Torgo Tours Hong Kong While Dodging Bullets

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I plan on watching a bunch of '80s and '90s action movies from Hong Kong over the next few weeks. I'm not sure if I'll be able to update this thread as regularly as I would like, so if I can't, I'll post some reviews of such movies that you may have already read here or on Letterboxd. Reviews tagged with "Throwback" are for movies released earlier than the '80s and '90s and are mostly from the Shaw Brothers.

On that note, sit back, relax and have a smoke!



(Remember, kids, smoking is wrong).

Review Index
Eastern Condors
The Seventh Curse
The Inspector Wears Skirts
A Chinese Ghost Story
The Big Boss Throwback
Yes, Madam!
Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky
The Eight Diagram Pole Fighter
The Super Inframan Throwback
The Prisoner
Police Story 3: Super Cop
The Avenging Eagle Throwback
Jackie Chan's First Strike
A Better Tomorrow 2
New Police Story
Fallen Angels
Full Contact
The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires Throwback
The Oily Maniac Throwback
Magic Crystal
Death Duel Throwback
Snake in the Eagle's Shadow Throwback
The Mission
The Heroic Trio
Project A



Eastern Condors -




Set shortly after the end of the Vietnam War, a "suicide squad" of prisoners is tasked with destroying a stockpile of American weapons before the Vietcong can use them. Hong Kong's answer to Rambo, the great Sammo Hung stars and directs and other legends like Yuen Biao and Yuen Woo-ping are along for the ride. My favorite thing about it, besides how good the action is, that in spite of having a body count so high that it borders on parody, the movie manages to have a big heart. Every time a member of the squad succumbs to their injuries, it takes a time out to mourn them and every member is convincing in their sadness, even for those victims we didn't get to know very well. The movie also manages to be very funny, most of the laughs coming from Yuen Biao's rougish Rat and Yuen Wah's aptly-named "giggling General" villain. Speaking of Rat, and not to discount the squad, but he and the lovely Joyce Godezi's (pictured) guerilla fighter are the movie's secret weapons. All of the bloodshed thankfully leads up to an excitingly explosive finale, which occurs in a gigantic and anachronistic bunker that reminds me of Dr. Evil's underground lair. It ends up being a Hong Kong action movie that is bound to satisfy those who love Kung fu and seeing crowds of soldiers mowed down by machine gun fire. Oh, and it features Oscar winner Haing S. Ngor (R.I.P.) in a small yet pivotal and amusing role.

My guy (or gal): Rat. One question, though: wouldn't that haircut affect his depth perception and ability to shoot properly?




Enjoyed that one quite a bit when I watched it last year, although I watched it on a low res transfer on YouTube. Would like to pick up the Eureka/ Masters of Cinema Blu-ray now that I have a region-free player.


Lately I've been going through a bunch of Jackie Chan movies thanks to the selection on the Criterion Channel as well as a handful of discs I picked up from 88 Films. Miracles and Dragons Forever have been the highlights, although all have been worthwhile.


A few years ago I watched a bunch of girls with guns movies on YouTube. If you don't mind the occasional shitty transfer, there are quite a few on there. Some of them blended together, but I found Dreaming the Reality had a great action scene right in the middle, and Devil Hunters had a truly horrifying final stunt. Would recommend both. I've been trying to track down Angel Terminators 1 and 2, but doesn't look like they ever got a decent release with English subtitles.



Enjoyed that one quite a bit when I watched it last year, although I watched it on a low res transfer on YouTube. Would like to pick up the Eureka/ Masters of Cinema Blu-ray now that I have a region-free player.


Lately I've been going through a bunch of Jackie Chan movies thanks to the selection on the Criterion Channel as well as a handful of discs I picked up from 88 Films. Miracles and Dragons Forever have been the highlights, although all have been worthwhile.


