This originally appeared in my zine for Issue 187 (July 1999) of Mutations, a gaming and comics APA. It parodies Dirty Bob, another zine-hack's biker alter-ego, who had run a series of Biker Movie Reviews.
Gratuitous Cheeze With a Side of Exploding Head:
My Beloved Hong Kong Action Movies
If Tequila from Hard Boiled can chew a toothpick and smoke a cigarette and blow away countless hordes of bad guys in a tea room all at the same time, I think you can probably smoke and have sex at the same time. And if you're smoking and chewing a toothpick and having sex and killing people with a semi-automatic pistol in each hand, you're like really unbelievably cool. Fuck homework, I'm watching Hard Boiled again tonight. --Adam Rixey
Dr. Lai & the Scripture with No Words (1996)
Director: Ching Siu-Tung
Starring: Jet Li, Rosamund Kwan
A wildly improbable tale in the Indiana Jones style is soon shown to be a pulp novel, and the characters reappear in the frame story; the hero, "King of Adventurers", is the writer, his sidekick is the writer's assistant, and the villainess is the writer's wife, who is trying to divorce him. In the frame story's world, when the writer is away from his keyboard, the other people step in to try their hand at the story, resulting in a series of reversals of fortune--especially when the wife/villainess gets her hands on the word processor.
The Gaming Nrrd says: This was like playing Dark Cults with a deck of Shadow Fist cards after staying up all night watching Raiders of the Lost Ark and Temple of Doom back to back while drinking Jumper Cables (Jolt & Bacardi 151).
Dirty Bob sez: Kung fu, gun fu, box o' burnin' Hellfire fu, giant rat fu, train fu, chain fu, flamin' bullwhips that turn into flamin' swords fu, lotsa architecture fu, and giant lost temple of evil somethin' or other fu. Hey, this Tsingtao shit ain't half bad.
Forbidden City Cop (1996)
Director: Vincent Kok
Starring: Stephen Chiau
One of the Emperor's special team of bodyguards is a horrible martial artist, but a great inventor. The story includes riffs on alien autopsies, cross-dressing secret agents, gaining superpowers from a near-fatal accident, and other wacky modern memes. The fourth wall is not so much ruptured as melted like a watch in a Dali painting. Loads of fun.
The Gaming Nrrd says: This is like playing James Bond 007: The Role Playing Game with Legend of the Five Rings cards shoved between the pages, with moments from The X-Files and Marvel Super Heroes.
Dirty Bob sez: Kung fu, helicopter fu, Maxwell Smart dipped in soy sauce fu--but where are the tits already?!
Chinese Ghost Story (1987)
Director: Ching Siu-Tung
Starring: Leslie Cheung, Joey Wong
A very sweet love story, in which Boy has to overcome many obstacles to get Girl because not only is she engaged to somebody else--a very powerful somebody else--she's dead. True love prevails, though not in what Westerners would consider a happy ending.
The Gaming Nrrd says: It had never occurred to me that Call of Cthulhu would work in historical China, but now it's painfully obvious. Ghosts that suck the life force out of humans. Shriveled undead things that slither in the shadows and dissolve into liquid putrefaction when exposed to sunlight. A demon with a mile-long tongue. Tentacles. And, most importantly, slime: buckets and buckets of slime.
Dirty Bob sez: Kung fu, tongue fu, sheer dumb luck fu, ghost fu, sword fu, Hell fu, pyrotechnics fu, and demon king o' the underworld fu. Somethin' for everybody.
Dragon Inn (1993)
Director: Raymond Lee
Starring: Tony Leung, Brigitte Lin, Maggie Cheung
Maggie Cheung totally rocks as the Sweeney Todd-like innkeeper who guards the one secret way out of China--which the heroes need to find, while the servants of the evil eunuchs who have taken over the Imperial court try to stop them. Cheung's character is coquettish, flirtatious, and kicks the living shit out of people. There's a great bit where she bursts in on the Brigitte Lin character naked in the bath and in a wildly choreographed fight, Lin undresses Cheung and puts on the clothes herself.
The Gaming Nrrd says: Somebody came up with the bright idea of crossing GURPS China with GURPS Swashbucklers, using all the maximally cinematic rules variants in the latter. It became obvious during one of the big brawl scenes, when someone swung from an interior balcony by grabbing a banner from the ceiling. Not a chandelier, but damn close!
Dirty Bob sez: Finally some nekkid chicks! Movin' too goddamn fast to let ya see much, though.
Hard Boiled (1992)
Director: John Woo
Starring: Chow Yun-Fat, Tony Leung
Hong Kong noir. Big guns. Treachery. Death. Origami cranes. How can I begin to explain it? It is the exquisite poetry of violence. Either you grok it or you don't.
The Gaming Nrrd says: This is like soaking the Feng Shui book in Jack Daniels and driving it through your own skull with a sledgehammer. Except first you rip out the entire weapons section from Cyberpunk 2020, roll the pages up, light them on fire and shove them up your nose. Yesss!
Dirty Bob sez: I am moving to Hong Kong. Tonight.