Hong Kong Drama ‘A Light Never Goes Out’ Headed to Blu-ray Jan. 30 From BayView

BayView Entertainment will release the Hong Kong drama A Light Never Goes Out on Blu-ray Disc Jan. 30 via the Allied Vaughn manufacture-on-demand service.

In the film, while dealing with her husband’s passing, a woman discovers his neon workshop is still inhabited by his apprentice. They work together in putting up a neon sign, fighting against the forward movement against the traditional craft that defined Hong Kong.

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Directed by Anastasia Tsang, the film stars Sylvia Chang, Cecilia Choi and Cecilia Choi.

Three Hong Kong Film Blu-rays, Including Horror-Comedy ‘Blue Jean Monster,’ Available in December From MVD and 88 Films

Three Hong Kong film Blu-ray Disc releases — The Blue Jean Monster, The Inspector Wears Skirts and the Long Arm of the Law 1 & 2 double feature box set — are available in December from MVD Entertainment Group and 88 films.

Due Dec. 26 is The Blue Jean Monster, a 1991 Hong Kong horror-comedy directed by Ivan Lai. It follows a police officer named Joe who has a happy life with his pregnant wife. One day he gets a tip that a bank is about to be robbed and rushes to it but is killed. Then the strangest thing happens, Joe becomes a vampire when a black cat jumps on his body and is hit by lightning. Can Joe take revenge on his killers? The limited edition includes a slipcase with new artwork from James Neal. Available in 2.0 Cantonese dual mono with English subtitles, the release also includes the extras “Man Made Monster,” an interview with assistant director Sam Leong, and the original Hong Kong trailer.

In The Inspector Wears Skirts (1988), also due Dec. 26, Madame Wu (Sibelle Hu) has been assigned to the Hong Kong Police Academy to train female Banshee Squad Members, right next door to the all-male Tiger Squad lead by Inspector Kan (Shui-Fan Fung). After internal conflicts and courting mishaps, the squad members are ordered to band together to round up a gang of thieves, but nothing goes as planned. From executive producer, Raymond Chow (Enter the Dragon) comes this action comedy that was produced and choreographed by Jackie Chan and lensed by Andy Lau. The film, remastered from the original camera negative, put in motion a successful franchise, launched the career of international action star Cynthia Rothrock and helped to establish the viability of female-driven action films in Hong Kong and worldwide. The limited edition features a slipcase with new artwork from Sean Longmore. Available in 2.0 Cantonese dual mono with English subtitles and 2.0 English dual mono, the film’s extras include audio commentary by Frank Djeng; “Shooting Her Shot,” an interview with Cynthia Rothrock; “The Director Wears Pants,” an interview with director Wellson Chin; “Top Squad” English opening and closing titles; the Hong Kong trailer; the English trailer; and a stills gallery.

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Available now is the double feature box set of The Long Arm of the Law (1984) and The Long Arm of the Law Part 2. Directed by Johnny Mak (To Be Number One) and his brother Michael Mak (Sex and Zen, Butterfly and Sword), respectively, the two movies are packed with Hong Kong-style action sequences; pioneered the two gun style popularized later by films like Hard Boiled, Face Off and The Matrix; and provide a prelude to what would eventually become a quadrilogy of martial arts thrillers. Extras include reversible sleeves featuring original artwork; new artwork by Sean Longmore; new 2K restorations of both films in the 1:85:1 aspect ratio; audio commentaries by Hong Kong film expert Frank Djeng; new interviews with actor Philip Chan; and new interviews with director Michael Mak.

Hong Kong Actioners ‘Magic Cop’ and ‘The Last Blood’ Due on Blu-ray From MVD and 88 Films

The Hong Kong actioners Magic Cop and The Last Blood are being released on Blu-ray Disc by 88 Films and MVD Entertainment Group.

