Sunday, November 23, 2014

Yellowthread Street (TV Series) - Bruce Payne (1990) - Haiphong Road, Kowloon

Does anyone remember Catch 22? Well for those of you who do here is a brief reminder courtesy of Rummy's Cut as the cops drive from Canton Road down into Haiphong Road and park next to the Silvercord Centre.

The building in the background, in case the partially obscured name wasn't a big enough clue, is the Harbour City development which consists of numerous blocks built over the past 40 years - the oldest probably being the Grand Ocean Theatre which went up in 1969. The building we can see with the curved windows is actually the (currently Marco Polo) Gateway Hotel, built in 1981.

The Silvercord has gone a bit upmarket since this series was filmed and, as with the rest of the territory, the mall is pretty much a luxury goods market aimed at the Mainland walking money machines...ooops, I mean "tourists".

Friday, November 21, 2014

Yellowthread Street (TV Series) - Bruce Payne (1990) - Kowloon Walled City, Kowloon

One of the scenes from Rummy's Cut involves the gang heading over to the former Walled City in Kowloon to investigate the death of poor old Rummy.

The first scene is a panning shot that tracks from left to right across the outside of the tenements before moving down to focus on the unmarked police car. Rather than stick a bunch of screencaps here I was have managed to stitch a bunch of shots together to make the rather interesting picture below.

Here are a few more shots from inside the Walled City, but it's nothing that we haven't seen before such as in Bloodsport.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Forced Vengeance - Chuck Norris (1982) - TyTam Villa, Tai Tam

Bruce Lee fans will recognise some of the scenes of the coastline where Chuck makes his final ascent to battle because this is the same area used in Enter the Dragon when the fighters leave their boat and disembark onto Han's Island.

Well, roughly the same area at least because you can see the stone jetty and pillbox that are seen in that film in the shot below (the ramp and pillbox are centre left). I'm sure Chuck probably knew that was where his former buddy, Lee, had filmed 10 or so years earlier.

Next up we see a small hut on the hillside with some guards at the entrance to an uphill path that leads to the boss's estate.

It's a bit over grown these days, so without physically going there it is hard to see if the hut is still around, but I suspect it is. The way it works in HK is that unless you will make a pile of money by knocking it down and redeveloping it, it stays intact - so my betting is that the hut is still standing along with that concreted ledge in the lower picture.

As if we needed anymore confirmation of the location, here is a shot of the area I have shown before in various places. It shows the three former mansions that occupied the top of the cliff before the American Club came along and knocked them all down to build their country club. The buildings are, in left to right order, Stanley Lodge, Tytam Villa and Palm Villa (the latter with the terraced tennis courts used in Enter the Dragon). The picture was taken circa 1982 - so about the same time as this filming - and I have circled the area we see on Forced Vengeance. Can you see the little hut? If you zoom in you can also make out the steps that lead up through the trees.

Anyway, the path leads up to...well, in the film it leads up to Tytam Villa, which serves as the big boss's lair. In reality I have no idea, it could have led to anyone of these three former great houses.

When I originally viewed this film I thought that Chuck may have been filming at Palm Villa, but on closer inspection (largely by looking at the window pattern and the existence of annexes either side) it seems that this garden and house were Tytam Villa.

It still looks in okay condition in the film, at least the grounds do, but it wouldn't be long before it was removed and the same spot now seems to house the main clubhouse of the American Club.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Forced Vengeance - Chuck Norris (1982) - Tai Tam Tuk Pumping Station, Hong Kong

The first of a couple of posts from this area which sees the finale of the film as Chuck takes on the bad guys. The initial stage takes place on the baddies boat which is moored at the jetty right in front of the old pumping station, and we get to see the building itself as Chuck stages his one man ninja-like attack against multiple gun-toting foes. There is a little bit of history on the station here, and here are the screen captures.

And here are some other shots of the harbour (in the background) from the same fight scene.

The Private Eyes - Hui Bros (1976) - Tin Hau Temple Road, Hong Kong

Credit again to Arthur for locating this similar road scene, not too far away from the previous Braemar Hill Road locale seen in the last post. This time we move down the slope a bit to where Braemar Hill Road intersects with Tin Hau Temple Road.

In the screen caps above, the Porsche is turning right to continue along Tin Hau Temple Road. The road leading from the left is the bottom end of Braemar Hill Road. As mentioned by Arthur in his comment to me when he identified the location, the buildings on the opposite side of the road is still around. They are Ho King View and Tempo Court (from left to right), both built circa 1971 - just a few years before this film was made. Here's what the area looks like now. Thanks Arthur!

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Private Eyes - Hui Bros (1976) - Braemar Hill Road, North Point

A big thanks to Arthur once again for finding the location of this spot from the absolutely great The Private Eyes. When I first saw this screen grab I really had no clue at all as to where it may have been and was considering almost anywhere before consigning it to the help page.

