Way back when I was living in Montreal, I would attend something called Hong Kong Movie Nite.  It was a weekly tradition, hosted by my buddy Nigel, that saw us gather at his place for wings, Jamaican takeout, Jack Daniels, occasional cigars, and screenings of some of the most bad-ass and weirdly wonderful offerings from the Hong Kong film industry.

This was before Hollywood discovered John Woo and Jet Li, before Chow Yun-Fat had become a global star, before Quentin Tarantino had “borrowed” elements of Ringo Lam’s City on Fire for his first modest kick at the cinematic bucket, a movie called Reservoir Dogs. Paul and I would swing by from work and take in double, sometimes triple features with the likes of Supa, Champion, Flipski, and Sushiman — big boys, mostly of Caribbean descent, who were as fun and furious as the movies themselves.

I miss the Movie Nite Crew.  And all those testosterone-fueled action flicks that have, in time, become classics of Asian cinema.

Reflecting back over the countless films we watched, I’d have to say that these were my Top 12 favorites…

My Top 12 Hong Kong Movie Nite Favorites!

This delightfully ludicrous romantic comedy was my introduction to funnyman Stephen Chow – who makes several appearances on this list.

My Top 12 Hong Kong Movie Nite Favorites!

A gloriously over-the-top entry in the Girls with Guns sub-genre that became an instant cult classic.

My Top 12 Hong Kong Movie Nite Favorites!

The movie that made uber-cool Chow Yun-Fat a superstar.

My Top 12 Hong Kong Movie Nite Favorites!

Cartoon ultra-violence reigns supreme in this near-future actioner, probably the craziest movie I’ve ever seen.

My Top 12 Hong Kong Movie Nite Favorites!

Romance, tragedy, fantasy, and plenty of swordplay.  A beautiful film.

My Top 12 Hong Kong Movie Nite Favorites!

Nobody mixes action and comedy like Stephen Chow.

My Top 12 Hong Kong Movie Nite Favorites!

And here he takes a turn as the Hong Kong’s 007 in this James Bond spoof with a definitive Asian twist.

My Top 12 Hong Kong Movie Nite Favorites!

Adapted by Hollywood, practically scene for scene, as the Oscar-winning The Departed.

My Top 12 Hong Kong Movie Nite Favorites!

Jet Li at his bad-ass best.

My Top 12 Hong Kong Movie Nite Favorites!

One of my very first forays into Asian cinema, this one remains one of my very favorites.  The action sequences are so exquisitely choreographed that my brain was buzzing for hours after our initial screening.

My Top 12 Hong Kong Movie Nite Favorites!

Stephen Chow is at the top of his game here, playing a master of kung-fu who enlists the help of his fellow Shoalin monks to form a soccer team,  one that incorporates martial arts into the beautiful game – with hilarious results.  One of my very favorite comedies ever.

My Top 12 Hong Kong Movie Nite Favorites!

A ruthless assassin attempts to make amends for a past mistake in this cinematic classic.

13 thoughts on “My Top 12 Hong Kong Movie Nite Favorites!

  1. I have to admit, I haven’t really heard of any of those, but those movie nights do sound like a lot of fun.

    I’d really like to check out the 007 spoof, as well as the Fist of Legend and the Infernal Affairs ones. The Killer sounds interesting too.

  2. What? No classic Shaw Bros films? My favorite of all time is The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (Shaolin Master Killer/Master Killer – it has various titles), and I still think it’s the best from that era. I also have much love for Kung Fu Hustle, and that’s the only one I’m familiar with on your list. Still, 36th Chamber… will always be my favorite.


  3. Really, Shaw Brothers was the Kung Fu Movie generator of all time.
    Cheng Pei Pei, Loh Li, Ivy Ling Po and on and on and on.
    There was another studio, whose name I do not remember, but we had our weekend of Kung Fu Movies at the American Theater on River Street.
    Kinda seedy area, and theater, but I loved the movies.

  4. I believe you have shown one of two of these old buddies on this blog before when you visit your mom’s house and meet them for dinner to catch up.

  5. I really miss those nights. Coincidentally, I am meeting Cynthia K for lunch this week, after some 18 years since our last laserdisk screening. One standout among many, is a film I have never been able to find again: All Men Are Brothers. One of my favorite recent HK films was Stephen Chow’s most recent, and 2007’s Flash Point with Donnie doing an amazing MMA of fight styles and action.

  6. Wow, this dredged up a memory I had nearly forgotten. When we lived in Shiraz, dad would take me downtown to the theater which showed Kung Fu movies on Saturdays. Shown in Chinese, with Farsi subtitles. The theater was always noisy, fun, and full of young men. Which may be why dad quit taking me; I was 16, blonde, and often the only young woman in the place. A novelty.

    After the show, we would go for Snitzchel and Persian limeade. Life was good.

  7. Love the Killer and Better Tomorrow, but my fave Hong Kong film will always be Chungking Express, can’t hear the Cranberries without thinking about that movie, with Eat Drink second. Wait, I’m totally forgetting Wing Chun and Supercop, Michelle Yeoh is so awesome.

  8. Brings back memories! All these snow filled news reports remind me of the snowed in Tremblant edition of HKMN and plate loads of fois gras and sweet bread 😉 Congrats on Dark Matter getting picked up!

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