Due July 25 is Magic Cop (1990). Mixing comedy, action and esoteric lore, the restored film from the golden age of Hong Kong cinema is making its Blu-ray debut. In the film, after seeing off hopping corpses in Mr. Vampire, Lam Ching-ying (Enter the Dragon, Eastern Condors) faces a new supernatural challenge: someone is using the living dead to smuggle drugs into modern day Hong Kong and only Lam’s Officer Feng — policeman and Taoist master — can stop them, proving the power of traditional Chinese magic in the process.  At age 17, star Lam Ching-ying became a stuntman and martial arts coach at the Shaw Brothers Studio, working on classics The Big Boss, Fists of Fury and Enter the Dragon. The film also stars Michael Miu (Black Ransom), Wu Ma (Police Story 2) and Billy Chow (Fist of Legend). Special features include audio commentary by Frank Djeng.

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Also known as Hard Boiled II, Police Protectors and 12 Hours of Terror, The Last Blood (1990) is being released Aug. 8, also for the first time on Blu-ray. A gunplay movie such as only Hong Kong filmmakers could produce and a full-tilt tribute to the heroic bloodshed of John Woo (Hard Boiled), The Last Blood is a pioneering mix of Buddhists and bullets. In the film, star Andy Lau is out for blood — literally. Terrorists have shot two people: their target was a Tibetan religious leader but they also wounded the girlfriend of Bee (Lau, God of Gamblers, Infernal Affairs). Since both victims share the same rare blood group, Bee joins the cops (headed by Alan Tam, Armour of God) racing to find a donor. But the terrorists haven’t finished yet. The film also stars Eric Tsang (The Eye) and Bryan Leung (Iron Monkey). The Last Blood is known in the United Kingdom as Hard Boiled II (most likely to boost video sales). However, the film has nothing to do with the John Woo film, considering it was made two years earlier. Special features include audio commentary by Hong Kong film expert Frank Djeng and the theatrical trailer.

‘In the Line of Duty I-IV’ Collection Due on Blu-ray May 16 From 88 Films and MVD

88 Films May 16 will release the four-disc deluxe collector’s edition Blu-ray set In the Line of Duty I-IV with new 2K restorations of all four films — Royal Warriors, Yes, Madam!, In the Line of Duty III and In the Line of Duty IV
  
Royal Warriors (1986) stars Academy Award Winner Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once) as Inspector Yip. While returning from a holiday in Japan, she stops the mid-air rescue of a mobster headed to Hong Kong for trial. This seeming heroic act comes to haunt Yip as the mobster’s family sets out for revenge. The Blu-ray features newly translated English subtitles; audio commentary by Hong Kong film expert Frank Djeng; missing airplane inserts; the Cantonese and English trailers; and the English “In the Line of Duty” titles.  
  
In Yes, Madam! (1985,), Michelle Yeoh stars as Inspector Ng, who teams up with Cynthia Rothrock’s tough-as-nails Scottish Investigator Carrie Morris to retrieve microfilm that has unknowingly been stolen by two low-level thieves. The Blu-ray features both the Hong Kong Cut and export version with the classic English dub; audio commentary by Frank Djeng (Hong Kong version); select scene commentary with Cynthia Rothrock and Frank Djeng; interviews with Cynthia Rothrock, Men Hoi and Michelle Yeoh; the “Archive Battling Babes” featurette; and the Hong Kong trailer. 
  
In the Line of Duty III (1988) stars Cynthia Khan as Detective Rachel Yeung, who’s tracking down a pair of terrorists who, after a bloody Tokyo heist, have fled to Hong Kong. The Blu-ray features audio commentary by Frank Djeng and Michael Worth; an interview with John Sham by Frederic Ambroisine; Hong Kong and English trailers; and English credits. 
  
In the Line of Duty IV (1989) stars Cynthia Kahn as Detective Yeung, who’s hot on the trail of a drug dealer, with the help of Inspectors Yan (Donnie Yen) and Inspector Wong (Michael Wong). The Blu-ray features both the Hong Kong cut and export version with the classic English Dub; audio commentary with Frank Djeng and F.J. DeSanto (Hong Kong cut); an Interview with Donnie Yen; and Hong Kong and English trailers.   

