# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
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The Club (1981) Directed by: Kirk Wong

Kirk Wong's debut film and also an aim to give audiences a rarely seen, realistic glimpse of triad life and activities, with the night club businesses at its center. It's birds, booze, brawls and once a triad Michael Chan in his underwear. Interesting isn't an area Wong ever reaches though and only time some real teeth is shown comes during a few of the action set pieces. But even those get tiring by the end and while the filmmakers may have favoured realism all throughout, The Club won't make anyone miss this era of Hong Kong nightlife. There are far better genre efforts from the time as well (see Cops And Robbers). Norman Tsui, Phillip Ko and Kent Cheng co-stars.

Cobra Vs. Ninja (1987) Directed by: Joseph Lai

TROY'S REVIEW: "The masters of mayhem - the ninja, are terrorizing the city and it's up to Cobra to stop them dead in their tracks. It's guns vs. blades, wits vs. guts and man vs. myth in this action epic! No man is safe from the ninja - unless you're Cobra! Brace yourself for a non stop killing machine of a movie!" (Synopsis taken from the back of the box)

So wrote some imbecile who had quite obviously never viewed the film in question! In fact, in this cut & paste ninja outing, far from being the hero, the eponymous Cobra (as played typically ineptly by bad acting deity Stuart Smith) is the film's villain who is running high stake bets on the combative outcomes of various ninja duels involving the Red Champion (fellow IFD regular Richard Harrison). By some supreme editing "magic", this unrelated tale is woven somewhat less than seamlessly into a veritably mundane Filipino crime flick. Nonetheless, is there anyone out there who actually pays much attention to the original films into which the newer ninja segments are edited anyway? Of course not! No it's the ninja shenanigans that we've all come to laugh at - erm, I mean view.

Watch out for the scene at the very start in which a frankly embarrassed looking Harrison shouts the word 'Ninjaaaaaaaaaa' at the top of his (dubbed) voice. You almost want to give the poor chap a pat on the back and tell him that starring in such films will in no way have any detrimental effect upon his subsequent acting career...er...whoops!
Also be sure to check out the amazing manner in which our ninja pals put on their hoods. It's a case of jumping up in the air and spinning around at super speed after which they land, miraculously fully masked (and ostensibly not even dizzy). Erm... wouldn't it have been simpler to just pull them over their heads? Special mention must also go to the very nifty, pounding (and very stolen!) soundtrack that backs all the ninja action up. Great fun and well worth tracking down for all fans of cut & paste ninja action.

Code Name Flash (1987) Directed by: Leung Chi-Keung & Jeu Aau

KENNETH'S REVIEW: "Let's hear it for the boys in red!" Yep, it's war times with Chinese against those pesky Vietnamese, set to your age old upbeat score and propaganda can be smelled miles away indeed. Directors Leung Chi-Keung and Jeu Aau got their mission clear, to portray a select crew of bloodied heroes fighting for their families and country on the battlefield but don't think for a second outside viewers (me being waaaay outside) can engage much emotionally. No, spectacle is the name of the game, which the dual directors manages to find out in their quest to celebrate the nation too. So a healthy dose of war-gore, LOUD war-mayhem (archival footage doesn't detract as such as a matter of fact) passes the time adequately and the English dub feels suitably IFD-ish (but Joseph Lai has nothing to do with the flick) with character names such as Carol, Ronny and Larry.

Cohabitation (1993) Directed by: Roman Cheung

Not enough quality material, charisma but steam accompanies this Clifton Ko production. Director Roman Cheung has many facets to portray when relationships go the living together-route (instead of straight to marriage as any family elder would like to see be the choice). Enter a difficult transition as characters make up house rules, have sex quite a lot and develop an uncertainty after jealousy has done its part. Cheung does not have not the skills to develop further and the attractive acting quartet of Kenneth Chan, Anita Lee, David Wu and Jacqueline Law are even combined, average screen presences. So Cheung resorts to an age old attention grabber via the multiple Category II rated sex scenes and that should tell you a lot where Cohabitation ends up in terms of critical respect. Also with Michael Tong and Chan Suk-Yee (as the male character Mrs. Gay. Wong Jing subtlety on display here).

Buy the DVD at:
Yesasia.com

Combat At Heaven Gate (1993) Directed by: Yu Chik-Lim

Channeling Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade and grand adventures in general, this Mainland production does have certain chops to appear grand as it's certainly well-costumed, set designed and the action directing very much its own. Problem is, as we follow Sibelle Hu (who also appears in the period prologue) and crew chasing (along with the Japanese) a famous medicine book hidden behind the Heave Gate, there's not enough eye popping grandeur and mixture of adventurous set pieces for the experience to drive neatly forward. Looking rather flat at points and the steady stream of grounded and wire-enhanced action vary in quality, it's only towards the end where the budget shows up and the danger becomes a little more immediate. It's a valiant but spotty effort. Kenneth Tsang and Jimmy Lung also appear.

