Hong Kong Godfather
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The Triad underworld is at war in 1985’s Hong Kong Godfather, a blood-splattered tale of revenge, sex, and corruption. A violent new gang is hacking away at crime boss Szetu Han’s power. When the old man and his family are viciously murdered, Han’s three most trusted men – retired killer Mad Wei, hitman Playboy Lung, and Sergeant Wen, a city cop – undertake a brutal campaign of street justice. Featuring iconic martial arts villain Shih Chien (Bruce Lee’s diabolical nemesis in Enter the Dragon), Hong Kong Godfather has long been considered one of the hardest to obtain titles from the Shaw Brothers canon – until now.
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"Hong Kong Godfather" revolves around three buddies who are part of a triad gang. Playboy Lung is one of the higher ups in the triad, while Wen is now a sergeant in the police and Wei is the former hack and slash member who has retired from the gang and now living a peaceful life and raising his teenage daughter. Each of these men are loyal to triad leader Uncle Han.
But there is a bit of dissension within the gang as one of their own members who doesn't get along with Playboy Lung is working with the rival gang and planning to kill of Uncle Han, his family and everyone who is a member of their triad.
When the rival gang goes after Playboy and nearly kills him, both Wei and Sergeant Wen know they must help their friend out and avenge their fallen uncle the best way they know how...by machetes.
So far, each Shaw Brothers release that FUNimation Entertainment has looked quite solid. Thanks to Celestial Pictures going through major remastering and restoration for many of the Shaw Bros. films, "Hong Kong Godfather" looks pretty good for a 1985 film. But where there martial arts film doesn't seem so dated, "Hong Kong Godfather" reeks of '80s fashion and music. From the "Miami Vice" clothing, the Crockett and Tubs hairstyle (yes, the mullet is in full-effect) and more.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
"Hong Kong Godfather" is presented in Cantonese. As mentioned, this is a 1985 film and for the most part, dialogue is clear but the film sports some major '80s synth music that is more like listening to early '80s music from the old televison show C.HI.P.S. I don't remember music being like this in the mid-80's, probably early 80's but for the most part, the music doesn't hold up all that well over 25 years later.
Subtitles are in English.
"Hong Kong Godfather" comes with trailers of upcoming releases.
The DVD release comes with a slipcase cover.
"Hong Kong Godfather" was definitely an interesting and entertaining triad film.
I use the word "interesting" because I have watched many triad films and I don't think I have seen a film this bloody or violent. In some way, it's like playing a video game like "Resident Evil" or "Dead Rising" in which your constantly hacking and slashing or killing so many zombies. In this case, "Hong Kong Godfather" is a film about exact justice and three men taking on a lot of triad members with machetes and a lot of blood spurting while still maintaining some martial arts during the fight sequences. But for the most part, this is a film that focuses on machete slashing.
So, in many ways, "Hong Kong Godfather" is an "interesting" Shaw Brothers film for its mere content. Granted, today's violent films look more realistic while "Hong Kong Godfather" sports the "Miami Vice" clothing and hairstyles, bad '80s synth music but because of how crazy this film gets, you can't help but be entertained and in awe of what takes place.
The film has violence against men, women, children. Tons of blood and hacking. Many foreign, non-Chinese actors (makes me wonder if the Shaw Brothers was trying to make this film more accessible to a wider audience) as triad gang members (working for the rival gang), full frontal nudity and if your only exposure to Shaw Brothers films was martial arts films, "Hong Kong Godfather" definitely brings something new and over-the-top.
Overall, if you are looking for a crazy, bloody and violent Shaw Brothers film, "Hong Kong Godfather" is definitely for you!
There is even a scene where a child runs up and starts trying to hit a bad guy, the man picks up the kids and breaks him over his knee then throws him out a window. I wasn't expecting it so it was really shocking but I couldn't help but laugh (it's a hard movie to take seriously.)
But as I said, the final fight scene is what makes the movie. Think the final fight from Kill Bill Vol.1, meets Benny Hill..
The DVD is very nice, although there no special features. The Picture quality is excellent and that packaging and menu design are really cool (As are the rest of the Celestial Pictures/Funimation DVD releases).