# 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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Rider Of Revenge (1971) Directed by: Hung Ting-Miu

Freed from prison, the quite lethal Ting Fu (Shan Mao) isn't so much being saved but the warriors equipped with claws and horrible scars have an agenda and it's spelled l-o-o-t. Ling Hua (Polly Kuan) enters the scene as one seemingly wanting the law to handle Ting Fu while Lung (Tien Peng) and Wei (Kong Ban) have their own reasons for wanting the cuffed Ting Fu in their possession...

It's a complex web of mystery all up till the last seconds and while a compelling choice as well as the movie coming off like less of a complex Gu Long novel that it seems, director Hung Tin-Miu doesn't come through with much viewer interest in the developments. The Union Film production looks stunning and the action for its time is big, very epic and even set in complex environments such as fire (the brawl at brewery is a very compelling example of this). You also have compelling design choices in the weapons arsenal present, with each crucial character getting a distinctive trait that carries through nicely in the film (ranging from Polly Kuan's coin sword, Kong Ban's whip to the character of Ting Fu using his big cuffs to gory effect). But a serious, twisty turny core is the intent here and Rider Of Revenge doesn't quite cut it when it's done. It's something, the intent is admirable but the execution an empty one.

Buy the DVD at:
Yesasia.com

Right Here Waiting... (1994) Directed by: Joe Hau

Frequently slammed for efforts such as Passion Unbounded and Hong Kong Showgirls (and rightly so), Joe Hau's debut film is a fine ensemble drama focusing on career women possessing that tough/equally soft shell that speaks to their longing for love. A terrific cast consisting of Cecilia Yip, Carrie Ng (looking nothing like her trademark glamour self), Pauline Wong (also producer) and Petrina Fung performs in the often familiar template with gusto but much credit goes out to Hau's sense of making simplicity and familiarity work. Best scene probably being when the character of Dickson (Wu Shing-Guo - Temptation Of A Monk) takes Cecilia Yip's Ha to meet his parents. Staged as a cross examination, Hau's cinematic sensibility gels perfectly here and he remains truthful throughout. Bringing in elements of farce in the interaction between the women (Pauline's character doesn't go for a boob job, she goes for a pump that she adjusts whenever she likes), this clearly signals his desire to not go overboard with depth but Right Here Waiting... isn't a production that has calculated wrongly in its strife to be simple about the fate of characters. Their stern, playful shells make way for shyness, innocence in a way that is felt and even depressing. But the message about being pro-active, to only worry about the things you can change and change them brings the movie to a fine close. Shot in synch sound thankfully where you for once get to hear Pauline Wong speak in Chinese AND English. Emil Chow, Julian Cheung, Crystal Kwok, Jimmy Wong and Law Kar-Ying also appear.

Buy the DVD at:
HK Flix.com

Rigor Mortis (2013) Directed by: Juno Mak

Just like Derek Kwok and Clement Cheng's Gallants did for the old school faces of kung-fu, Rigor Mortis brings back the ones out of the hopping vampire-genre (key cast all appeared in the Mr. Vampire-series). It's an absolute delight seeing the likes of Chin Siu-Ho, Anthony Chan and Chung Fat cast by a young (and debut) director, clearly enjoying the chance to sink their teeth into material and I'll admit, the nostalgia factor plus what seems like a focused project got approval very early on in Rigor Mortis. But this is not designed as a trip down memory lane to a genre that never seemed to go for dark horror but it's a 2013 pitch black vision done with the tools of the trade of today. Which could be for better or worse (usually worse). However Juno Mak backs up the respect for and casting of veterans with flawed but creative horror tactics. Within this apartment building set possession and hopping vampire-tale, Mak is not shying away from a slow, calm frame where actors (that also includes Kara Hui, Pau Hei-Ching and comedy legend Richard Ng) are allowed to act nor is he shying away from how computers can amp his scare tactics. Mak isn't going for the startle but more visual terror done partly physically but mostly in post and for the most part in combination with the tone, the horror is intriguing and creepy. Mak can't make the dreaded computer generated blood acceptable and there is a thread or two too many (the movie is too crowded character and therefore cast-wise unfortunately) that therefore reduces narrative effect. As great as Chin Siu-Ho looks, he's the one we disconnect most from but seeing the ageless veteran use presence and still present action-chops creates impact. Even if some connects to said nostalgia. Rigor Mortis is unexpectedly honed considering the young filmmaker and if Mak can shed a little bit of his need for visual aid and streamline his storytelling, these directorial instincts are going to evolve.

