Thursday, February 8, 2018

Challenge of the Tiger - Bruce Le (1980) - Fei Ngo Shan Road, Kowloon

The final part of the finale (the finale the finale?) was shot up on Fei Ngo Shan Road. 

Challenge of the Tiger - Bruce Le (1980) - Disused Battery, Chung Hom Kok

The fight with Wang Jang Lee quickly moves from Guia in Macau over to Chung Hom Kok in Hong Kong. Wang Jang Lee fans (and let's face it, who isn't a fan of that bad ass dude?) will instantly recognise this place - the disused battery at Chung Hom Kok - as the exact same place where Wang staged his initial fight from the rather excellent The Art of High Impact Kicking. You can see it on Youtube.

The concrete structures are still there and the area has been turned into a pleasant coastal park area. If you have the time and energy it's well worth a trip.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Challenge of the Tiger - Bruce Le (1980) - Guia Fortress, Macau

The finale of the film - the big assault on the bad guy's HQ - like the images of the HQ itself, is a combination of several locations both in HK and Macau. We've already featured Monte Fort as a location and some of the action goes on there, but there are three other locations that were also used (I have no idea why but suspect budget and/or time constraints came into play).

The first location we will look at is the Guia Fortress in Macau. It's identified by the famous lighthouse that sits at the top of the hill and most of the action takes place around the cluster of buildings by the lighthouse.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Challenge of the Tiger - Bruce Le (1980) - Penha Church, Macau

Harrison goes to meet his nemesis spy (the girl who picked him up on the beach) at Penha Church to find out where his kidnapped colleague has been taken. We only catch a brief glimpse of the church itself and most of the shots were taken on the courtyard in front with views over to the Lisboa.

This final picture is of the sloped driveway that leads from the main gate, up the side of the church to the front courtyard.

Challenge of the Tiger - Bruce Le (1980) - Jockey Clube de Macau, Taipa

In one of the more bizarre moments of the film, the cast and crew appear to gatecrash the 2nd Anniversary celebration of the Macau Jockey Club (well, strictly speaking it was the "Trotting Club" at the time) and mingle with the crowds. The most weird thing about this is that the various celebrities seen in the section - probably unbeknownst to them - actually are credited in the films cast list on IMDB. So we see Morgan Fairchild with her beau, Craig Denault, followed by Jack Klugman (Quincy) and Jane Seymour. Bruce even walks up to the latter two for a quick chat and they all look very confused about what's going on.

Another confusing aspect of this is that the Macau Jockey Club was supposedly started in 1980, but this clip is showing the 2nd year celebration. There are 2 possible scenarios: 1. The 2nd anniversary sign above the entrance was a prop (feasible but makes me wonder why they chose "2nd" anniversary as opposed to what should be the inauguration) or 2. The Jockey Club was in fact started in 1978 contrary to what wikipedia states (always a possibility) and this really was the 2nd anniversary celebration. In my opinion either is as likely as the other. Perhaps someone with more information will be able to let me know (comments and email always open).

The offending sign showing the "2nd Anniversary"

And the final shot shows the type of racing that the club was originally involved in - trotting - essentially a race with each horse pulling a small cab behind. For someone who gets bored watching horse racing, this looks like a complete snoozefest so I'm not surprised they changed it to standard turf racing after a very short time and the trotting bit was binned.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Challenge of the Tiger - Bruce Le (1980) - Praça de Ferreira do Amaral, Macau

Just in front of the Hotel Lisboa is the Praça de Ferreira do Amaral. It's a circular road that has a park in the centre, but prior to 1992 it also had a large imposing statue of the 79th Governor of Macau, João Maria Ferreira do Amaral. The statue was removed in 1992 at the request of the Chinese Govt because the man it symbolised was a rather controversial figure who ended his days by being assassinated just beyond the Barrier Gate that once formed the northern border between Macau and Mainland China.

The impending return of Macau to China hastened the necessity of its removal and it was taken down - without any fuss - and shipped back to Portugal where it now stands, with a slightly less imposing pedestal, in the Jardim da Encarnação. These days the park has some rather uninspiring, but uncontroversial, glass sculptures.

We also catch a brief glimpse of the Governador Nobre de Carvalho Bridge which runs across the bay from here connecting the Macau peninsula with Taipa island.

