Posts tagged "Connie Chan Po-Chu"

Jane Bond – Infernal Brains Podcast Episode 10

The Infernal Brains are back again, this time with a special Guest Brain, duriandave from Softfilm, Soft Tofu Tumblr, and Connie Chan Movie Fan Princess!


Actual photo of duriandave

Join Tars, Todd, and Dave as we discuss one of our collectively favorite world movie subgenres, Cantonese female focused action films that became known as Jane Bond films! We chat about Connie Chan, Josephine Siao, Suet Nei, So Ching, Fanny Fan, Lily Ho, Chor Yuen, masked heroines, James Bond influences, theater singing, the genesis of the genre, and many films that you’ll be hunting down for the next few years! It’s an infotainment explosion of knowledge that will pack your brain with so many cool facts that they’ll start leaking out your ears and drip on the carpet! The Infernal Brains are not responsible for any carpet cleaning bills.

As usual, we got more listening choices than you can shake an unsubtitled vcd at: downloadable mp3, embedded flash with slideshow, embedded audio player, and iTunes feed link. So many choices, you’ll have to call in your secret evil gang to select them all!

Download the mp3 (right click, save as)

Watch in slideshow form:

Subscribe to the Infernal Brains on YouTube!

Click the graphic for Podcast Feed:

Click here for iTunes Feed

Films Discussed:
Black Rose – Tars Review, Todd Review, Dave Review
Spy With My Face
The Blonde Hair Monster – Dave Review
Lady Black Cat – Tars Review, Dave Review
Lady Black Cat Strikes Again
The Black Killer
The Professionals
Golden Skeleton
Dark Heroine Muk Lan-Fa – Tars Review, Todd’s series overview
Dark Heroins Muk Lan-Fa Shatters the Black Dragon Gang
Lady in Black Cracks the Gates of Hell
Gold Button
Temptress of 1000 Faces
Angel with Iron Fists
Angel Strikes Again
Wong Ang vs the flying tigers part 1 part 2

Jane Bond overview
More Cantonese Cinema information

Site Links:
Soft Tofu Tumblr
SoftFilm Blog
Connie Chan Movie Fan Princess
The Lucha Diaries
Die, Danger, Die, Die, Kill!

Prior Infernal Brains:
Taiwanese Giant Monster Films Part 1
Taiwanese Giant Monster Films Part 2
Polly Shang Kuan
Turkish Pop Cinema Part 1
Turkish Pop Cinema Part 2
Dara Singh
Infernal Brains Podcast – 07 – Insee Daeng
Infernal Brains Podcast – 08 – Worst Podcast Ever
The Mummies of Guanajuato – Infernal Brains Podcast Episode 09

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - February 6, 2012 at 3:09 pm

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Connie Chan/Lady Black Cat Strikes Back album

DurianDave at the often driving me crazy blog SoftFilm has upped some mp3s from the album Lady Black Cat Strikes Back featuring Connie Chan singing. This is the sequel (although the characters are unrelated, IIRC) to the original Lady Black Cat, reviewed here at TarsTarkas.NET to prove our jawesomeness. It’s like awesome, only with an extra letter because simple awesomeness cannot contain it all.

So DurianDave uploaded four tracks, including the new title track, which is the Haak Yeh Maau song sung to the tune of Ghostriders in the Sky! It is spectacularly amazing, and you haven’t heard Johnny Cash until you’ve heard him as a Chinese lady dressed as a cat. Tars Tarkas says check it out and fire up your iPod!

Click for huge!

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - September 7, 2010 at 11:39 am

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Spy With My Face (Review)

Spy With My Face

aka Black Rose vs. Black Rose aka Hei mei gui yu hei mei gui aka 黑玫瑰與黑玫瑰

Directed by Chor Yuen
Written by Poon Faan

Spy With My Face
The sequel to 1965’s Black Rose has a greatly expanded scope, as the Chan sisters go from being champions of the poor to outright superheroes who take down a sinister secret gang intent on robbing jewelry from all over the city. The James Bond influence is very heavy, as there are a lot of gadgets, microbombs, disguises, and hidden identities. The film also has what sounds like an original score that is rather well done as well (and also Bond influenced).
Spy With My Face
The review of Black Rose has miniprofiles of Nam Hung, Connie Chan, Patrick Tse, and Chor Yuen, so we don’t have to do it here! Hooray for laziness! We also have the overviews of the Jane Bond genre and other interesting links there so we don’t have to link it again here. Spy With My Face is notable because this film was where Connie Chan eclipsed Nam Hung and became a bona fide Hong Kong superstar.