The Ringing Sword (1969) Directed by: Kim Lung

The more you watch the unearthed Taiwanese swordplay movies, the more you come to encounter a cinema just content with making a genre movie just to make one. Adhering to a market demand in other words... heard of that notion before? The Ringing Sword features the usual Wuxia techniques (in 1969, technically the effects and portrayal of them expectedly was basic), stiff fight scenes, betrayal, scheming, honor, revenge, twists and lacks any excitement or coherence to rival elite personnel on the scene such as King Hu. It's not King Hu-lite. It's just a production failing to make an impact in any area. Not even the inclusion of a ninja or killer darts helps.

The Ring Of Death (1980) Directed by: Ng See-Yuen

Attaching a small story to strands of war and politics wasn't really needed for this Seasonal production as it stands well on its own, has above average production values and sharp instincts. Cliff Lok is the orphan searching for his father who is an official, he learns kung-fu along the way having already a good foundation in strength. Some comedy follows and an epic end fight. Why The Ring of Death largely succeeds is through Ng See-Yuen's dedication to making the production seem like it wants to aspire higher than most. Being trendsetters themselves responsible for Jackie Chan's breakthrough and despite Cliff Lok not looking like a fit for the country bumpkin role, the comedy is surprisingly restrained, production looks rather dynamite and Corey Yuen co-directed action is always of quality. Bit of a pleasure feeling like someone took the time to try, even as far as to the English dubbing stages where a more than competent job (despite its rather crude and graphic dialogue at points with references to masturbation, modern day slang etc) was delivered as well.

Rivals Of The Silver Fox (1979) Directed by: Chan Siu-Pang

Although I can't confirm whether Joseph Lai and Tomas Tang had a hand in producing it, presumably this Korean production (originally called The Barrier and directed by Kim Jung-Yong) was released under their Asso Asia banner as Rivals Of The Silver Fox. Not fully coherent as a revenge tale and really possessing no particular strong traits, with Casanova Wong on the production you can expect some flashes of brilliance at least and the last 20 minutes got the highlight package for the film. With flashes of Wong's extraordinary kicking skills to take note of, more important and memorable is an epic finale with Wong vs a ton of both bronze- and silvermen with some pretty neat ideas within it (the harsh Korean landscape acts as a nice counterpart to many low budget Hong Kong and Taiwan productions of this kind). Echoes of the Lone Wolf And Cub series are also present through Wong carrying with him his child that may hold secrets the opposites at the Devil Valley Lodge are after.

River Of Fury (1973) Directed by: Cheung Chang-Chak

Before he managed to star in a bunch of Shaw Brother's more outrageous films (Super Inframan, Oily Maniac, Mighty Peking Man, Bruce Lee And I), the studio tried to find something for Danny Lee to do, not hitting the mark with River Of Fury. A familiar story of innocence abused and betrayed, thematically much can be squeezed out of it but director Cheung Chang-Chak never manages to find the sparks for the film to ignite into worthy poignancy. No complains about the sets and cinematography plus Lily Ho (Intimate Confessions Of A Chinese Courtesan) is stunning as a Peking opera performer yet it's far from sufficient. Really far. The usual end credits caption "Another Shaw Brother's production" never rang more true. Also with Ku Feng, Tin Ching and Ouyang Shafei.

Buy the DVD at:
Yesasia.com

Road Warriors (1987) Directed by: Danny Lee

Danny Lee was well into his transformation into the movie cop acting for the real life cops and a very apparent support seems to be in place for Road Warriors as Lee portrays the bike cops trials and tribulations. Taking time to highlight routines before duty, routine during duty, put up factoids on screen about the subjects, one can understand Lee's desire to paint an image of a civil servant but it does harm Road Warriors in a sense that it's a late starter. A very basic but sufficient plot soon takes shape about the fast speeding antics of Tony Wong (Billy Ching), son of a wealthy adult magazine publisher (James Wong). Tony evades the police thanks to his father's wealth but when he causes an accident that leaves several children dead, the police do everything they can within the law to have him taken away. Faring poorly in that regard, it has to take several more unlawful acts before the fractions of the police (led by Li, played by our director) realizes someone needs to step outside the frames of the law to punish rightfully...

