Dec 22

The Oath of Death (1971) aka Wan Jian Chuan Xin

Oath Of Death 71Pao Hseuh-li started his film career as a cinematographer, beautifully lensing such important films as Golden Swallow. This was one of his films as director. Lo Lieh, soon to be Shaw Brothers’ first international star, thanks to King Boxer, stars as Sung Dynasty patriot Chin Liang, who runs afoul of a corrupt and ambitious ex-friend. To avenge the villains’ treachery, he must make an oath of death, purposely maiming himself to accomplish his ultimate triumph. Continue reading

Dec 19

Forbidden Tales Of Two Cities (1975) aka Gang ao chuan qi

ForbiddenTalesofTwoCities+1975-1-bLi Han-hsiang, one of the most experienced and respected filmmakers in Hong Kong, wrote and directed this charming and fascinating comedy of amorous complications and modern morals in the very middle of his forty year career. The two cities are Macau, where a love quartet is the source for sexy merriment, and Hong Kong, where a gambler tells a charming woman why there are four shackles hanging from his apartment ceiling!

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Sep 20

Sexy Girls of Denmark (1973) a.K.a Dan Ma jiao wa (丹麥嬌娃)

sexy-girls-of-denmark-1973_coverA businessman’s son, Kwok Chuen(Chung Wa/Tsung Hua), heads to Denmark to take care of a deal for a movie studio. In Denmark, he meets and falls “in lust” with actress Ann Charolette(Birte Tove). Later on, Kwok Chuen finds out that Ann Charolette is a soft-core porn actress and she has no plans of leaving the industry or having a relationship with Kwok Chuen. Kwok Chuen later meets Ms. Fang(Li Ching, not to be confused with actress Ching Li, Ching Miao’s daughter), a Chinese woman living in Denmark. Will he succeed in seducing her, winning her love and her hand in marriage?
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Sep 05

The Sugar Daddies (1973) a.K.a Tao se jing ji

The_Sugar_Ladies_1973_COVERThe sugar daddies, where to begin? This film is just funny, really funny, a sort of morality tale on several levels, full of slapstick, the strange and just plain old bizarre. The story is very predictable and formulaic but it is very enjoyable. Old men get ripped off by young man and sexy girls, old men finally wake up and exact revenge.I think the English have a term for this type of movie, a “romp”, and certainly it could have been a “Carry On Sugar Daddies” sort of movie. I found it an enjoyable 90 minutes or so, with maybe a few too many shots of old men in even older underwear, hahaha. Not the greatest movie of its era, but then again I don’t think it is meant to be taken too seriously, just enjoy it for what it is…..silly fun.
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Aug 12

Hong Kong, Hong Kong (1983) a.K.a Nam yi nui

Hong.Kong.1983.CoverThis is a story of the illegal immigrant experience of people from the mainland of China who have made it to Hong Kong for a better life. The first thing you’ll notice in this Shaw Brothers film is that the city of Hong Kong is a co-star. You see the poverty stricken parts, the glamour parts. Cherie Chung plays Sun, who arrives in Hong Kong to escape. Once there she meets with a carpenter, whom she marries ostensibly so he can take care of her and become pregnant so he can have a son. However, he is middle aged and she is much more drawn to an aspiring boxer who is young like her. There is tension in this film regarding this and it is played well. Cherie Chung does very well, she had matured as an actress by then and did not need to rely solely on her beauty. She is completely believable. This is an erotically charged drama which, while not a happy film because its all about keeping yourself under the radar to avoid being deported, is good because it flows well and the characters have that sense of longing for love and redemption etched onto their faces. Not the easiest film to watch because of its sometime grim nature, but a welcome respite from the slapstick comedies that Hong Kong routinely churned out at the time.
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Aug 02

The Scandalous Warlord (1979) a.K.a Jun Fa Qu Shi

The.Scandalous Warlord.1977.PosterApplauded director Li Han-hsiang was one of few directors that made softporn acceptable by mainstream audiences using the thematic device of “sex on a mission” cynicism, suggesting that sex was the ultimate power. In the sex comedy The Scandalous Warlord, the true power behind the country’s many warlords were the prostitutes that these men would routinely visit. Therefore, the power in this film lays in the hands of the sassy Shirley Yu and the titillating Shaw Yin-yin.
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