Spy With My Face
A color print does survive in the HKFA vault, but the VCD release is a black and white dub probably made for TV. This sucks, because it would be great to see all the funky colors. At this point in time Cantonese cinema was on the decline as the Shaw Brothers were becoming the standard with their high production values and massive use of color. Shaw was also putting out their own spy films at this time, some with female leads as well.

Once again we have no subtitles, but TarsTarkas.NET doesn’t need no stinking subtitles! And the wife translated about half of the film before deciding it was time for bed, so the rest I just followed along the story as best I could. It all works out fine.

Spy With My Face

Chan Mei-Yi (Nam Hung) – The older Chan sister, who is freed from the constant attention of rich bachelors because she spends the whole film helping her friend Cheung. Is Black Rose along with her younger sister.
Chan Mei-Ling (Connie Chan Po-Chu) – The younger Chan sister who is sassy and tough. She doesn’t put up with bad guys’ crap and would just as soon beat the tar out of them as look at them.
Black Rose (Nam Hung and Connie Chan Po-Chu) – Black Rose moves up from Robin Hood thief to gangbuster as the Black Roses save an entire city from an evil criminal element while saving their friend at the same time. Remember, it is only good to steal if you steal from those who deserve to lose it.
Cheung Man Fu (Patrick Tse Yin) – Insurance investigator and subject of Chan Mei-Yi’s attraction. Gets himself caught up in a nasty situation and replaced with an evil duplicate.
Gold Boss (Cheung Wood-Yau) – All my wife could translate of his name was Gold _____ – so we will call him Gold Boss. If he doesn’t like it, he can get bent. Gold Boss runs the secret society that kidnaps Cheung to rob all sorts of rich people. He’s also a refugee from a Mexican Wrestling film. Cheung Wood-Yau was in film for almost thirty years at this point, and only made a few more films before retiring in 1969 (with one later appearance in 1980’s Duel of Death.)
Fake Cheung Man Fu / #1 (Patrick Tse Yin) – Fake Cheung is the most worthless gang member on the team. Had he not undergone surgery to look like Cheung he would be #0 as he would have been fired. Was saving your job really worth the pain? Despite looking like Cheung, he totally doesn’t act like Cheung at all and dresses in dark shirts and sunglasses in order to look like a gangster, thus keeping his innocent insurance investigator cover. Fake Cheung is not the sharpest of tacks.
#2 (Fung Ngai) – The mute gang member. Only a mute guy would put up with being named #2, because that means you can’t hear him complain! Fung Ngai also played #1 in fellow 1966 spy film The Golden Buddha. Among his many other film appearances is Come Drink With Me.
#3 (Wong Hon) – The nerdy gang member who is fourth in charge and has confidence problems. Wong Hon was a Chor Yuen regular, appearing as a policeman in Black Rose, a doctor in Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan, and many other Chor Yuen films.

Spy With My Face
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - August 27, 2009 at 4:51 pm

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Black Rose (Review)

Black Rose

aka Hei mei gui aka 黑玫瑰

Directed by Chor Yuen
Written by Hoh Bik-Gin

Black Rose
Welcome to a trip to some classic Cantonese cinema. Not only are we going to review Black Rose, but we’ll be hitting the sequel, The Spy With My Face, as well as one entry from the 1990’s, and an eventual rewrite of our review of Protege De La Rose Noire. Yes, that previous sentence will get edited as the other reviews appear here. Eventually. Maybe.

Black Rose was basically the beginning of the Jane Bond films. It did not start the strong female character/super hero genre, but popularized it to the point where Black Rose is known as the standard bearer of the genre. This blog entry going over some of the wonderful films featured on the SoftFilm blog features a cornucopia of films with strong female leads.

Connie Chan Po-Chu was born in 1947 and is the daughter of two Beijing opera stars (Chan Fei-nung and Kung Fan-hung) She was not only trained in classical opera style (specializing in male roles) but also trained in both Southern and Northern martial arts styles. Connie made her film debut in 1959’s The Scout Master, and became a breakout star in the 1960s. Her last film was 1972’s The Lizard (also her only film for Shaw Brothers and one of the few that still survives in color, The Spy With My Face was filmed in color even if it doesn’t seem to have survived that way.)

