Saturday, May 8, 2010

Hong Kong Godfather (1985)

I can say, with out a doubt, that Hong Kong Godfather is the most violent and bloody Shaw Brothers-production I've seen so far. I've seen the screenshots in review, but nothing could prepare me for the amount of violence and blood that was delivered by director Lung Wei Wang and his team. But it's not only blood and gore, this is a classic gangster-story that actually holds up even today (the fashion might be the exception!) and I recommend everyone that has the slightest interest in Hong Kong-movies to get this movie.

Kien Shih plays a friendly and nice mafia-boss, Szetu Han, in Hong Kong. He don't like drug dealing and take care of his people. Three of his "sons" are a cop, a former criminal nicknamed Mad Dog and a charming womanizer named "Playboy Lung". They are of course all three decent people, but when someone is trying to take over the power in Hong Kong, the sleazy Lan, they are forced to stand by their boss side again. After Han refuses to work together with Lan a series of attacks happens, people die and get hurt and everything end in the massacre of Han and his family. Now the three men are left on their own, and they want revenge! A fucking bloody revenge!

The story is a classic, nothing new, but is also timeless and works fine even in 2010. This is very much the eighties, so the fashion is colorful (and quite tasteless, I think) and there's a lot of neon and city lights. But it feels just like a Shaw Brothers, even if it's not set in a historical environment and had modern, and very brutal, fighting instead of the old school-styles. Kien Shih, a brilliant actor and fighter, actually do a little old school-routine and is matched by his grandchild with some modern stuff. It's a wonderful little scene and it feels like Shih is handing over the torch to a new generation of action-heroes. Almost everyone is making a great performance, except the poor guy that's playing the boyfriend to Mad Dogs daughter. I'm not sure what he's trying to do actually, but whatever it is, it don't work.

Hong Kong Godfather has been hyped since I first heard of it, and for once - and I'm happy to say this - it lives up to it's hype. It starts of strong with a bloody massacre, and then slows down for maybe thirty minutes - which I don't mind. It's not slow or boring, it's just building up tension for the last half of the movie that delivers so much action that I was just laughing out loud here alone in the living room. The fighting is hard and brutal, not any fancy stuff exactly, and it always ends with blood splattering all over the walls. In one memorable scene a bad guy takes up a little boy, breaks his back over his knee and throws him out through the window! 

And it's getting even more fun. For every action-scene it's bloodier, gorier, more fighting and has wilder stunts. Because most of the fights are with big knifes, machetes and saws! So except a bloodbath in between the back- and neck-breaking fights! I can honestly say that you won't be disappointed by this flick. Really. Every fucking hand on the bible. 

The new US DVD looks stunning and is very uncut, which you will notice a mile away. This is so far one of my favorite releases this year. Amazing movie, amazing action and over-the-top violence for all of us Shaw Brothers-pervs!


Anonymous said...

This Hong Kong movie is epic, and it really stands out in my opinion. I really like that extreme 80s look aswell.


Samuel Wilson said...

I just saw this on the shelf in a local video store. Thanks for reviewing it; you made me interested in giving it a look.