# 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 Golden Corps Come From China (1992) Directed by: Lam Chin-Wai

The reason why Hong Kong cinema is beloved by so many is often the pure schizophrenia and desire to please as many as possible in 90 minutes. Also known as Direct Line and Deadly Gold, The Golden Corps From China sets itself up rather straightforward as a small team (Waise Lee & Wu Ma) of the Mainland Golden Corps go to Hong Kong to retrieve stolen gold from a former team leader (Alan Chui, also the film's action director). Bumping into Hong Kong's CID and kidnapping one of their superiors Mok (Yukari Oshima), it's all actually a little flimsy up until the point where director Lam Chin-Wai begins inserting everything possible into the plot to fill out 90 minutes and in turn entertains the hell out of the audience.

Introducing Lee Kwan as the King Of Spies who picks up immigrant Ah Lan that Waise Lee is also after, Wu Ma's character begins interacting with said spy as he possesses supernatural abilities that may benefit the King in betting and gambling. Also possessing X-ray vision (and his eyes turn to Yukari who tries to protect herself with pots and pans), psychic powers and ability to bend guns or make them explode, in comes Chung Faat as a witchmaster able to battle Wu Ma. Yes, you realize we've strayed but it's now part of a coherent, wild time that culminates in a terrific stunt- and gunplay finale where the filmmakers have loaded up the stuntmen with the largest squibs possible... making the movie look like a mix of Story Of Ricky and Requital as stomachs explode and stuntmen fall painfully. Add some silly female Hong Kong cops and an accident with aphrodisiac and you also realize what levels The Golden Corps From China operates at.

The Golden Lion (1975) Directed by: Ho Meng-Hua

Honorable thief Golden Lion (Chiu Hung) is poisoned by Wang Jian Chao's (Wang Hsieh) dangerous claw weapon and seeks help with Dr. Lu (Fang Mian) and his daughter (Li Ching). In need of an ingredient only found at a mountain far away, the journey begins with Lu's son (James Nam) expresses concern about his father's reputation helping a thief and Wang's gang hot on the heels of the fellowship...

At 83 minutes and simple enough content, Ho Meng-Hua (Black Magic) wastes no time (and I mean NO time) getting us into the action and setting up Chiao Hung's morals. It makes sense because the 83 minutes aren't about making any statements but are just there to provide a slick ride broken up with intense action not skipping on the gore, grit or the animalistic nature to it. The Golden Lion is a bit of a poster boy for Shaw Brothers efficiency and an experience audiences can turn to for a quick fix in the best of ways.

Golden Lotus (1974) Directed by: Li Han-Hsiang

EDIT: Pardon me if this review has been up before. Lost part of my records and the restored data didn't have this noted as being uploaded.

One of the genres Li Han-Hsiang got famous for, the adaptation of the erotic novel Jin Ping Mei, translated as The Plum In The Golden Vase (also the basis for his 1991 re-telling and The Forbidden Legend Sex & Chopsticks movies recently) falls short of greatness due to the limited running time Li utilizes. Neglecting and quite wrongly so the background of Ximen Qing (Peter Yang Kwan), we meet him at a mischievous stage where he's very fond of sex and uses manipulation to get what he wants. Described as a landlord, an official, leader of gangsters, bully AND sex addict, it's no wonder his romancing of Jinlian (Woo Gam) is only temporary. When his eye catches a new sight, the old ones are long forgotten despite Jinlian going as far as poisoning her dwarf husband Wu Dalong in order to marry Ximen. It brings up one of the central themes of corruption and desire as most of the film continues to be set within Ximen Qing's palace. The likes of Mrs. Hua (Tanny Tien) and Chunmei (Chen Ping) are also desired by Ximen but he's also always close to physical punishment when he acts on impulse. It's not easy to gain advantage and be the first lady. The problem of Golden Lotus becomes very clear as we move along as director Li clearly realizes at one point that he needs to cover a lot of story quickly so very sloppy, quick exposition is inserted and overall the film doesn't become a deep examination akin to what was surely present in the 100 chapter novel. Golden Lotus is reduced to an elegant looking piece of mean, sadistic, gory, steamy exploitation and in that regard we do get bursts of successful elements. Doesn't quite cut it though. Jackie Chan appears prominently during the film's first 40 minutes.