Black Rose
Unlike her fellow teen queen Josephine Siao, Connie Chan stepped out of the limelight after her retirement, though she does emerge from time to time in stage presentations on TV (much to the excitement of my in-laws, who spend a frightenly long time trying to capture just her performance from a TV special onto a DVDR despite barely knowing how to turn the computer on.) More information on Connie Chan can be found on Movie Fan Princess. The site is run by duriandave of SoftFilm, who also supplied me with the vcds used to review the two Black Rose films. Check her out in action in Lady Black Cat and The Furious Buddha’s Palm.
Black Rose
Nam Hung was born as Su Manmei. Her mother and sister were also stage actresses, but I don’t think they were in films. The stage name Nam Hung means “fame of the south”. She began stage performing in 1950 and moved to films in 1953. She set up the Rose Film Company in 1962 with future husband Chor Yuen (also the director of this film) She starred in many Chor Yuen and Chan Wan films, and was a coproducer of Black Rose and its sequel. She was also in the original House of 72 Tenants, which was remade and then both inspired Steve Chow’s Kung Fu Hustle. Nam Hung moved to tv in 1976.

Director Chor Yuen was born in 1934 as Cheung Bo-kin, the son of Cheung Wood-yau, a Cantonese cinema actor. After studying chemistry in college, Chor Yuen joined the cinema world, first as a screenwriter (under pen name Chun Yu) and then worked as assistant director to Chun Kim. His directorial debut was The Natural Son in 1959. He helmed all sorts of films over the years. Notable films include 1963’s Tear-laden Rose, 1968’s Winter Love, and 1968’s Young, Pregnant and Unmarried, a comedy capitalizing on the youth craze in Hong Kong (also starring Connie Chan). Chor Yuen joined Cathay in 1969 and started focusing on wuxia films. Then he moved to Shaw Brothers in 1971. Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan was one of his films there (he later remade it as Lust For Love Of A Chinese Courtesan) Besides the Rose Film Company with Nam Hung, Chor Yuen formed his own company Ligao Film in 1985
Black Rose

Patrick Tse Yin is probably best known to Western film fans as the evil guy in Shaolin Soccer, but he was a huge star in Cantonese film in the 1960s and is a pretty cool dude and leading man. But for people like me who were first exposed to him playing a jerk, we will always have that image stuck in the back of our minds when we see him play good guys. Patrick Tse Yin is the father of Nicholas Tse (seen here with his wife Cecilia Cheung in The Promise.)

The Black Rose series of films goes like so: The 1960’s had the first two entries, Black Rose and The Spy With My Face/Who is That Rose? in 1966. Then there was nothing until a revival in the 1990’s with homage films that are basically love stories to 1950s and 1960s Cantonese cinema. There are three films in this set, 1992’s 92 Legendary La Rose Noire (written and directed by Jeff Lau), 1993’s Rose, Rose, I Love You (directed by Jacky Pang and produced by Jeff Lau), and 1997’s Black Rose 2 (directed by Jeff Lau and Corey Yuen Kwai). The series was recently revived as a vehicle for the pop duo The Twins in 2004 for Protege de la Rose Noire. I doubt there will be any direct sequels to this due to the whole Edison Chen sex photo scandals which enveloped Twin Gillian Chung in its tentacles when she showed up naked online. Teresa Mo was the Black Rose in Protege, continuing the loose connections between the films (she was one of the apprentice Roses in 92 Legendary La Rose Noire.)

The VCDs we watched were without English subtitles, but we don’t need no stinking subtitles! And my lovely wife translated. So take that, not released on DVD film!
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - August 22, 2009 at 3:27 pm

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The Furious Buddha’s Palm (Review)

The Furious Buddha’s Palm

aka 如來神掌怒碎萬劍門

1965HKMDB Link
Directed by Ling Yun

Welcome to another adventure down 1960s Cantonese cinema lane! There are no subtitles, of course, unless you count the Chinese subtitles. But we don’t need no stinking subtitles! The character names are translated by my wife. They may not perfect, but all information about the film is in Chinese so this is the best you will get in English.

This is the 5th film in the Buddha’s Palm series, takes up right after the previous films (Buddha’s Palm 1-4.) For an overview of the Buddha’s Palm series, read this article I wrote that accompanies this review. That’s what happens when I get efficient and do research on the films, they spawn additional articles. The film is only sold in a vcd boxed set, but my wife’s parents managed to get a copy from a Chinatown video store that was selling off stock, thus they have this one but none of the other ones. Don’t ask me why, I have no idea. I should try to acquire the set, photos on the internet show that Buddha’s Palm (Part 2) has robot-looking guys, a bird character, and a guy with metallic paint on his face. There is not much other information on the other three parts so I don’t know if they have cool visuals as well.