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The box set includes new artwork by Sean Longmore; reversible sleeves featuring original artwork; a double-sided foldout poster; and a 100-page book by Matthew Edwards featuring interviews with Shan Tam, Michael Parker, Stephan Berwick and Michael Woods, plus archive stills, production imagery, posters and more.

Due April 25 from MVD and 88 Films — and also starring Michelle Yeoh, this time paired with Jackie Chan — is Police Woman 3: Supercop on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray Disc. In the film, to infiltrate a drug cartel, police Inspector Chan Ka Kui (Jackie Chan, Rush Hour, Rumble in the Bronx) goes undercover in a Chinese prison. There, he earns the trust of Panther (Yuen Wah, Kung Fu Hustle), a cartel member, by breaking him out of prison. With the help of another undercover agent (Yeoh), they travel to Hong Kong and join up with Panther’s gang. Ka Kui is accepted by the gang’s leader (Ken Tsang), but his operation is jeopardized when Ka Kui’s girlfriend (Maggie Cheung, Hero) accidentally reveals his true identity.

‘An American Werewolf in London’ on 4K Among Titles Due in March From Arrow and MVD

The horror classic An American Werewolf in London, the kung fu classic Come Drink With Me and the Japanese film noir To Sleep So as to Dream are being released on disc from Arrow Video and MVD Entertainment Group in March.

Director John Landis (The Blues Brothers, Trading Places) combines macabre horror with dark humor in An American Werewolf in London (1981), newly restored and due on 4K Ultra HD with Dolby Vision March 15. In the film, American tourists David (David Naughton) and Jack (Griffin Dunne) are savaged by an unidentified vicious animal whilst hiking on the Yorkshire Moors. David awakes in a London hospital to find his friend dead and his life in disarray. Retiring to the home of a beautiful nurse (Jenny Agutter, Walkabout) to recuperate, he soon experiences disturbing changes to his mind and body, undergoing a full-moon transformation that will unleash terror on the streets of the capital. The film features Rick Baker’s ground-breaking, Oscar-winning special makeup effects.

Extras include audio commentary by Beware the Moon filmmaker Paul Davis; audio commentary by actors Naughton and Dunne; “Mark of the Beast: The Legacy of the Universal Werewolf,” a feature-length documentary by filmmaker Daniel Griffith, featuring interviews with Landis, Naughton, Joe Dante and more; “An American Filmmaker in London,” an interview with Landis in which he reflects on British cinema and his time working in Britain; “I Think He’s a Jew: The Werewolf’s Secret,” a video essay by filmmaker Jon Spira (Elstree 1976) about how Landis’ film explores Jewish identity; “The Werewolf’s Call,” in which Corin Hardy, director of The Hallow and The Nun, chats with writer Simon Ward about their formative experiences with the film; “Wares of the Wolf,” a featurette in which SFX artist Dan Martin and Tim Lawes of Prop Store look at some of the original costumes and special effects artifacts from the film; “Beware the Moon,” Paul Davis’ feature-length exploration of Landis’ film which boasts extensive cast and crew interviews; “An American Werewolf in Bob’s Basement” and “Causing a Disturbance: Piccadilly Revisited,” two 2008 featurettes filmed by Paul Davis; “Making An American Werewolf in London,” a short archival featurette on the film’s production; “An Interview with John Landis,” a lengthy archival interview with the director about the film; make-up Artist Rick Baker on An American Werewolf in London; “I Walked with a Werewolf,” an archival interview with Rick Baker about Universal horror and its legacy of Wolfman films; “Casting of the Hand,” archival footage from Rick Baker’s workshop showing the casting of Naughton’s hand; outtakes; a storyboards featurette; the original trailer and teaser plus TV and radio spots; an image gallery; a reversible sleeve featuring original poster art and artwork by Graham Humphreys; a double-sided fold-out poster; six double-sided, postcard-sized lobby card reproductions; and a limited edition 60-page, perfect-bound book featuring new writing by Craig Ian Mann and Simon Ward, archival articles and original reviews.