Buy the DVD at:
HK Flix.com
Yesasia.com

Golden Ninja Invasion (1988) Directed by: Bruce Lambert

TROY'S REVIEW: Not to be confused with IFD's similarly titled Golden Ninja Warrior, this Filmark International production gets off to a cracking start with some poor chap having the crap knocked out of him before his assailants amputate his right hand on a circular saw bench! Ouch! Ok, first thing to note is that the on-screen credits are actually entirely incorrect. Great start eh?! In actual fact this stars everyone's favourite Z-grade actor Stuart Smith (who despite looking painfully skinny insists on spending much of the film in a vest!) in the newer ninja segments and Filipino superstar and regular in these flicks, Sorapong Chatri who was the poor bugger getting his hand abruptly removed in violent style. Anyway, onto the film itself, which details the nefarious Red Sun Ninja Organization, which is run by a shady looking guy called Mr. Warren who likes to wear a panama hat and sunglasses for reasons best known to himself. It transpires that it was this evil fellow who ordered Ritchie (Chatri) to be 'taught a lesson'. And how is our poor Ritchie after his ordeal? Well, strangely enough he's better than ever after his police boss issues him a new 'magic hand' (no, I'm not making this up either) Yes, said bionic appendage is apparently constructed of a flexible Uranium and Titanium alloy and responds to Ritchie's mental commands just like a real hand. Needless to say, our man wastes no time at all in putting his new found toy to good use in destroying the Red Sun organization. Meanwhile Paul (played surprisingly subtly here by our man Smith), the good, sapphire Ninja also gets in on the act to help bring down the evil ninjas. As you can probably well imagine, plenty of chop cocky action ensues, some of it rather pleasantly gory in fact. Check out for instance, the resulting physical damage and rather cool metal 'twang' sound effects that accompanies the blows whenever Ritchie punches an opponent. Best bit of all though is the very daft ending. Just remember folks, only ninjas can use magic ninja beans! You'll really need to watch this to understand the complete absurdity of the scene but suffice to say, it will have you in absolute hysterics for sure.

Golden Queen's Commando (1983) Directed by: Chu Yen-Ping

Known under all manner of titles such as Amazon Commandos and Jackie Chan's Crime Force (with nothing of Jackie to be seen in the film), whatever shameless violation have been taken with the film since then, Taiwan's b-movie "king" Chu Yen-Ping's desire to do a Dirty Dozen adventure/women in prison flick/spaghetti western/James Bond actioner gets blended together in a time warp of a movie, creating a true "original" in the process. Ed Wood-esque in his eye for logic, Chu's choices will borderline on genius depending on the viewer you are. It's all in the goofy details.

Brigitte Lin equipped with a wooly hat and eye patch (gear she wears phenomenally well) leads a crack team of nutty, gorgeous women, including Sally Yeh as an explosive expert and Elsa Yeung as an assassin hiding behind a bible. The latter sports a character design straight of the 1980s, despite the film apparently taking place in the 1940s and it's this 500% disregard for movie logic (Chinese prison guards in SS uniforms) in a schlocky piece such as this that makes Golden Queen's Commando so damn entertaining. You're very much on board to find out what madness Chu plans, what nutty words are going to come out of the English dubbing (not Chu's choices obviously) and which composer he's lifting atmospheric music from next. Ennio Morricone's scores have always seemed to have an easy time fitting into Asian cinema such as this though. The above is what this reviewer will get out of the film, being only a fairly seasoned cinema fanatic but knowing Chu Yen-Ping's knack for copying scenes of other films beat for beat (see Island Of Fire), there's probably a full chest of additional treasures to be uncovered. You should allows yourself to have that kind of fun because I do know this, Chu Yen-Ping is clearly honoring movies he loves, in an incredible sincere way.

Golden Swallow (1968) Directed by: Chang Cheh

Golden Swallow (Cheng Pei-Pei) has retreated after being nursed back to health by swordsman Han Tao (Lo Lieh). She faces a great emotional challenge as childhood friend Silver Roc (Jimmy Wang Yu) is entering her life again, leaving trails of bodies behind him...

Cheng Pei-Pei reprises her Golden Swallow character from King Hu's Wuxia classic Come Drink With Me, now being part of the male world of heroism that Chang Cheh came to fame portraying. That is why Cheng does feel slightly pushed aside in favour of the Jimmy Wang Yu and Lo Lieh's characters but rumour has it that Chang was prepared to push Cheng Pei-Pei even more to the wayside initially. Cheng fought successfully to be more part of Golden Swallow and the film does achieve a finely tuned balance that doesn't sacrifice any trademarks of Chang Cheh's.

