Posts tagged "Cheung Ying-Tsoi"

The Blonde Hair Monster (Review)

The Blonde Hair Monster

aka 黃毛怪人 aka Yellow Giant

1962
Written and Directed by Wong Fung

The Blonde Hair Monster is a story from the pulp series Wong Ang the Flying Heroine Bandit. These tales originated in 1940’s Shanghai from intelligence worker Siu Ping (aka Xiao Ping), who used his stories to speak out against the social and economic injustices of the time, creating a hero to fight for the people. Siu Ping fled to Hong Kong as the Chinese Civil War intensified and the Communists declared victory. The Wong Ang character spoke to the citizens of Hong Kong just as she had to the citizens of Shanghai, and became big sellers in the 1950s. Wong Ang is a play on the word for Oriole, and thus is known as Oriole in several title translations.

Wong Ang fits the profile of the virtuous female fighter character. While not being a nuxia (swordswoman), she is set in modern day and works with modern tools to take on modern problems. The rich and the powerful who think they can get away with crimes meet their matches, and the innocent and forgotten find the justice they need in their lives.

Wong Ang’s popularity made it a natural that she would appear on the screen, with the first entries appearing in 1957 or 1958. The first known film was Shaw’s Oriole, the Heroine (also known as Miss Nightingale, the Flying Fencer), which starred Pearl Au Kar-wai as Wong Ang and Fanny Fan and Chiang Feng as her sidekicks. There is some uncertainty to the exact release date. Beginning in 1959, Yu So-Chow played her in a series of films, four featuring veteran female action star Wu Lizhu and Yam Yin as her two sidekicks. 1959 gave us How Oriole the Heroine Solved the Case of the Three Dead Bodies and How Oriole the Heroine Caught the Murderer. 1960 was the Year of the Oriole with four films: House No. 13, Apartment Murder, Miss Cranery Vs. the Flying Tigers, and The Story of Wong-Un the Heroine. The Breakthrough was released in 1961. The Blonde Hair Monster is the last of the Yu So-Chow Wong Ang films (and the last Wong Ang film period, unless you count Michele Yeoh’s Silverhawk!), though by now the focus had begun to shift to Connie Chan, who plays one of her sidekicks. Thanks to DurianDave from SoftFilm for his work compiling the list of films above.

My favorite part of Blonde Hair Monster is how the vcd is missing an entire reel of the film! Luckily for me, I tracked down a guy on YouTube who uploaded the middle chunk of a TVB broadcast of the film for some reason, and that middle chunk has the missing reel! That’s also why some of the screencaps look different. TarsTarkas.NET goes the extra mile to give you the review you deserve, because we care, when we’re not being lazy! What is even more weird is the TVB broadcast is also missing pieces that the vcd had. So I’ve put together an extended edition of The Blonde Hair Monster that just might be the most complete copy of the film in the world. And yet there still is no title card…

Because this film is obscure as frak and I had to composite it together, this review will be detailed and long. So, sorry if you aren’t into that sort of thing, but bully if you are! And for more, much more on the Jane Bond films that this is a prototype of, listen to the Jane Bond Infernal Brains Podcast!

Wong Ngan (Yu So-Chau) – The champion of the people and solver of mysteries. Wong Ngan the Oriole fights for justice, and for just being there when stuff goes down. She and her girls will solve any mystery that comes along and won’t take any crap while doing so, though Wong Ngan is more likely to dispense with the villains with a polite smile than her sidekicks.
Heung Ngan (Connie Chan Po-Chu) – Wong Ngan’s younger sidekick, who is sassy and tough, and not afraid to fight a gigantic yellow-haired monster on occasion. Or a lady in a skeleton costume. Or a jerk homeowner keeping her from having a banana. The film is well aware Connie Chan will be the cat’s meow in another year or two, and makes sure to keep her on screen.
Wu Nga (Chan Hiu-Kau) – Wong Ngan’s other sidekick, who wears a K on her jacket (for Krazy!) She’s more reserved than Heung Ngan, but isn’t afraid to kick some butt if need be.
Inspector To (Walter Tso Tat-Wah) – Walter Tso shows up as his Inspector character that he played from time to time when not starring in a period piece. It’s a good thing Inspector To let these women wander around and solve his case for him, because he’s wrong on just about everything until Wong Nang politely explains what happened.
Cheung Yan-Lei (Sek Kin) – The framed younger brother of Cheung Yan-Chuen who spent years in jail and recently escaped. He’s plotting revenge, but a jerk like Cheung Yan-Chuen has so many enemies Yan-Lei is going to have to get in line.
Cheung Yan-Chuen (Ling Mung) – The evil brother who framed his brother for murder and screwed over a lot of people in his life. A list of his enemies would just be a copy of the phone book (Cheung Yan-Chuen wouldn’t be there, as he’d have an unlisted telephone number just to be away from everyone else!) Learns why you should never turn your back on your enemies, especially the ones with knives.
Cheung Kai-Ting (Cheung Ying-Tsoi) – Son of Cheung Yan-Chuen who now has to deal with his idiot father’s enemies coming to cause problems. You think you have dad problems.
Yau Tin Lung (Lam Liu-Ngok) – The servent to Cheung Yan-Chuen who is listed here because she’s a major character with a secret. And just ignore the fact there is a mystery character who is obviously female…
Sifu (Lok Gung) – A one-eyed sorcerer who helps Cheung Yan-Lei after his escape from jail and just happens to have a giant manservant and an orangutan on hand in his lab. So did Cheung Yan-Lei escape from jail into a pulp novel? You’d be surprised, because this film is based on a pulp novel!
Blonde Hair Monster (Siu Gam) – Was originally Sifu’s servant Mo Mo before a horrible accident and the addition of orangutan blood turned him into the fearful Blonde Hair Monster! Is that blonde hair real? Only his hairdresser knows for sure!
Ghost Lady (It is a mystery!) – Who could this mysterious ghost lady be? And why is she wearing a skeleton head when she is a ghost?