Years before the Shaw Brothers’ kung fu films made them the biggest film studio in Hong Kong, local audiences flocked to their wuxia pian films — mythic tales of swordfighting (and often gravity-defying) heroes fighting for honor. In his final film for the studio, Come Drink With Me (1966), due on Blu-ray March 22, director King Hu (A Touch of Zen) broke fresh new ground in martial arts storytelling, and catapulted lead actress Cheng Pei-pei to stardom. In the film, when the Governor’s son is taken hostage by bandits, a mysterious swordsman named Golden Swallow (Cheng) is hot on their trail to ensure the son’s release. What the bandits don’t realize, however, is that Golden Swallow is actually a woman, and that the hostage is her brother. Determined to set him free, no matter how many goons she has to fight her way through in doing so, she is aided in her quest by a drunken beggar (Yueh Hua), who may have a closer connection to the bandits’ leader than he initially lets on. Decades before Ang Lee brought the wuxia genre to international attention with the Oscar-winning Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (in which Cheng played the villainous Jade Fox), King Hu set the original template in what is still considered one of Shaw Brothers’ greatest and most influential action masterpieces.

The Japanese To Sleep So as to Dream (1986) follows two private detectives who hunt for an actress trapped within the reel of a silent ninja film. The dreamlike debut of Kaizo Hayashi (Circus Boys, Zipang), an homage to the movie worlds of the 1910s and 1950s, is due on Blu-ray March 22. In the film, when private eye Uotsuka (Shiro Sano, Violent Cop, Shin Godzilla) and his sidekick Kobayashi are approached by an aged former actress, Madame Cherryblossom, to go in search of her kidnapped daughter Bellflower, their investigation leads them to the studios of the mysterious M. Pathe company. Here Uotsuka has a strange vision in which he comes face to face with the beautiful star of a 1915 chanbara film that appears to have no ending. From then on, things begin to get a little strange. To Sleep So as to Dream makes its home video debut outside of Japan in a brand new restoration supervised by the director himself. Drifting between illusion and allusion, it is chockfull of references to Japan’s rich cinematic heritage and features cameos from a host of veteran talent and baroque sets created by Takeo Kimura, the Nikkatsu art designer remembered for his flamboyant work with Seijun Suzuki in the 1960s.

Extras include new audio commentary by Japanese film experts Tom Mes and Jasper Sharp; audio commentary with director Kaizo Hayashi and lead actor Shiro Sano recorded in 2000; “How Many Eggs?, Actor Shiro Sano Talks,” a new interview with the film’s lead actor; “Talking Silents: Benshi Midori Sawato Talks,” a new interview on early Japanese film culture and the art of the benshi silent film commentator; “Midori Sawato Performs ‘The Eternal Mystery,’” an exclusive benshi performance to the film within the film; the “The Restoration of To Sleep So as to Dream” featurette; “Fragments from Japan’s Lost Silent Heyday,” a selection of scenes from silent jidai-geki films from the Kyoto Toy Museum archives; the original theatrical trailer and English-language restored re-release trailers; an image gallery; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by David Downton; and for the first pressing only, an illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Aaron Gerow.

Classic Kung Fu Films ‘Monkey Kung Fu’ and ‘Shaolin Mantis’ Due on Blu-ray March 22 From 88 Films USA and MVD

The classic kung fu films Monkey Kung Fu (1979) and Shaolin Mantis (1978) will be released on Blu-ray March 22 from the 88 Films USA label in partnership with MVD Entertainment Group.

A cult classic from the Shaw Brothers Studio, Monkey Kung Fu (aka Stroke of Death) is directed by Mar Lo (Shaolin Thief) and stars Siu-Tung Ching (The Shaolin Boxer). In the film, when a prisoner is given half of a wooden keepsake by a one eyed-master about to be executed, he breaks out of prison to go in search of the other half to discover its purpose. However, on his quest he is pursued by a gang leader who will also stop at nothing find out its secrets.

Included in the package are a limited edition slipcase with new artwork from R.P. “Kung Fu Bob” O’Brien; a double-sided A3 foldout poster; extensive booklet notes; audio commentary by Kenneth Brorsson and Phil Gillon of the Podcast On Fire Network; “Stunting Around,” an interview with choreographer Tony Leung Siu-hung; and the original trailer. 