Initially a slow, even cliché, love triangle is painted in extensive amounts of blood by Chang (who also co-wrote) but he manages to turn Golden Swallow into a remarkably felt drama where the choice of quiet emoting from character rises the film to affecting levels. The trio of actors all respond to this and even Jimmy Wang Yu's anti-hero gets a plight the audience can understand, all culminating in a vivid gory climax.

Chang Cheh's usual action directors of choice, Lau Kar Leung and Tong Gaai, offers up fight scenes that certainly are products of their time, meaning crude executions of various elements. However some skirmishes involving Wang Yu achieve an admirable fluidity and the classic action duo's work connects very well to the storytelling, making anyone accustomed to the latter day fight choreography quickly forget about any slow aspects. Chiu Sam Yin and Wu Ma co-stars while Ku Feng, David Chiang, Yuen Cheung Yan and Lau Kar Leung briefly appear.

Buy the DVD at:
Yesasia.com

Golden Swallow (1987) Directed by: O Sing-Pui

So much like A Chinese Ghost Story it becomes redundant, it's a shame as O Sing-Pui's (An Eye For An Eye) fantasy romance is gorgeously made and technically well staged. Cherie Chung in the Joey Wong role can do little wrong but the duet with Anthony Wong Yiu-Ming only becomes half-iconic as he is a bland xerox of Leslie Cheung and throughout there's awfully identical story beats and shot composition right out of Ching Siu-Tang's classic. Also with Eric Tsang, Richard Ng, Nat Chan, Ivy Ling Po and Norman Tsui.

The Golden Triangle (1975) Directed by: Wu Ma & Rome Bunnag

Shot in Hong Kong and Thailand, it's opium wars reigning with those growing the crop trying to make a living and not have it end up in the hands of drug smugglers. Lo Lieh plays one such hired by Tien Feng's gang to acquire the latest opium batch that is guarded by Tanny Tien's character. A possible undercover cop exists in one of the camps too. Strung together in the dullest of ways, endless scenery shots, stiff action and lack of at least decent pace sinks the only mild ambitions The Golden Triangle seemed to have anyway. Tien Feng is stereotypical evil and Lo Lieh the cool drug smuggler but those favourite performers can only provide mild, very sporadic spark. One shootout at the end redeems Lo Lieh a little though.

The Gold-Hunters (1981) Directed by: Fung Hak-On & Law Kei

KENNETH'S REVIEW: Three pickpockets (Lau Ga-Yung, Lee Hoi-San & Mang Chiu) do their damndest to get hold of a gold treasure circulating around town. It's just a matter of finding the right box and keep out of harms way of others who wants the riches. Greed, murder and undercranked comedy follows as well as the Jackie Chan stamp on the action so The Gold-Hunters can't fail that miserably beforehand. Not in any way a long lasting classic, seeing Lee Hoi-San being part of the light, wacky lead trio is a fun change of pace and a handful of scenes are quite clever. In one we see the trio re-enact a fight that contained written clues and the fake fighting in a local whorehouse registers. Obviously with the involved logging a high level of competence and the Jackie Chan's Stuntmen Association making sure the choreography is intricate while also utilizing props, the film scores sufficiently and adds very little violence to top it all off. Fung Hak-On, Wilson Tong, Tai Po and Wu Ma also appear.

Gold Raiders (1983) Directed by: Philip Chalong

KENNETH'S REVIEW: Presented by Tomas Tang's Filmark merely (i.e. no ninjas as that idea was not yet at the forefront), this Thai/UK production runs way too long and takes itself seriously to the point where it becomes way too uneventful. But unintentional hilarity and decent sized mayhem will have B-movie lovers finding some slight charms to cherish. John Banner (Robert Ginty - The Exterminator) leads a team of soldiers into enemy territory to retrieve a major shipment of gold that has gone done with its cargo plane. Along the way he reconnects with an old flame and fires on hordes of stuff. We need oozes of camp and we're rarely near it, which is a problem imposed on us by director Philip Chalong but pieces scattered throughout are worthwhile. Hear the English language track still make the point that Thai people and Americans don't understand each other, see poor special effects galore in the form of the biggest fish in the pond, vampire bats, a wonderfully dubbed, one-legged General, John Banner's very American-made missile motorbike/hang glider and "serious drama" concerning friends divided by politics. It all even ends with what was attempted to amount to a poignant speech about the hopelessness of it all but caps a hokey experience its audience would want to endure. It certainly is slicker than Filmark's own productions so I bet Tang and co. were proud. Also known as Fire Game.

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