Therefore giving us a taste of law the harsh Lee-way, his character is still the voice of reason amongst a torn group of mostly young cops and the message about standing together certainly feels more balanced than later flicks such as Twist where it was open season on interrogating in just about every way conceivable. However come ending time, controversy sets in that feels like Lee's venting in future flicks. Lee does effectively set up the urban nature of the story however, featuring the ordinary people trying to make a living, the cops in need of acting as role models (again, the ending seems to correspond little to this prior notion and does ring false) and for once it's not gun wielding gangsters to take down. Effective pushes into the tragic and thankfully playing the events out straight, Road Warriors is merely decent, a bit askew but also balanced in the way that it's not playing a commercial game. Jamie Luk, Shing Fui-On, Parkman Wong, Ken Lo and Liu Wai-Hung also turn up.

The Roar Of The Vietnamese (1991) Directed by: Jeng Wing-Chiu

A more action oriented The Story Of Woo Viet if you will, director Jeng Wing-Chiu (who also co-wrote) delivers a dependant immigrant drama that is suitably and not unnecessarily spiced up with bloody gunplay. When the Vietnamese of the piece are gathered up into one sole setting when they're not performing assassinations for their "saviours", Jeng injects the piece with quite decent knack for character explorations coupled with the dirty, gritty Hong Kong world they're forced to live in. The promised land on the horizon is America and obviously that's a great big criticism if there ever was one. So Jeng's work is more out in the open compared to what Ann Hui did but the tragedy that ensues is still earned thanks to solid performances, in particular from Lau Ching-Wan whose character questions the need to be cold blooded to gain future freedom. Also with Kara Hui (who performs the single most chilling acts of violence in the film), Sibelle Hu and Waise Lee.

Buy the DVD at:
Yesasia.com

Rock Kids (1988) Directed by: Tian Zhuangzhuang

Long Xiang is a modern dancing devotee, with the devotion leaning towards a Western style. But breaking onto a desired life path isn't particularly easy. By going freelance, he can claim his freedom but when getting an actual gig that has him being immersed deeper and deeper into the career, it's not sitting well. Enduring the constant stalemates he and his girlfriend are having over said attempts at career, Long Xiang has to face fame at a price potentially. Being talented but wanting to stay underground won't get you anywhere seemingly. Tian Zhuangzhuang (The Blue Kite, The Horse Thief) engages thematically anyway, with a Mainland Chinese production highlighting Western culture extensively. Also containing universal ideas of struggles for a dream, Rock Kids has much going for it except viewer devotion. Told with little else but half an eye and ear open, a plain style becomes Tian's enemy and his over-attention on the various dance scenes doesn't translate what he's trying to communicate. In fact, Rock Kids is a movie that claims nobility and depth but the notions turn on the filmmakers.

Rock N'Roll Cop (1994) Directed by: Kirk Wong

There's no shortage early of directorial booms courtesy of Kirk Wong as cats are massacred as well as humans in a chaotic and frenetic frame. What turns out to be a every 5 minute intensity type of direction pays off for Wong as he directs the plot of Anthony Wong as a music-loving cop who travels to Mainland China where co-operation awaits to bring down a brutal, crafty gang of robbers (led by Yu Rong-Guang). Wong's Hung is a bit of a blow hard and touts Hong Kong's superiority but truth of the matter is, the technically savvy Mainlanders and the Hongkies will have to unite. Yep, there's politics involved, a backstory to the leader of the Mainland cops, Wong (Wu Hsing-Guo - Temptation Of A Monk) that involves Carrie Ng's Hao Yee now dealing with the wrong side of the law and often kickass pace. The emotions and characters are a bit flimsy as conveyed but when dealing with the tension of the multiple operations to bring down the robbers, ensuing violence is done with appealing intensity and a little terrific, brutal finale cements the fair rep Rock N'Roll Cop has. It deserves more, even if only as a ride.

Rock On Fire (1994) Directed by: Lung Sang

The production company is Ramking and Rock On Fire (released in the UK as Girl On Fire) early on show signs of proudly wearing the Category III rating like a badge on its sleeve. The opening is a long, stylized sex scene with hints at S/M as it involves a knife and so it goes. Blending in an action plot to disrupt things, at least the choreography makes up for lack of consistent creativity with fair power (the finale at a construction yard sees the females duke it out with the boy machinery). You'll have some fun watching tough as nails cops flinch when firing guns, doctors examining head wounds by performing CPR and so it goes. Rock On Fire is indeed generally memorable thrash thanks to a duo of actors that spices up proceedings considerably. Starting with Mikie Ng (Girls Gang) as a deranged femme fatale and on the other side of the spectrum, Stuart Ong is at his depraved best, exploiting the female body whenever he can or even after he can as a bit of death by strangulation won't stop his lusts. Takajo Fujimi, Ken Lo and Shing Fui-On also appear.

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