The eventual location, revealed by Arthur, hadn't even been on my possible list which just goes to show how dumb I can be sometimes. Never mind, here it is with surprisingly little change over the past 40 years.

The exact location is where Braemar Hill Road splits into two by Choi Sai Woo Park in front of the Pacific Palisades apartment complex. The building up there on the slope in both the screencap above and Streetview below is the Kiangsu Chekiang College and is still up there.

Yellowthread Street (TV Series) - Bruce Payne (1990) - Ocean Park, Aberdeen

Okay, I'm cheating a bit because this isn't Ocean Park per se, just the body of water next to it outside of Aberdeen Harbour.

Once upon a time, until about 10 or so years ago (2001 to be precise) the Aberdeen side of Ocean Park - at the bottom of those rather impressively long escalators (much more impressive than the mid-levels one at least) was a part of the theme park that was given over to ancient China. It was called Middle Kingdom and consisted of some Imperial looking Chinese buildings around a central square. On my first trip to HK I did actually go here and stayed to watch the so-called kung fu demonstration - basically a bunch of guys doing the standard chikung tricks: bending bars in their throats, throwing chopsticks into a target board and walking barefoot across supposedly razor sharp knives.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, you can see the old buildings of the Middle Kingdom in the background of the following screen shots. The top one shows what looks like a temple at the top left but it was just a cheap imitation that, seemingly, wasn't popular with the burgeoning Mainland masses.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Forced Vengeance - Chuck Norris (1982) - 180 Nam Shan San Tsuen Road, Sai Kung

In what is almost one of my most flukey finds in the whole 3 years I have been attending to this blog, I have managed to find the actual house used as the Paschal abode in the film. A bit of blind luck, a rough estimate of where it might be and the astonishing fact that it still exists mean that I can confirm it is in Nam Shan village in Sai Kung. Here is a reminder.

It looks as though the pool was actually being built at teh time and when you look at the GoogleEarth aerial view (see below) then you can just make out the shape of what appears to be the same pool.

The guesswork was aided by the following picture which shows Inner Port Shelter at the back and a rather familiar little island (the small hump on the left) which is also known as Lap Sap Island. Knowing where we were it was just a case of lining up the angle and then finding a property that fit the other characteristics.

In the film we get to see the parking area/garden in front of the property as well as the limo drives through the gate followed by the rather nice doorway with its shallow arch overhead.

So anyway, here is the only view available of said property. The gate is still there, although the white picket fence has been replaced by chicken wire, and if you zoom in on the front door you can see the door hasn't really changed other than its colour.

For those wishing to make the effort to get there in person, the house is on Nam Shan New Village Road and I have marked it below - but much better to click on the location information at the bottom of this post to see it in Google Maps.

On an aside, if you are the actual owner of this house and had no idea it was once used in a Chuck Norris film, I apologise in advance of any weird looking geeky kids and blokes peering over your gate in attempt to take a photo of it...and, by the way, nice pool.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Forced Vengeance - Chuck Norris (1982) - Hirams Highway, Sai Kung

We also see a fair bit of Sai Kung in this film because the Paschal's house is here giving way to lots of scenes of their car driving up and down the roads around the town. Here is the first one from the start of the film when we see Chuck's taxi take him from the airport to the Casino.

Yes, once again movie-land strikes again with its illogical geography. We see Chuck get in a cab at Kai Tak Airport in Kowloon, driving down Hirams Highway in Sai Kung and the arriving all the way back over in Tuen Mun for the casino scenes. I would love to have seen the fare for that particular journey!

 In the top picture we can see some steps on the pavement on the right hand side (just to the right of the taxi). That's good because it allows us to identify the stretch of road we are looking at. You can see the same steps in the Streetview picture below (in front of where the blue wall starts).

As the car goes by the camera pans after it to the right and we get the view we see in the second two screen captures. Believe it or not the two buildings behind the red/yellow signage on the right are still around. There is also a third building still around and it is the one on the left with a stepped roof and orange roof tiles in the screen grab. You can just see it in the Streetview below but its now standing by itself and has discoloured somewhat in the last 30 years.

Moving on and I figured we should bunch all these screencaps together because as the taxi makes its way back we get a brief glimpse of Hebe Haven.

Okay, so we are given a big clue as to the location courtesy of the pier in the harbour. It's still there but so is the large white building we can see just at the back. It looks to be a commercial property but is currently empty according to Streetview (with a bog X Dive sign on the front). I'm not a Sai Kung resident and only really venture in to join a dive boat (and I try to avoid the town for much the same reasons I try to avoid Discovery Bay) so don't know it so well but I am sure there are people out there that know what it was or is. Anyway, here is my best approximation of the location.