A few years ago I watched a bunch of girls with guns movies on YouTube. If you don't mind the occasional shitty transfer, there are quite a few on there. Some of them blended together, but I found Dreaming the Reality had a great action scene right in the middle, and Devil Hunters had a truly horrifying final stunt. Would recommend both. I've been trying to track down Angel Terminators 1 and 2, but doesn't look like they ever got a decent release with English subtitles.
I likely watched the same one on YouTube you did, which is dubbed. It was a little weird seeing Yuen Woo-ping being voiced with a posh British accent!

Speaking of Jackie Chan, expect to see him and Chow Yun-Fat show up a lot in this thread. I also may do a throwback here and there to other eras like the '60s and '70s just to mix things up.



Nice new thread

I haven't seen much Hong Kong action films outside of some John Woo films, but I'll be following along with this thread anyways.
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I likely watched the same one on YouTube you did, which is dubbed. It was a little weird seeing Yuen Woo-ping being voiced with a posh British accent!

Speaking of Jackie Chan, expect to see him and Chow Yun-Fat show up a lot in this thread. I also may do a throwback here and there to other eras like the '60s and '70s just to mix things up.
If you're going back to the 60s and 70s, you open yourself up to the Shaw Brothers (who wound down film production by the mid-80s). Just maddeningly consistent output, I don't think I've seen a bad movie from them.



If you're going back to the 60s and 70s, you open yourself up to the Shaw Brothers (who wound down film production by the mid-80s). Just maddeningly consistent output, I don't think I've seen a bad movie from them.
I will mine that production company for throwbacks. Looks like I have a few wishlisted already!
There may be more bullets than punches and kicks in this thread, but I'll try to please as many as I can.



The Seventh Curse -




This movie is not far off from being an adaptation of a Hardy Boys novel - well, one for older readers - on acid. Despite its advertisements, Chow Yun-Fat is only in it for a few minutes. It instead stars the less charismatic (well, him and everyone else) yet capable Siu-Ho Chin as Dr. Yuen, who returns to Thailand to break a curse that Elvis Tsui's flamboyant sorcerer inflicted upon him during a previous visit that, of all things, makes blood vessels burst in his legs. Along for the ride are Dick Wei's Black Dragon, a warrior and friend the doctor made in Thailand who earns his cool name and Sibelle Hu's Su, an animated journalist who won't leave the doctor alone despite his best efforts.

Unlike the typical Hong Kong action movie, the enemies are not gangsters or corrupt cops, but the likes of a flying baby demon and a skeleton with glowing eyes. As such, it's cheesier, pulpier, and more disgusting, not to mention sleazier thanks to some nude scenes, but it's no less fun. There isn't as much action as I would have liked, but the gunplay and hand-to-hand combat is fast-paced and occurs in short bursts and the monster effects, while dated, are pleasantly gross and visceral. The flying baby demon in particular needs to be seen to be believed. It all culminates in a climb up a massive Buddha statue, whose eyes hold the cure to the curse and that defends itself by summoning fighting monks, and on top of that, there's a battle with something from H.R. Giger's nightmares. Again, Chow Yun-Fat is barely in it despite appearing on the poster, but he makes his pipe-smoking witchcraft expert's scenes count. There are times when it gets a little too silly, there is a brief scene with children that is in bad taste and the abrupt, non-sequitur ending recalls ones in Starsky and Hutch episodes. I still had a lot of fun with it and was pleasantly surprised that it also pleases on the horror and jungle adventure fronts. Oh, and it's likely ten times better than the Uncharted movie.

My guy (or gal): Black Dragon (left), who likely inspired Kung Fury's look, is a warrior of unquestionable loyalty who you would want on your side in any situation.




Ha, I thought you might like that.
I recommend not looking up screenshots and seeing it in the movie for yourself to get the full WTF effect.



was police story hong kong movie with jackie chan? theres otherz that i watch that started jackie chan aswell 70s n 80s n 90s
Yes, the Police Story series is a lot of fun. I may review some for this thread. Stay tuned!



How much Maggie Cheung is in this?


