Issue #232          HOME          E-mail: mail@dighkmovies.com        BACK ISSUES             October 4th, 2004

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Hot Blood
(1977; Goldig Films Inc)

Cantonese: Yap chak
Mandarin: Ru ce
English: Enter Record

 

RATING: 4/10

REVIEW:

Last week, we looked at LONG GOOD BYE, a Chow Yun-fat film from 1982. HOT BLOOD is an even earlier effort that casts the actor (identified as Aman Chow Yun-fat here) as dedicated police inspector Ho Cheng, who patrols the mean streets of HK with hot-headed partner Chang Lei (played by the like-named actor). The exceedingly episodic storyline follows the men as they deal with a variety of petty criminals (including a woman fried on LSD and a doctor smuggling dog meat in the trunk of his BMW), while also trying to spend quality time with their families and girlfriends (Sarina Sai Chuk-kuen and Lin Chiao-erh). The connective thread in the plot concerns the on-going search for murderous thieves Cateye (Fung Hark-on) and Snakeskin, which even leads the partners to Macau at one point.

Chow Yun-fat Chang Lei Sarina Sai

Co-writer/director Yeung Kuen does adequate work with obviously limited resources (the grittiness of the camerawork and street scenes could be seen as a plus) but the pacing is slow and the usual cliches are all present and accounted for (does it even qualify as a spoiler anymore to mention that the "aged policeman retiring next week" does not live to see next week?). There is an authentic surprise in the second half and some of the down-and-dirty brawling is well-handled but, in light of the poor presentation here (see below), HOT BLOOD is best left for diehard fans of Fat Gor. Lots of familiar faces in support here, including Hon Yee-sang (who choreographed the action, along with Fung), Hon Kwok-choi, and Ho Pak-kwong (as Chickworm, a habitual criminal who cannot seem to get half a block away from the police station before being arrested for something else!). Look fast during the Macau police raid for an appearance by a very young (and utterly slim) Eric Tsang Chi-wai. Frankie Chan Fan-kei is credited with the score but it seems to consist of nothing but library cues.

Fung Hark-on Hon Yee-sang Chow Yun-fat (left), Ho Pak-kwong


PRESENTATION:

What we have here is essentially an MPEG-2 version of a VCD. The master is ancient, dark, smeary, and center cropped (aside from the opening credits), slicing off the subtitles on the sides (those with X-Y scaling or 16:9 sets will have a better time reading them than most folks). Contrasts are very limited, the 35mm print is quite worn, the splice mark is visible at the point of almost every shot change, grain is rampant, and the audio is shrill (the Cantonese track was obviously prepared years later and is so ineptly dubbed, the Mandarin dialogue can still be heard underneath it!). Worst of all, the tracks have also been reprocessed into echo chamber 5.1. Oddly, the single screen menu features a different title for the film in Simplified Chinese: hu kou ba ya or "Pulling a Tooth from the Tiger's Mouth." On the meager plus side, there is a nice reproduction of the original poster on the front cover. No extras are included.

Images in this review courtesy of Maga Base Technology Ltd. To read captions, hover mouse over image.


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Copyright © John Charles 2000 - 2004. All Rights Reserved.
E-mail: mail@dighkmovies.com

DVD Specifications

  • Hong Kong Release
  • NTSC Region 0
  • Maga Base Technology Ltd. #MBDVD0932
  • Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Post-synced Cantonese and Mandarin Language
  • Subtitles (Permanent): English, Traditional Chinese
  • 5 Chapters
  • 4:3 Fullscreen (1.33:1; cropped from 2.35)
  • 96 Minutes

Ratings & Consumer Information

  • Australia: M 15+
  • Ontario: R
  • Quebec: 13+
  • Singapore: PG
  • Contains moderate violence

FILM REVIEW RATINGS KEY:

  • 10 A Masterpiece
  • 9 Excellent
  • 8 Highly Recommended
  • 7 Very Good
  • 6 Recommended
  • 5 Marginal Recommendation
  • 4 Not Recommended
  • 3 Poor
  • 2 Definitely Not Recommended
  • 1 Dreadful