Combo Cops (1996) Directed by: Wong Siu-Ming & Yiu Man-Kei

Mainland supercop and kung-fu specialist (Yu Rong-Guang), Scotland Yard trained Westerner (Michael Wong) and their methods collide as they both become in charge of SDU trainees. You sense we're first into antagonistic territory, turned somewhat buddy-cop comedy-ish with an added robbers plot to give the impression a plot is present? You sense correctly but what you won't be able to sense is that Combo Cops not only goes for the laughs but for the low budget, surrealistic insanity too. It's random insanity aiming to confuse the viewer really as we see Yu Rong-Guang suffering a tragedy that means an infant child is injured. Thankfully the child is ok and wants to be agent 007 when he grows up. Meanwhile, Michael Wong takes center stage in the classic James Bond intro, goes into a cell with a deranged cannibal, rat eater which suits Wong as he has some rat issues in the past. On it goes, with unexpected momentum gained by the dual directors as they manage to greatly entertain with their deep well of silly ideas. Of course the momentum comes and goes, in particular after Law Kar-Ying as the villain is introduced but there's no shortage of off the wall highlights before and sporadically after Law's introduction. Also with Christine Ng as Wong's love interest who shares scenes with him that turns romantic conventions on its head. Kingdom Yuen, Jerry Lam and Manfred Wong, who has a love for umbrellas, also appear.

Buy the VCD at:
Yesasia.com

Come Drink With Me (1966) Directed by: King Hu

Its action may appear quite soft, stagy and even crude in some respects but the impression is still that King Hu's Come Drink With Me raised the bar for filmmaking at Shaw Brothers and the Wuxia pian genre. Depicting iconic moments throughout the movie starting with Cheng Pei-Pei's immortal depiction of the swordswoman Golden Swallow, King Hu really seems inspired working with her as the grace, charisma and beauty really elevates the whole picture. That grace, soft movements, something Cheng was apt at due to being a ballet dancer, works in tandem with the movie. For instance in the famous inn confrontation (a setting that would be iconic in itself for several of King Hu's films) he draws us in through silences, sharp camera moves, tense stand off's and bursts of action reminiscent of the Japanese samurai movies of the the time. Even character- and production design receives the same attention, all captured with King Hu's flowing camera and again, eye for iconic imagery. Even when you think you disconnect from how action choreography of the time was and could be made, there's a rich, visual, stylish experience at hand here that even turns quite violent on a primal level come ending time as Yueh Hua's drunken beggar has taken center stage. Also with Chen Hung-Lieh.

Come Haunt With Me (1971, Sit Kwan)

Not as lighthearted as the English title (that references King Hu's Come Drink With Me) would suggest, nevertheless Sit Kwan (The Knight Of Knights) isn't intent on serving up dark horror. Mixing a supernatural tone, comedic banter and nudity with music numbers, it takes a while before his story of two scholars being courted and haunted by both fox spirits and malicious ghosts to set in stone its core plot drive. Do they side with the fox spirit trying to achieve immortality or are they being bewitched by it? It doesn't seem like a movie in need of 100 minutes and lack of coherency is a problem for a good two thirds. But Shaw Brothers-style production values and a clever special effects-demonstration across the board makes the movie fairly charming at points. Harmless but not crucial. Especially not during the humans versus fox spirits versus ghosts ending that is more of a Halloween costume showcase than anything else. Starring Margaret Hsing, Chan Ho and Yang Yang.

Come Fly the Dragon (1993) Directed by: Eric Tsang

Minute amusement comes out of Eric Tsang's action-comedy that sees Andy Lau and Tony Leung Chiu-Wai as part of a training squad for the special branch of the police. Acting generally silly and exactly like they want to, it's a wonder they're even kept in the team but Tsang is more interested in the sophomoric humour during this training part of the narrative. At least it is funny in parts, proving that Tsang is more adept at this than Wong Jing is but when the film switches to Lau going undercover to catch a triad boss (Frankie Chan), the film stops dead. Some minute audience investment here comes during the small forays into action but Come Fly The Dragon ultimately is a poor showcase for the great stars Lau and Leung. Also with Fennie Yuen, Miu Kiu Wai, Shing Fui On, Ben Lam and Norman Chu, who is simply born to play a hard ass drill sergeant.

Come On Girls (1993) Directed by: Chow Bun

Hos/ed by Cindy Yip and structuring itself as a documentary, she gathers up a couple of gigolos and women in an apartment and they take turn telling stories of their rise in their profession, weird sexual encounters and actual erotic ones too. Very threadbare and certainly only produced to satisfy the sex-craving market in the wonderland of Category III movies of 1993, there is some well shot interiors and outrageous inclusions like the rigorous testing for men wishing to get into the gigolo profession, a male strip-o-gram with a duck hat and a plethora of unintelligible subtitles to actually laugh with. No high art, just the occasional hilarity and ticking of the naughty boxes. Which it does well.

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