Sunday, January 21, 2018

This Time I'll Make You Rich - Brad Harris (1974) - North Point, Hong Kong

The opening and closing titles have a helicoptered shot of what looks to be a part of Hong Kong island's northern coastline panning from left to right (east to west). However, after reviewing it I was scratching my head trying to pace all the buildings. The only clue I had was the initial picture that featured what appeared to be the twin chimneys of the old North Point Power Station. Here is the sequence as it appears on film. You can see the smoking chimneys in the very top picture.

It wasn't until the last couple of frames though that the clue to the sequence pops up. The large block in the bottom of the last picture is one of the blocks in the now demolished North Point Estate. The estate was in fact to the east of the power station, so, what we have at the end of this film is a bit that has been spliced in back to front. The film negative has obviously been flipped when it was all edited together (we've seen the same phenomenon several times on the blog leading me to think it is ignorance of HK geography as the main cause). So, I flipped all the grabs and now if the film had been run properly, the sequence would pan from west to east (right to left).

So, now that balance has once again been restored to the universe, we can say goodbye to this film and move onto the next...

Saturday, January 20, 2018

This Time I'll Make You Rich - Brad Harris (1974) - Port Shelter, Sai Kung

The next location is Port Shelter in Sai Kung. The cash hungry duo agree to take a briefcase out on a boat without realising that inside is a bomb intended to blow them up. The first picture shows their boat heading out from Hebe Haven area into Port Shelter. The island on the left is Shelter Island with the Clearwater Bay peninsula in the far distance.

The reverse angle, over Harris' head, shows the familiar ridgeline above Sai Kung with Pyramid Hill forming the left most point. The pursuing police launch gives up the chase after the explosion and stops at what appears to be the southern end of Sharp island.

Buffalo Hill ridgeline at the back

This Time I'll Make You Rich - Brad Harris (1974) - Kellet Island, Causeway Bay

This was one of those films that was proving difficult to get hold of until I was pointed in the direction of Youtube. It's a Shaw's/Italian co-production (original title is: Questa volta ti faccio ricco!) and was made the same year as Shatter, so Shaws were fairly busy with international co-productions that year.  In fact, if you are a really keen Shaws fan, you may remember one of the scenes in the 1975 BBC Shaws documentary Fists of Fire. It captured some behind-the-scenes footage of a fight in a gymnasium shot for this film.

Brad Harris is one of the two main protagonists (the other being Antonio Sabato), although for some bizarre reason he is given the stage name "Robin McDavid". Regular readers may remember Harris' name from a  couple of German productions I looked at last year: Weiße Fracht für Hongkong and Heisser Hafen Hongkong.

Harris was one of the early 60's bodybuilding stars who made his name in toga films - similar to Steve Reeves - and went on to act (and stunt - he is a Stunt Hall of Fame inductee) for a plethora of films in various countries: German productions in the 60s, Italian productions in the 70s, and he was even in Challenge of the Tiger - a Bruce Le film released in 1980. Sadly, he just passed away in November 2017 at the sprightly age of 84. RIP Brad Harris.

Although pitched as made in Hong Kong, after watching the film it's quite apparent that the majority of exterior shots were actually filmed in Taipei in Taiwan. The HK-based locations, as we will see, were limited to just a couple of places, excluding the gym fight filmed at the Shaw studios.

The main location, seen throughout the film, is the beach area next to the Hong Kong Yacht Club on Kellet Island. Look at the right of the top picture and you can see a concrete structure that I believe is a vent for the Cross harbour tunnel. You also get a decent view of the typhoon shelter and the buildings of North Point at the back, as well as the concrete breakwater and yacht club clubhouse.

Look closely at the lower picture and you might just be able to make out the chimney of North Point power station. There is also the odd view south towards the Excelsior hotel. It's easily identifiable in these shots despite the slightly poor picture quality.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Game of Death - Bruce Lee (1978) - Rua de Sanches de Miranda, Macau

Another obscure Game of Death discovery to add to the list. It's a brief shot of the baddies car driving down a small road before turning right. It turns out the initial road seen in the first picture is called Calcada da Igreja de São Lazaro. If that name sounds familiar, well it should do because the part of the road is the upper section of a road I posted about all those years ago when first looking at this film.

Calcada da Igreja de São Lazaro (upper)

The camera pans to the left and we are now looking up Rua de Sanches de Miranda. 

Rua de Sanches de Miranda

If the camera had continued panning left then it would have seen this picture from the earlier pot I mentioned above. This tells me that the shot was probably taken at the same time because the camera position seems perfect.

Calcada da Igreja de São Lazaro (lower)

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story - Jason Scott Lee (1993) - Dragon German Lobby Cards

AP was also kind enough to send over a couple of German Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story lobby cards.

The first one shows the childhood scene that were filmed over at Yau Kung Tong in Yuen Long. The second one of course is from the near final scenes of the Enter the Dragon set that was reconstructed over at Joss House Bay in front of the locally famous Tin Hau Temple. You can see all the Dragon posts here.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Men of the Dragon - Jared Martin (1974) - Dragon Garden Publicity Still

The good man, AP, responsible for supplying me with many films seen on the blog sent me this publicity still a while back (several years ago actually) and it slipped my mind until now. There's nothing like a good lull in movie posts to make me go back over old stuff and discover things I had forgotten all about. 

