturday 14th September 2013
One-Armed Swordsman
Vengeance!
The Boxer from Shantung
The Five Venoms

Wednesday 18th September 2013
The 14 Amazons

Friday 20th September 2013
The Big Boss
Fist of Fury

Saturday 21st September 2013
Once Upon a Time in China
Once Upon a Time in China 2
The Way of the Dragon
Enter the Dragon

Sunday 22nd September 2013
One-Armed Swordsman
Legendary Weapons of China

Friday 27th September 2013
The Five Venoms
The 36th Chamber of Shaolin

Saturday 28th September 2013 (AFL Grand Final Day)
The Chinese Boxer
The Man from Hong Kong (screening during the AFL Grand Final, might be a bit empty)
Last Hurrah for Chivalry
Ashes of Time Redux

Sunday 29th September 2013
The Blade
The Sword

Wednesday 2nd October 2013
Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan
The Magic Blade

Friday 4th October 2013
A Better Tomorrow
A Better Tomorrow 2

Saturday 5th October 2013
The Big Boss
Fist of Fury
Bullet in the Head
Hard Boiled

Sunday 6th October 2013 (NRL Grand Final Day)
Vengeance!
The Killer

Wednesday 9th October 2013
A Better Tomorrow
The Killer

Friday 11th October 2013
A Hero Never Dies
The Mission

Saturday 12th October 2013
Bullet in the Head
Hard Boiled
Election
Election 2

Sunday 13th October 2013
Throw Down
Breaking News

Wednesday 16th October 2013
The Way of the Dragon
Enter the Dragon

Friday 18th October 2013
Drunken Master
Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow

Saturday 19th October 2013
Aces Go Places
Pedicab Driver
God of Gamblers
Kung Fu Hustle

Sunday 20th October 2013
Dirty Ho
My Young Auntie

Wednesday 23rd October 2013
Election
Election 2

Friday 25th October 2013
City on Fire
Full Contact

Saturday 26th October 2013
Police Story
Police Story 3: Supercop
Dangerous Encounters – 1st Kind
Long Arm of the Law

Sunday 27th October 2013
Full Alert
Cold War

Wednesday 30th October
Young and Dangerous
Portland Street Blues

Friday 1st November 2013
Infernal Affairs
Infernal Affairs 2

Saturday 2nd November 2013
The Prodigal Son
One Nite in Mongkok
Ip Man
Ip Man 2

Sunday 3rd November 2013
King Kong’s Adventures in the Heavenly Palace
Wong Fei-Hung’s Battle with the Gorilla

Wednesday 6th November 2013
Infernal Affairs
One Nite in Mongkok

Friday 8th November 2013
Reign of Assassins
Wu Xia

What does this mean to me? September already a wash-out unless I go up for the weekend of the Federal Election.

October a better option with the weekend of the 4 – 6th, 18 – 20th and 25th – 27th available. I already have a ticket to the Handsome Family on the 12th in Melbourne. Watching the four movies listed on 12th October is highly recommended. Be aware that if you recently have had an ear infection, Election 2 can cause physical pain to your body.

November looks good for the Melbourne Cup Weekend, but a lot of people are already going away that weekend.

I am well aware of how much it will cost to fly up to Brisbane for the weekend, but these movies are not going to screen again in this format in Australia.