Hong Kong have nice horror movies filmed, made in 70’s but new one, after 2000. Here are several of them, in short:
Lik Wong (Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky), 1991
Director: Ngai Choi Lam
Stars: Siu-Wong Fan, Mei Sheng Fan, Ka-Kui Ho
The plot has Ricky, a kid with super strength being thrown into prison for killing the man responsible for the girl he loved. This is a corrupt privatized prison of the future where the prisoners are nothing more than cheap labor. Ricky instantly gets under the skin of the wardens, the guards and the leaders of the prison population. Cartoon violence with bloody gory consequences ensue. Body parts go flying as Ricky fights to stay alive and help his fellow prisoners.
This film could be seen as the Chinese version of “Braindead” aka “Dead Alive”: a Bruce Lee-like guy named Ricky, who´s talented with supernatural powers, fights his way through a corrupt prison and leaves a trail of blood and guts behind him. For sure, “Story of Ricky” is a very violent and gory flick, but everything in it is so exaggerated that no one should take it too serious: there is gut-strangulation, people in a meat grinder and for the showdown the leader of the prison mutates to a giant Kung Fu-fighting monster..! However, this film is so funny that you will laugh your heads off! Larded with typical Asian humor “Story of Ricky” is one of the definite cult movies that were shot in the last decade! If you had fun with it, try also to find director Ngai Kai Lam´s Indiana Jones-fantasy-action-gore-adventure “The Seventh Curse” (Check out the review which I wrote under my former pseudonym “Daywalker”..!) starring Chow Yun Fat, which contains nearly the same plenty of gore and curious ideas as this one has! Two great films that would make a great double-feature!!
Tung ngaan (The Child’s Eye), 2010
Directors: Oxide Pang Chun, Danny Pang
Stars: Rainie Yang, Elanne Kwong, Shawn Yue
A group of friends on vacation in Thailand are ready for a relaxing time. When word gets out that rebels are attempting to over through the Prime Minister. On their way to the airport the get the news that it’s closed. Being able to only find rooms in a motel that is utterly rundown they decide to wait it out. They soon realize that there is more to the hotel then thought. Having not seen a whole lot of Japanese horror movies (I have seen the re-makes) I wasn’t 100% sure what to expect. While this movie did tend to drag a little, it was very creepy and did make me jump a few times. The quality of this is very good, not only is it creepy but there is also a story that keeps you intrigued the entire time. That is not something you can say about most American horror movies. Overall, a very interesting and creepy horror that will creep you out.
The cast in “Child’s Eye” were good as well. I have watched a lot of Hong Kong movies, and I am fairly unfamiliar with these people. But still, they did a good job with their roles. Most noticeable was Rainie Yang, as she sort of had the lead role, so to speak.
The Era of Vampires, 2003
Director: Wellson Chin
Stars: Ken Chang, Michael Chow Man-Kin, Suet Lam
In 17th century China, zombies and vampires roamed the lands, feeding on the unsuspecting. A group of martial artists / vampire hunters find themselves employed by a very rich – and very insane – old man who has kept everyone of his relatives preserved in wax and not buried. Apparently it is his family’s tradition. So, having generations of potential zombies in your cellar may not be the smartest idea ever, but it takes two to tango. In this case, a thief wants the old-man’s treasure and hires a zombie-wrangler to re-animate the waxed up relatives in order to sneak into the mansion and steal the treasure. It’s up to the kung-fu fighting vampire hunters to save the day (or night).
The movie itself is beautifully and imaginatively lensed, the director of photography should be proud. The camera-work zooms and jumps during the right moments and steps back and slows down to take in grandeur. The fight scenes are excitingly filmed, and the effects are no worse than any other film I’ve seen lately. Not the best, but everything moves quickly enough that you don’t really notice.