Asking for a friend.
Very, very little. It's probably less than one minute of screen time, which is misleading since her name is in the opening credits. Speaking of, Joyce Godenzi is in one scene as well. It's as if they were hanging around the Golden Harvest breakroom, the director popped in and asked them, "hey, got a few minutes?"



The Inspector Wears Skirts -




What if there were a Police Academy...for women!?

I went into this one cold, having found it on a list of Hong Kong action movies you may not know about. The opening scene, which features the amazing Cynthia Rothrock, may end up being the best one I'll see in this project. However, when it ended, I thought I'd been baited and switched because it quickly settled into a comedy that's as silly, cheesy and dated as its title. It's still quite fun, and while its scant on action, what it does have is why I seek out movies like this one.

If you guessed that a lot of the hijinks come from the squad's interaction with the male one, you'd be right. Most of the laughs come from Ann Bridgewater's Karen, who the men torment for being unattractive - even though she really isn't - and her Elaine Benes-like dance moves. Leading the squad is Sibelle Hu's Madam Wu, who ably conveys her sternness, high standards, unwillingness to compromise; in short, the opposite of her excitable journalist from The Seventh Curse, so it goes without saying that she has range. Again, this may not be your cup of tea if you'd rather see more action than talk, but it's bookended by two very strong action scenes. The training exercises aren't bad either, the highlight - literally - being Wu's pal Madam Laws (Rothrock) that involves a little fire.

Editing isn't the movie's strong suit, and likely as a result, some characters are introduced and/or return so abruptly that it's like they're on bungee cords. On that note, I expect abrupt endings in Hong Kong genre movies, but this one takes the "wait...what?" cake. I still had a good time even though I didn't get what I expected and it's nice to know that I'm still not too jaded to not enjoy something as goofy as this.

If you want to watch this and you have Amazon Prime, find another way to watch it. The subtitles aren't the greatest, with the #NAME? error displaying repeatedly.

My guy (or gal): Madam Law. With her, who needs an entire squad?




Enjoyed that one when I watched it a few months back. Reminded me of the Lucky Stars movies, in that they're bookended by some great action sequences that the movie doesn't actually care about only to focus on dumbassed humour for most of the runtime. (The male captain, Stanley Fung, is one of the leads in that series.) The comedy here is much less crass though, which I appreciated.


I watched it on Tubi, don't remember if the subtitles had the same issue, but my standard for these things with HK movies is pretty low thanks to the sorry state of home video releases (in North America, at least).



Enjoyed that one when I watched it a few months back. Reminded me of the Lucky Stars movies, in that they're bookended by some great action sequences that the movie doesn't actually care about only to focus on dumbassed humour for most of the runtime. (The male captain, Stanley Fung, is one of the leads in that series.) The comedy here is much less crass though, which I appreciated.


I watched it on Tubi, don't remember if the subtitles had the same issue, but my standard for these things with HK movies is pretty low thanks to the sorry state of home video releases (in North America, at least).
After the opening scene, I wasn't sure if I should continue because like I said, it opens like 28 Weeks Later and what follows is a light comic version of An Officer and a Gentleman, but I'm glad I stuck with it. That is a good point about the humor not being crass. I don't mind humor like that, but it's a breath of fresh air that it didn't go that route since the leads are all women, so you would expect it to.

I've heard good things about My Lucky Stars, but I don't want to front load the thread with Sammo. A little Sammo goes a long way.



I've heard good things about My Lucky Stars, but I don't want to front load the thread with Sammo. A little Sammo goes a long way.
It's worth a watch thanks to a pretty phenomenal final twenty minutes (it helps that Jackie Chan shows up), but I found the sense of humour a bit of a challenge (there's an extended comedic set piece where the heroes scheme to basically grope the most significant female character). I slightly prefer the first movie, Winners and Sinners, as it doesn't demean it's female character to the same extent (and actually gives her a pretty sweet relationship with Sammo).