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1 comment - What do you think?
Posted by Tars Tarkas - April 23, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Categories: Bad, Movie Reviews   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Golden Skeleton (Review)

Golden Skeleton

aka Jin ku lou aka 金骷髏

1967
Written and directed by Wong Fung
Golden Skeleton
Josephine Siao Fong-Fong kicks butt in this crazy awesome groovy 60s spy conspiracy Jane Bondish thriller! Despite a slow start and a confusing last minute, Golden Skeleton has become one of my favorite female spy films because the villains are just so weird. The leader Golden Skeleton is a guy in a gold skull mask, his henchmen have space cadet uniforms and masks, and Golden Skeleton is seldom seen without a pair of babes in midriff-baring hot pink catsuits flanking him. Just what evil is Golden Skeleton up to? Does it matter? What matters is cool things happen. Just go with it and enjoy the spectacle. We don’t need no stinking subtitles. Okay, fine, I did a bit of Googlin’ and found some plot points not explained by watching and making up things.
Golden Skeleton
Director and writer Wong Fung helmed 88 films, including How The Ape Girl Stole The Lotus Lamp, Blonde Hair Monster, Midnight Were-wolf, The Lady Killer, Blue Falcon, and a whole host of the Wong Fei Hung films (which he wrote even more installments than he directed!) Born in 1923 in Guangxi, he began writing films in 1950, and directing in 1959. Wong Fung joined Shaw Brothers in 1973, and retired in 1980. He passed on sometime in the 1990s. The cinematography was done by Lee Maan-Git, who also worked on Bruce Li in New Guinea.
Golden Skeleton
The soundtrack is 100% jazzy jazz. It is interesting how the all jazz soundtrack makes everything seem cooler and cooler. I should use jazzy jazz to soundtrack my life, then I’ll live in a constant cool high that will come crashing down around me when my iPod runs out of batteries. Hopefully I won’t be near any tall buildings to hurl myself off of! Just kidding, I’d totally kill myself by feeding myself to lions at the zoo, not tall buildings.
Golden Skeleton

Pink Bomb aka Agent SAA9 (Josephine Siao Fong-Fong) – The secret agent on the case against Golden Skeleton and his goons. She’s relucently forced to accept help from Agent Guy SAA6 under her boss’s orders. Spends as much time fending off his clumsy advances as she does kicking the butts of Golden Skeleton’s goons. Pink Bomb’s real name is Jenny Lin. See more Josephine Siao in How the Ape Girl Stole the Lotus Lamp and The Furious Buddha’s Palm.
Agent Guy aka SAA6 (Cheung Ying-Tsoi) – Agent Guy is our James Bond wannabe. He spends most of the film clumsily trying to seduce everything he meets. Sometimes he almost makes it! He’s also bumbles away from attempt after attempt on his life, having the luck of fools. You cannot stop Agent Guy, because he’ll trip over his own shoelace and find a code to save the world.
Chen Ho aka Agent SAA10 (Gwan Jing-Leung) – Agent SAA10 is also on the case, even though he seems to be more of a third wheel who can’t save the day himself. But he’s good to have along to absorb blows until Pink Bomb gets around to punching out the guy he’s fighting. Gwan Jing-Leung is a former Peking Opera actor (he trained under Yu Jim-yuen, father of Yu So-Chau and trainer of the Seven Fortunes (Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, and all them.)) Golden Skeleton was the first film produced by Gwan Jing-Leung, who also did the fight choreography. He produced a few more films before focusing on stunt work.
Agent SAA5 (Go Fung) – It’s yet another agent! This guy is totally not suspicious at all…
Golden Skeleton (It is a mystery!) – Who could the mysterious Golden Skeleton be? He runs a giant criminal conspiracy that does…something. And he has lots of people in high places at secret agencies, because he has people everywhere! Golden Skeleton knows that having his followers dressed in ridiculous outfits is the way to go, along with having hot babes standing beside you. This is real supervillainry, folks!

Golden Skeleton
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2 comments - What do you think?
Posted by Tars Tarkas - January 22, 2012 at 1:39 am

Categories: Bad, Movie Reviews   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

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