One highlight of the film is it has both of the teen queen sensations of 1960s Cantonese cinema, Connie Chan Po-Chu and Josephine Siao Fong-Fong. We also have Sek Kin as his usual role as being the villain. This is a Cantonese film in the 1960s, mind you! The rest of the regular players from 1960s Cantonese cinema are present, many of which popped up in How the Ape Girl Stole the Lotus Lamp or Lady Black Cat. Since the last go-round with 1960’s Cantonese cinema, Sek Kin has passed on. He will not be forgotten, nor will this be the last thing he shows up on TarsTarkas.NET in (considering he made hundreds of films, we could be reviewing his films until the end of time!)

Lung Kim-Fei (Walter Tso Tat-Wah) – His father was a great kung fu master who defeated Half-Metal Face and a bunch of other bad guys. He may be the subject of the other four films, I haven’t seen them. Husband knows the 9 Buddha Palm technique, but refuses to use it to harm people after an oath to his departed father/master. This oath gets tested when old family rival Half-Metal Face returns wanting revenge.
Kau Yuk-wah (Yu So-Chau) – wife of Lung Kim-Fei and master of magic rings. She can capture people and fight off flying swords with the rings. Doesn’t want her husband to be branded a coward. Is captured by the evil Half-Metal Face, but saved by Monkey Kid and Dragon Girl.
Monkey Kid (Connie Chan Po-Chu) – Connie Chan is the half-ape child Monkey Kid. We could not figure out if she was supposed to be a boy or a girl, but since no one in their right mind would think Connie Chan was a boy, we’re going to just use “she” as the pronoun. Monkey Kid likes causing trouble, eating fruit, and being loyal to her saviors, Husband and Wife, who adopt her after her parents die.
Dragon Girl (Josephine Siao Fong-Fong) – Student of Half-Metal Face who begins to realize her sifu is a very bad man. Her attempts to turn him good only result in her being tortured by centipedes in her body and sent to do even more evil stuff. Luckily she makes a friend in Monkey Kid and is helped to turn good. Dragon Girl is armed with magic swords that multiply and fly around under her command. Her kung fu powers are so good her master fears her.
Half-Metal Face (Sek Kin) – Sek Kin dons long white hair all over to be evil baddie Half-Metal Face. HMF (as his friends call him) lost a leg battling Husband’s father years ago, and has spent all this time planning his revenge. Now with a giant foot, Half-Metal Face will dominate the kung fu world, unless Husband stops him.

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - June 24, 2009 at 1:09 am

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Buddha’s Palm Part 1-4 and related films

One famous set of films from the heyday of Cantonese cinema is the Buddha’s Palm series of films, the main four parts were released in 1964 as Buddha’s Palm Part 1-4. (They are also known as The Young Swordsman Lung Kim-fei Part 1-4)

Starring Walter Tso Tat-wah as Lung Kim-fei and Yu So-chau as Kau Yuk-wah (mentioned because they reprise the roles in The Furious Buddha’s Palm, the 1965 film we are reviewing and thus inspiring this companion article!)

The Buddha’s Palm films are based on Shangguan Hong’s serial novel ‘Thousand Buddha’s Palm’ that was printed in ‘Ming Pao Daily News’. Series director Ling Wan went on to direct the three followups The Furious Buddha’s Palm (1965), Buddhist Spiritual Palm (1968), and Buddhist Spiritual Palm Returned (1968).

The first four parts all in 1964
Buddha’s Palm Part 1

Lung Kim-fei is disfigured and abandoned by his female junior disciple before running into an ambush sprung by her husband Auyeung Ho. The mythical condor of Wicked God of Fiery Cloud, Ku Hon-wan, flies the man in distress to safety. The master imparts his adopted son the skill of the Buddha’s Palm. A vicious duel six decades ago with Suen Bik-ling, dubbed the Capricious Flying Ring, left both challengers blind. To pay his debt of gratitude, Lung sets out to obtain the cure—treasure of the golden dragon—and wrestles to save Suen’s granddaughters Kau Yuk-wah and Yuk-kuen who come under the attack of a unicorn while seeking the cure. The unicorn blood that splashes onto his face miraculously restores his features. Taking a detour back, Lung chances on But Ku, the helmsman of the Cheung Lei Sect, who teaches the gifted young man the invincible Seven Spinning Gash. Regaining his eyesight, Ku instructs his disciple to return the treasure when he again runs into the sisters and offers aid to help Luk Yu to sever ties with a cult faction. Suen sees, to her shocked dismay, the Fiery Cloud armour that Lung is wearing and strikes him down with a lightning bolt.


