Friday, June 12, 2009

Movies : 3 Olivia Cheng Movies

Play Catch (HK 1983)

Play Catch is a gem of the early 80s, good old HK slapstick comedy with the right formula of comedy, action and general entertainment HK cinema cracked so often back then, of course with a totally incomprehensible plot. Alan Tam plays an illegal immigrant looking for his father, he comes across a crook who smuggles in illegal immigrants played by our hero Eric Tsang (who i forgot once had hair as he does here) who thinks Alan can pretend to be a triad boss' son. That boss is being investigated by Olivia Cheng who plays a reporter who unknowingly is carrying a tape recorded by an ICAC investigator (now dead) in which the triad boss incriminates himself in wanting to kill a judge.

And so follows a frantic race against time as the crooks chase the tape, then the girl. And with the police unwilling to help the heroic trio decide to save the judge themselves... unfortunately he's at the circus. Hilarious HK fun, like it used to be. Highly recommended.
Crazy Blood (HK 1983)

Crazy Blood is a much darker film than Play Catch. Olivia plays a social worker married to a police photographer. They have one son upon whom the husband dotes on to an almost unnatural degree whilst she is busy saving the lives of the teenage tearaways in her care. The streets of TST and Mong Kok never looked so dark (both literally - there looks like there was not much budget for lighting so often its hard to see what's going on - and morally). Rape, arson, prostitution, violence, drug taking... seem endemic on the mean streets of Kowloon!

A tragic string of events that starts with a brutal rape leads to the death of their son and then the husband goes - well crazy. He starts to kill off his wife's clients using various methods such as apartment window assisted projection. As the film continues he gets more and more insane, in the end wanting to kill himself and Olivia as he thinks his dead son is lonely. The ending is a bit unsurprising, and rather gore splatter-tastic.

Recommended little gem from the early 80s. Don't expect a barrel of laughs though.

Winner Takes All (HK 1984)

There are (according to HKMDB) 5 HK films with the English title Winner Takes All, well this is the 1984 version Yau Friend Mo Geng which also stars Alan Tang as well as Olivia. Its a crime revenge drama.

A jewellery shop boss loses his daughter in a rather bloody manner (crushed under a Ford Cortina - well i suppose that's the coolest way to go) during a robbery and then seeks revenge on the 3 men who did it.

He enlists the help of a tough guy who is also after those 3 for killing his bro, nice co-incidence huh? The two allies chase the 3 hoodlums, trying to keep one step ahead of the Cops. The female cop has a rather large bust which you may notice and the film certainly does. Our hero also has a rather fine leng lui girlfriend Olivia Cheng who doesn't really affect the plot that much but does look lovely.

The geeky shop owner ends up being a bit of a double crosser and a strange but interesting 3 way fight takes place in a shopping mall.

A nonsense plot really like so many films of the period but 80s HK was cool. The subtitles disappeared a few times. Some good fighting and bad acting and hot chicks. Typical early 80s HK fare!
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