Seriously, don’t even.
Steve at Chopsticks on Fire and I both really love Johnny Wang Lung Wei’s 1985 triad film “Hong Kong Godfather”. I mean REALLY BIG FANS. I love this blood-spattered chopfest so much I made a podcast about it. I also have a small photo album (in progress) elsewhere on this website that contains possibly the world’s most bitchin’ lobby cards and I collected a bunch of links and videos for my “User’s Guide to Hong Kong Godfather”. I think all that stuff proves my love.
A while back Steve listed ‘5 Things to Love About Hong Kong Godfather‘. I love those five things that he loves. I also love at least six more things about the movie. Oh please, I love like at least a hundred more things. My love floweth over so much that I had to be a pathetic copycat and make my own list. Before you read my list, please read Steve’s. And then hold onto your rat tail perm ’cause away we go!
*drum roll* *orchestra crescendo* *machete whizzing noises*
1. The first thing I love about “Hong Kong Godfather” is the opening sex scene that introduces one of the main characters, 80’s-fabulous Playboy Lung (Norman Chu/Tsui Siu Keung). The scene is all close up shots of him sweating and moving up and down, and a cute chick who is moaning and wearing only a cheap plastic necklace and three 0.05-ounce duo-compacts of eyeshadow. A ’70’s disco song croons “…can’t get enough… got to boooOOOOooogie!” in the background. Is this the high life or what? Of course we think “Gosh, Norm is such a playboy! He’s a Hong Kong superstar with a perm and babes; he really has it all!” But wait, it gets even better. Norm is not just a cool triad dude gettin’ it on with a hot babe. There’s a hilarious punchline: He’s just doing push-ups next to the bed while she’s playing a video game!!! HAHAHA!!! HAHAHA!!!
For Christ’s sake Johnny, don’t. Stop. Don’t, stop. Don’t stop. This is seriously one of the dumbest, most pointless things I’ve ever seen. Did they actually sit down and plan it out? I can’t even.
2. The Godfather wears tube socks. I said THE GODFATHER WEARS TUBE SOCKS. And because that Godfather happens to be Sek Kin, those socks with their incongruous, highly distracting American sport stripes are the most fucking awesome thing ever.
3. I love that the adorable little boy, the apple of the Hong Kong Godfather’s eye, is mercilessly killed. And that we get to see it. Because let’s be honest, we don’t watch “Hong Kong Godfather” for the engrossing drama. We come for the violence, and we know that Wang Lung Wei will deliver it without apology. But there actually is a good reason to see a child killed: his death is important to the story.
Before I tell you why, let’s spend a moment savoring the fuckedupness of kiddie-death in slow motion.
I like a fair fight and don’t normally care to see this sort of thing. But I think in this case we actually need to see it because it is one of the heinous crimes that pushes protagonist Leung Kar Yan over the edge. When we see it we can relate more to the protagonist. We can think “UGH, YOU ANIMALS DESERVE TO DIE NOW!” If the child’s death was not shown and we had to just imagine it via some safe, non-offensive off-screen implications, we wouldn’t feel much about it. But because we see it happen, we gain a much stronger emotional investment in the protagonist’s subsequent insane, bloody quest for vengeance. When the choppy choppy goes down and bad guy blood is spraying all over the walls, we can more easily feel justification, self-righteousness and what the heck, even glee. Well, I feel glee anyway.
4. I love the triad villain’s corporation sign. He has forcibly taken over Sek Kin’s lucrative East Tsim turf and is reveling in his new found riches… and this sign is what he comes up with to celebrate his new business? What kind of a cheap tacky mogul is this guy?!
5. I love the saw. Everybody loves the saw. The saw rules.
6. And finally, I love the shamelessly gratuitous, oft-screencapped image of Beardy rising from the ashes.
I enjoy Hong Kong action beefcake as much as any slightly homoerotic male viewer but this chok yeung pose is beyond ridiculous. The dawning sun, the swelling music, the totally unnecessary, overly-dramatic slow camera pan up the body. What a huge pile of second hand embarrassment. Also, please stop sucking in your stomach, Beardy. We already know you’re big and strong.
So that’s my list of six more things to love about “Hong Kong Godfather”. Gosh, there are so many more awesome things about the movie, it’s hard to choose just six. I hope somebody will add some more. Let’s keep the love going!
Check out my “User’s Guide to Hong Kong Godfather” why don’t you!