Buddha’s Palm Part 2

Distressed by her sister Yuk-wah’s sacrifice for lover Lung Kim-fei, Kau Yuk-kuen pacifies their granny Suen Bik-ling with the scheme to lure out Wicked God of Fiery Cloud, Ku Hon-wan, using Lung as bait while devising a strategy with Luk Yu. The duo secure help from But Ku in their rescue plan but before they can reach Lung, he has already broken free despite sustaining an injury. Garbed in the Fiery Cloud armour, Yuk-kuen beguiles the guards into a futile chase but is struck down the cliffs by the elder. The mythical condor delivers her to Ku who takes her in as his foster daughter. Luk, however, is captured by Twin Talents of Kunlun. Having perfected four styles of the Buddha’s Palm, Yuk-kuen is aided by Yuk-wah and Lung to rescue Luk. Suen follows on their heels and allies with other adversaries to subdue the disciple with the Capricious Flying Ring. The master administers the ninth style of the Buddha’s Palm, ‘Ten Thousand Buddhas Paying Court’ to defeat his bitter foe and lays their feud to rest.


Buddha’s Palm Part 3

Lung Kim-fei and Kau Yuk-wah seal their nuptials following the reconciliation between their masters, Ku Hon-wan and Suen Bik-ling, but the auspicious day is marred by the assassination of Suen. Eager for revenge, Kau Yuk-kuen visits Ten Thousand-hand Lohan who reveals the killing weapon to be a silver thunderbolt shuttle and supplies a list of martial arts suspects. On her way to track down Lau Piu-piu, the helmswoman of Heavenly Fragrance Sect, Yuk-kuen is abducted by Auyeung Ho and the protege of the Three Invincible Palm. It is learned that Lau and the deceased are sworn sisters and the real culprit is still at large. Ku follows the leads which reveal the murderer to be the Three Evils, Auyeung’s conspirators, and apprehends the trio with the Buddha’s Palm. Nursing a wound inflicted by Auyeung in an intrigue, Ku flees into a temple where he imprints the ninth style of the Buddha’s Palm onto six tripods to bequeath to his protege with the enemies hot in pursuit.


Buddha’s Palm Part 4

Kau Yuk-kuen is delivered to safety by the mythical condor with one of the tripods while her foster father, Ku, continues the fight until his last breath. The Three Evils brutally beat and cripple Auyeung to intercept his scheme to appropriate the tripods but fail to prevent him from shoving two of them down into the deep valleys in frustration. Finding themselves no match for the Three Devils, the fellowship seek help from Lau Piu-piu. But the master declines out of a grudge against Suen Bik-ling with whom she was locked in a bitter love triangle which resulted in disfigurement of her face. Undaunted, they embark on a perilous journey in quest of the tongue of a mythical dragon and eyes of a crimson python for her cure. Meanwhile, Kau Yuk-wah has retrieved the two tripods from the deep valleys. Lau engages the Three Devils in battle while the sisters recover the remaining three tripods. Nonetheless, the missing palm print on the last tripod baffles Lung Kim-fei. As the Three Devils overwhelm Lau and But Ku to clinch the tripod, Lung shatters the vessel to find the palm imprint inside and vanquishes the devils with the ninth style of the Buddha’s Palm.


Three cool images of Buddha’s Palm Part 2 from HKMDB

Bird Guy:

Metal Dude:


Robot Kung Fu?!?!:

Buddhist Spiritual Palm (1968), and Buddhist Spiritual Palm Returned (1968) have nothing at all written about them except a few almost blank database entries. I didn’t even find any surviving ads. They don’t seem to star Walter Tso Tat-Wah, so I am not sure how they are related.

The 1982 Shaw Brothers film Buddha’s Palm even had Walter Tso Tat-Wah as the older master who passed on the scroll about the Buddha’s Palm that eventually resurfaced and started the film going crazy. I haven’t seen this one, but here are some reviews of it: Teleport City, LoveHKfilm

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Posted by Tars Tarkas -  at 12:08 am

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