The location is of course Dragon Garden - a familiar location to anyone who has followed this blog over the past few years. Featured are (l to r) Robert Ito, Lisa Kimbro and Jared Martin. The film is pants of course and was done to cash in on the sudden interest in Hong Kong and kung fu following the release of Enter the Dragon. However, some great locations to be found but it's just a shame that the film wasn't good enough to warrant a better quality release. You can see all of the related posts here.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Game of Death - Bruce Lee (1978) - Kowloon Funeral Parlour, Maple Street

Not only was the film exploitative enough to insert real footage of Lee's funeral at the Maple Street funeral parlour, but it looks as though the 1978 film crew went back to the same location for some authentic reproduction. The first screengrab is from the 1973 funeral, the second is from 1978 with Colleen Camp stumbling out of the same place in a daze as she still believes Lo to be really dead.

Although often referred to as the Maple Street parlour, the entrance (which is behind the flower banners in the lower picture) is actually located on the corner of Bedford Road and Tai Kok Tsui Road and is just a stone's throw from Bruce's old school - St Xaviers.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Game of Death - Bruce Lee (1978) - Minden Row, Tsim Sha Tsui

Another Game of Death post included for completeness more than anything, however I can't take credit for identifying the location as that accolade goes to Andi over on Hong Kong Movie Tours.

In a real world Bruce Lee connection though I should point out that the building in the background of the lower two screengrabs is the Mariner's Club building. Readers of my Bruce Lee walking tour of TST (link here) may remember that Bruce used the telephones here to make long distance calls back to the US.

Game of Death - Bruce Lee (1978) - Rua do Patane, Macau

Welcome to the first post of 2018. Things will probably slow down a bit on the blog as I run out of films to view or take longer sourcing them. There's still a few out there to get but it may take sometime. In the meantime I have been looking back over past films and seeing if there are any locations I missed the first time. One of my first tasks was to re-watch The Game of Death (I know, the pain I endure for everyone's entertainment!) and lo-and-behold managed to squeeze a couple more places out of the general mess of the movie.

Case in point, the following scene in Macau showing a lion dance. Rewatching a DVD (though it was the Cantonese version that was missing several scenes and the best part of the film - the opening credits) meant the street sign in the following scene was easier to read, and therefore locate.

The baddies are stuck behind a lion dance troupe as they make their way to their hideout. It turns out that the road is Rua do Patane - identification aided by the aforementioned street sign that reads "Rua dos Curtadores".

By the looks of it the wall on the left hand side of the screengrab was replaced by a residential building but the small single-storey buildings in the background have so far managed to avoid the redevelopment.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

China Rose - George C. Scott (1983) - Tsuen Wan Permanent Chinese Cemetery, Tsuen Wan

During the film, as the two main characters are being led on a wild goose chase, they are shown a grave that is supposed to be the son's. It shouldn't be surprising to learn that the scene was shot at the Tsuen Wan Permanent Chinese Cemetery in Tsuen Wan - with few exceptions it's been the number one grave location for filming companies over the years.

Monday, December 18, 2017

China Rose - George C. Scott (1983) - Kai Tak Airport, Kowloon

Our two protagonists arrived in HK via the Macau ferry, but they depart at the end of the film in the usual manner i.e. via the airport. Nothing special here other than a couple of shots from the apron unless you are a plane buff.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

China Rose - George C. Scott (1983) - Sai Kung Waterfront, Sai Kung

Once again, back to the same strip of waterfront that we have now seen several times on this blog, usually as a stand in for Aberdeen (I still have no idea why supposed Aberdeen shots just weren't filmed in Aberdeen...).

This time we see the car pull up along See Cheung Street, which is the main street through this part of the old town/village. But it's not long before we are back at the old concrete pier as Scott and co board a sampan to go and see his ailing son with the police and triads not far behind.

China Rose - George C. Scott (1983) - Salisbury Road, East Tsim Sha Tsui

The triad's daughter, who was once Biehn's girlfriend, offers to take Scott and MacGraw to see him on a boat in "Aberdeen". They get in a car and it can be seen turning onto Salisbury Road from Mody lane (next to the TST Centre - top picture) before turning around and heading back the other way.

Actually, this place hasn't changed at all, the only difference is the New World Centre in the far background (far left - middle pictures) has been demolished and is being replaced by something so monstrous I don't have the words to describe it.

China Rose - George C. Scott (1983) - Former British Military Hospital, King's park

A few years ago, when I was looking at Yellowthread Street location, this building gave me a bit of a runaround because it seems to have gone virtually undocumented in terms of photographs other than a select few on FLICKR

Anyway, it turns out to have been the go-to place for hospital film scenes in the 80's and 90's. If you click on the Yellowthread Street link above you should be able to see a comment made by Jude Poyer regarding a few films he worked on that were also shot there. In China Rose we see, what I believe, is the back (north facing) side of the building being used as an establishing shot for where Scott goes after he gets injured helping his son escape the triads. It's a shame it's so brief but at least I know enough about the place now to recognise it when it pops up.

China Rose - George C. Scott (1983) - Wong Tai Sin Temple, Kowloon

Scott finally gets to meet his son (played by Michael Biehn) in the old fortune teller alleyway in front of Wong Tai Sin Temple. But before that we are treated to some shots of (no doubt) real worshipers going hammer and tongs with the divining sticks as Scott picks his way through the masses.