Xing xing wang (Goliathon), 1977
Director: Meng Hua Ho
Stars: Evelyne Kraft, Danny Lee, Feng Ku
The Mighty Peking Man (1977) stars Danny “The Man” Lee as an anthropologist who’s searching for the mythical “Peking Man”. Funded by a wealthy investor, Lee and his associates travel to Northern India to find the behemoth. Along the way he encounters a jungle girl (Evelyne Kraft who’s so friggin’ hot that she broke my babe-o-meter) who just happens to have the Peking Man as her guardian and companion. The original Hong Kong version of this film has a very sad and depressing overtone to it (unlike the badly dubbed “international” version). The original version plays out like an updated Mighty Joe Young. I liked this movie very much.
Please do not be confused by any futile attempts by the “Shaw Brothers” to film a serious King Kong-Sheena hybrid. “Mighty Peking Man” is a mind bending movie experience, that must be seen to be believed. The most fun can be had if you simply concentrate on the utter magnificence of the movie’s ineptitude. Some highlights would be finding your girl in bed with your brother, and immediately running off to the jungle on a wild ape hunt. Rocks that change size as they are thrown. Avoiding an elephant stampede by jumping into quicksand. Not shooting a tiger who is tearing off a guy’s leg, but then executing the man after the attack. Finding plenty of eye shadow and makeup while living in the jungle, even though this jungle beauty can only grunt. Having a sexy blonde clad in animal skins immediately get a ride from total strangers in downtown Hong Kong “Take me to Peking Man”. People thrown off of a 40 story building by a gorilla, winding up on the pavement below, looking no worse than if they had fallen out of bed. It just goes on and on.
Yuan Zhen-Xia yu Wei Si-Li, 1986
Director: Ngai Choi Lam
Stars: Ken Boyle, Bing-Chuen Cheung, Maggie Cheung
The film has one incredible scene after another. There is some martial arts and gunplay but what’s the most memorable in this film is of course the black magic/voodoo related theme that is practised among the Worm tribe. This results of course some truly grossing gore scenes like human body turning into a bag full of living worms (very nasty!) as the hapless victim rips his own flesh off while worms come out everywhere. No need to say but if you fear of slithery creatures and worms, do not try to watch this motion picture; otherwise you’ll have nightmares for the rest of your life. The alien creature (called “little ghost”) the head villain/sorcerer uses is also a jaw dropping thing and very lethal. It goes inside the victim and then explodes through its stomach in the tradition of ALIEN (1979). There’s also buckets of blood in various other scenes that will make the film too much for some. SEEDING OF A GHOST has some ultra fierce gore geysirs and scenes of carnage from the beyond and CURSE comes close to that occasionally but still never quite reaches the same level, and maybe it’s because CURSE is produced by the “businessman film maker” Wong Jing who probably thought the film would have been too much for audiences if it was too dark and explicit and thus wouldn’t make enough money. Even now the film is way beyond what Hollywood would ever dare to even think about.
In this collection of three horror stories, Chow Yun Fat is one of two storytellers at a dinner party, recounting his experiences. The last story, dealing with a gruesome creature that attacks him and the group he is with, has some scarey moments. This story goes over the top as the creature is killed in an explosive splatter of blood and flesh. The first story of the three involves a police siege at a hospital. It has a few tense moments but ends up going nowhere. The frame work of the stories, a party that goes on between episodes, is strange. People laughing and having a good time as either Chow or his associate discuss death, horrible creatures and gruesome events. This Golden Harvest production does nothing to enhance Chow Yun Fat’s reputation.
There are lots of action scenes involving kung fu combat or shootouts in which the heroes face down dozens of anonymous Thais. The white-faced sorcerer, Aquala, played by Elvis Tsui Kam-Kong, makes quite a formidable villain and has a pack of monsters at his disposal, all created with make-up effects similar to those used in the ALIEN series and numerous Hollywood monster films of the time. Given the lower Hong Kong budgets, the effects here are quite good. There is a Crypt-Keeper-style living skeleton called `Old Ancestor’ who, at one point, sucks what appears to be the spinal cord from a man’s back.