Challenge of the Tiger - Bruce Le (1980) - Casino Lisboa, Macau

Another of the famous Macau landmarks we see is the Hotel/Casino Lisboa. This is the original casino/hotel built by Stanley Ho and Henry Fok (and others) when they had the gambling monopoly. It's rather gaudy exterior seems quite restrained these days compared to its increasingly ridiculous neighbours (including the completely stupid looking Grand Lisboa).

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Challenge of the Tiger - Bruce Le (1980) - Casino Macau Palace, Macau

The CIA agents' female companion has a contact who sells newspapers at the entrance to the Casino Macau Palace - the original floating casino that once stood (or floated) near Ponte 14 in the inner harbour area.

We've seen it several times now on the blog (Noble House, Flatfoot in Hong Kong, The Man with the Golden Gun) but I'm still clueless as to what happened to it. Feel free to comment if you know.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Challenge of the Tiger - Bruce Le (1980) - St Paul's Church Facade, Macau

It wouldn't be a trip to Macau unless we have a visit to the old ruined church facade of St Paul's. In this instance the film makers have really thrown everything they can into the scene and have Harrison and Le attacked by a couple of dirt bike riders. I'm fairly certain that these days the riders would be overwhelmed by the sheer vast numbers of Mainland Chinese tourists, but back in 1980 it was a lot more feasible.

Challenge of the Tiger - Bruce Le (1980) - Macau Ferry Terminal (old location), Macau

When the action does officially move to Macau, the establishing shot shows a Far East Hydrofoil pulling into the old ferry terminal in Macau. The current location of the main ferry terminal (Terminal Marítimo de Passageiros do Porto Exterior) is slightly north and east of the old location which is now the Oceanus Casino. In the background you can see the rather long breakwater that once protected the ferry berths. Part of it still remains but the section closer to land has since been removed to make way for the HK-Macau-Zhuhai bridge facilities.

Challenge of the Tiger - Bruce Le (1980) - Baddies Hideout Part 3 - Monte Fort, Macau

So after the long distance zoom into the ridge of Sharp Island merging into a closer view of the Tate's cairn Police Post, and even closer zoom in is quickly edited to reveal none other than Monte Fort in Macau. That is one powerful zoom I'm telling you.

The Enter the Dragon - esque atmosphere is maintained with the sight of lots of karate dudes doing their training, including climbing up the side of the fort walls in their nice white karate uniforms. Who hasn't done that in a karate lesson?

There is also some action there later on as the agents infiltrate the base. You may remember the bridge in the lower photo as once connecting the main entrance of the fort building (now the museum) to the garden, I had a similar post not so long ago for China Rose.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Challenge of the Tiger - Bruce Le (1980) - Baddies Hideout Part 2 - Tate's Cairn Police Post, Fei Ngo Shan Road

Location 2 of the baddies hideout is the police post up on Tate's Cairn (Chinese name is 大老山 Dai Lo Saan). I always confuse this place with the nearby meteorological radar station, but it turns out this is a totally different property. In 1980 it was quite small and low key, but if you go there now it is just a mass of satellite disks and, I suppose, is a reflection of the way technology has evolved.

The next edit to location 3 is even less convincing than the one we've just seen.

Challenge of the Tiger - Bruce Le (1980) - Baddies Hideout Part 1 - Sharp Island, Port Shelter

Bruce Le, obviously not content with just trying to fight like his namesake has also thrown in a sort of homage to Enter the Dragon by having the baddies hide out on an island somewhere. Rather than actually find an island with a fortress on it (granted, quite difficult without a Hollywood budget) he has opted instead to portray it with some rather unconvincing edits of three separate locations.

Location 1, the island, is actually a shot of Sharp Island in Port Shelter. The camera then zooms in towards the island's ridgeline before a quick cut to location number 2.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Challenge of the Tiger - Bruce Le (1980) - Hac Sa Beach, Macau

Much of the latter part of the film was shot in Macau, but we go there a bit earlier than announced for a scene where Richard Harrison, playing the suave womanizing part of the partnership, is picked up on a beach by an enemy spy - wearing a red bikini...

The beach in question is Hac Sa beach on Coloane island - the southern most part of Macau. We been to Coloane previously on this blog (e.g the opening section of Largo Winch) but not to Hac Sa beach as far as I am aware.

In 1980, the Grand Coloane Resort (formerly the Westin Resort Macau - once managed by Starwood, it is now managed by the Harilela Group) had yet to be built, as had the row of houses along the southern headland of the bay giving the beach a much more unspoilt and rugged look. Actually, if you look at the second picture you can see some excavation going on at the cliff side in the background - it looks like the formation work for the resort was underway by 1980.