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Deadly Outlaw: Rekka (JAPAN 2002)

Director : Takashi Miike
Cast :  Riki Takeuchi, Ryosuke Miki, Kenichi Endo, Mika Katsumura, Yuya Uchida, Tetsuro Tamba and Sonny Chiba.

Synopsis
After Kunisada (Riki Takeuchi)’s Yakuza leader and father figure is brutally murdered, he and his best friend (Kenichi Endo) go on a two-man mission to avenge his death, killing other Yakuza leaders leading to a final confrontation by the old man’s killers.

Review
by Edward Tang

I wasn’t expecting anything out of this film, because if it was good I probably would have heard of it . There are much better Yakuza films out there, but I don’t really remember having this much fun at one of them like I did with Rekka. Rekka is basically about a renegade Yakuza who destroys everyone and everything in his path, with crowbars and rocket launchers. Sure the film does have some parts with the characters just standing around, but if you can take that in, you probably will enjoy it as much as I did. This film can’t be taken seriously, from the two hitmen who bicker back and forth, from blowjob lovin’ Yakuza bosses, this film had me smiling the entire time. The tunes packed on by Flower Traveling Band are kickass and basically the film follows the badassed nature of such.

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Eastern Condors (HK 1987)

Director : Sammo Hung
Producer : Leonard Ho
Screenplay : Barry Wong
Action Choreography : Hung Brothers
Cast :  Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, Yuen Wah, Lam Ching-Ying, Joyce Godenzi, Billy Chow, Yuen-Woo Ping.

Synopsis :
Asian POWs get a chance at freedom when the United States offers them a mission to destroy a secret depot of missiles in Vietnam.

Review
by Martin Cleary

Regarded by myself and many Hong Kong action cinema fans as one of Sammo Hung’s best films, Eastern Condors is – surprisingly for Sammo – an unusually serious and intense film. Best described as an eastern ‘Dirty Dozen’, this Vietnam movie reworks several elements and ideas of Hollywood war films into an unmistakably unique Hong-Kong style. The film combines gunplay and dazzling martial-artistry with ease.

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Election (HK 2005)

Director : Johnnie To Kei Fung
Screenwriters : Yau Nai Hoi, Yip Tip Shung
Producers : Dennis Law, Johnnie To
Cinematographer : Cheng Siu Keung
Art director : Tony Yu
Editor : Patrick Tam
Music : Lo Tayu

Cast and Characters:
Simon Yam (Lok)
Tony Leung Ka Fai (Big D)
Louis Koo (Jimmy)
Nick Cheung (Jet)
Eddie Cheung Siu Fai (Mr.So)
Lam Suet (Big Head)
Lam Ka Tung (Kun)
Wong Tin Lam (Uncle Teng)
Tam Ping Man (Uncle Cocky)
Maggie Shiu (Mrs. Big D)

Sypnosis
Hong Kong’s oldest triad society is about to elect a new chairman when its sacred emblem, the Dragon Head Baton, goes missing. Five sectional leaders, known as the Tigers, turn all their resources over to retrieving the baton before individual and factional ambitions threaten to break down the society’s central control.

Review
by Gary Cheah

WARNING : Might contain Spoilers

Well, this is a truly Hong Kong’s triad drama. It is different from the usual Hong Kong fare as it strongly focused on the plot and acting (less action) – its all about men mobilizing their power to achieve their aims. Its original and violence portraying the true “underground” world – the realism. Similar to the movie Godfather, its about power and money in the triads associated with dark internal politics.

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Encounters of the Spooky Kind (HK 1980)

Director & Writer : Sammo Hung
Producer : Raymond Chow
Cast : Sammo hung, Lam Ching-Ying, Cong Fatt, Chan Long

Review
by Martin Cleary

Sammo Hung’s Encounters of the Spooky Kind (a.k.a Spooky Encounters) wasn’t
quite the first film to incorporate action, comedy and horror together in a Hong Kong production (that honour goes to Lau Kar-Leungs Spiritual Boxer which was made five years earlier), but Spooky Encounters was certainly the film that defined the genre and made way for many more films of its kind, including the Mr Vampire series.

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Dark Tales of Japan (JAPAN 2004)

a.k.a : Suiyô puremia: sekai saikyô J horâ SP Nihon no kowai yoru

Director : Yoshirio Nakamura (Introduction, The Spiderwoman), Norio Tsuruta (Crevices), Koji Shiraishi (The Sacrifice), Takashi Simizu (Blonde Kwaidan) and Masayuki Ochiai (Presentiment)

Cast : Shozo Endo, Shunsuke Nakamura, Yu Yamada, Tetta Sugimoto Teriyuki, Teriyuki Kagawa, and Kayoko Shiraishi.

Synopsis
Produced by Taka Ichise (Ring, Dark Water), five of Japan’s top horror directors, including Takashi Shimizu (The Grudge) and Norio Tsuruta (Ring 0: Birthday) contribute to this anthology of terrifying short films.


Review

by Edward Tang

DVD THAT CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING EPISODES:

Introduction: (“Kowai hanashi, kikitai desu ka?”)
Episode 1: “The Spiderwoman” (“Kumo-onna”)
Episode 2: “Crevices” (“Sukima”)
Episode 3: “The Sacrifice” (“Ônamakubi”)
Episode 4: “Blonde Kwaidan” (“Kinpatsu kaidan”)
Episode 5: “Presentiment” (“Yokan”)

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