Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A never ending trek.

This year my love affair with Hong Kong cinema (or "Hongkong" as they used to spell it in the 70s and still do at Hongkong Post, LOL) reaches its 20 year anniversary. I believe it all began with an early issue of IN THE FLESH that reviewed a handful of early John Woo and Tsui Hark films, and Jonathan Ross' Hong Kong episode of his The Incredibly Strange Film Show on Channel 4. My first HK film at the cinema was A BETTER TOMORROW at the 40th Melbourne Film Festival and it's been a never ending journey every since. When everyone else got into Japanese horror movies, Korea's new cinema output, and the genre films of Thailand, I kept going back to Hong Kong. There simply wasn't any comparison. Even when I forgot about it. An invisible force that kept pulling at my arm. The ghost of HK cinema!

This week I received these films on DVD:

Johnnie To's new film VENGEANCE

Ann Hui's HK new wave film BOAT PEOPLE from 1982 which I've never watched. Actually, embarrassingly enough, I've never watched any of Ann Hui's films so I thought it was about bloody time! She won Best Film, Director, Screenplay, Art Direction, and New Performer at the 2nd Hong Kong Film Awards for it. It's a follow up to her STORY OF WOO VIET which unfortunately isn't available in an English friendly version.

Ann Hui's latest; NIGHT AND FOG (2009) which stars Simon Yam. I watched him this morning in VENGEANCE but I bet his character is quite a bit different here. Or... maybe not! (I watched the trailer!).

- and yet again, here's a title that has kept creeping up on me for yrs without my paying enough attention to it; Johnnie To's ALL ABOUT AH-LONG! wrote: "Subject matter-wise, you’d have to be dead not be be touched by what goes on, and Chow is incredibly charismatic and likable even when he plays a heel with bad hair." By the way this is the mainland China DVD release from Zoke but there's also HK, Thai, Japanese releases out there.

TO ERR IS HUMANE. Sammo Hung and Joey Wong! On DVD from the mainland. Is it good? Who can tell (well, The Shadow can but that's beyond the point here, LOL).

NEW MR VAMPIRE on DVD from Taiseng and unfortunately only in its English dubbed version. Boo-hoo!! But I've been trying to find it for aons and this is all I could get hold of so it'll have to do for now.

And lastly... an old-skool video tape from Made In Hong Kong (UK): MR VAMPIRE 2. xD!!! And even though it's a VHS this is most likely the best version there is as it has new proper English subtitles instead of the wonky ones on the HK disc (which I've also got) [EDIT: unfortunately I've just leant it's censored by 17 seconds so you can hardly call it the "best version there is". Oh bummer!!]. It stars a young Moon Lee and albeit all the silliness it's also a roller-coaster ride. Well, I have a weak spot for these silly HK horror flicks anyway. xD


  1. I imagine you get these from all over the place but can you recommend any good sites for ordering HK flicks? I've been using dddhouse, but would like to look around a bit

  2. Sure. My favourite place is not surprisingly dddhouse.

    However, when there's something they don't have at DDD I usually find it at (in Hong Kong). They offer FREE postage if you buy for more then $39!!

    And if Yesasia don't have it I try (in Malaysia). They offer FREE postage if you buy for more than, ahh, I think it's £30 and you have to only order DVDs from the same country (read their postage info page).

    A really good store in Hawaii is Hkflix. They have lots of stuff and bootlegs too. Their prices for alright but obviously they can't compete with the HK stores, however they often have stuff which is sold out elsewhere.

    Both stores are located in HK and both are alright alternatives to DDD but they are much slower and unfortunately you'll find that they often have stuff listed which is actually sold out. But they may have stuff they don't have at DDD.

    This store is on eBay. They are located in HK but they have many DVDs from Mainland China. They are official releases but they are cheaper. However, keep an eye on the audio tracks, Mainland DVDs often only have Mandarin dub.

    Located in the US and this is a shop you should ONLY use if you can't find what they offer somewhere else! They are VERY slow and don't respond to emails!!

    I'm not gonna list the last few addresses here as they're too long but you can get them on my info page on Cinehound here:

    PS: about Yesasia:
    Make sure you're on the right Yesasia! They have two shops; one for North American and one for the rest of us. The international one says "global" in the address bar.

  3. Thanks, a long and detailed answer! :)