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Also from the Shaw Brothers studio, Shaolin Mantis is from the golden age of Hong Kong martial arts cinema. In the film, when scholar Wei Fung (David Chiang) is hired by the emperor to infiltrate a clan of rebellious Ming loyalists, his mission goes adrift when he falls in love the clan leader’s granddaughter and his plans are discovered. The film is directed by Lau Kar Leung (The Spiritual Boxer, The 36th Chamber of Shaolin).

Included in the package are a limited edition slipcase with new artwork from R.P. “Kung Fu Bob” O’Brien; a double-sided A3 foldout poster; four collectible art cards; audio commentary with Asian cinema experts Mike Leeder and Arne Venema; audio commentary with Asian cinema expert Frank Djeng; “Complicated Families,” David West on Shaolin Mantis; an interview with actor John Cheung; the Deadly Mantis trailer; and an original Hong Kong trailer.

Jason Monteiro Named GM of HBO Max Southeast Asia

Jason Monteiro is the new GM of HBO Max Southeast Asia. Monteiro’s hiring comes a week after Amit Malhotra exited the managing director position just seven months after taking on the job.

Monteiro will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of WarnerMedia’s direct-to-consumer business, brand, marketing, subscriber management, digital partnerships and data analytics. Based in Singapore, Monteiro will oversee the existing HBO Go streaming service, which will soon convert to HBO Max.

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Jason Monteiro

Monteiro most recently served as GM of the AVOD tier of Arabic content streaming service Shahid. Prior to Shahid, he was GM of iflix in Indonesia and Malaysia, in addition to handling the platform’s marketing duties.

“Jason arrives at Max with a proven track record of building and growing subscription services across Asia and other important global markets,” Johannes Larcher, head of Max International, said in a statement.

Monteiro reports to Larcher until a new managing director for Max’s India, Southeast Asia and Korea territories is found.

“[Monteiro] is a passionate leader known for building and inspiring high-performing teams, and I’m eager to see his leadership in action as he steps into his new role,” Larcher said.

Hong Kong Action Thriller ‘Raging Fire’ Hitting Hi-Yah! Streaming Service Oct. 22, Disc and Digital Nov. 23 From Well Go

The Hong Kong action thriller Raging Fire will be released on the martial arts streaming service Hi-Yah! on Oct. 22, before hitting digital, Blu-ray and DVD Nov. 23 with a new English dub from Well Go USA Entertainment.

Boasting a cast headlined by international martial arts action superstars Donnie Yen (Mulan, “Ip Man” franchise) and Nicholas Tse (Shaolin, New Police Story), Raging Fire was the last film from acclaimed action auteur Benny Chan (Shaolin, New Police Story).

In the film, Bong (Yen) is a highly respected hardline cop with a long history of success on dangerous cases. However, his past unexpectedly comes back to haunt him when a sting operation is attacked by a mysterious group of criminals led by Ngo (Tse), his former protégé, a talented former officer who had once respected and admired Bong. However, a terrible mistake years prior landed him in prison, quickly turning the once rising star into a furious man with a grudge, and the will to destroy everyone who had wronged him — including his former mentor.

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The film co-stars Patrick Tam (Master Z, Ip Man 3), Kenny Wong (New Police Story), Deep Ng (Stool Pigeon), Jeana Ho (The Grandmaster, Special Female Force), Angus Yeung, Bruce Tong, Henry Mak (Operation Red Sea), Yu Kang (Ip Man 3), German Cheung (The White Storm 2: Drug Lords), and Tony Wu Tsz Tung (Men on the Dragon); with special appearances by Lui Leung Wai (Flash Point), Simon Yam (Little Q, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life), Ben Yuen, Ben Lam (Flash Point, Police Story), Ken Low (Rush Hour) and Carlos Chan.

Hong Kong Martial Arts Actioner ‘The Fatal Raid’ Hitting Digital and Disc Aug. 24 From Well Go

The Hong Kong martial arts actioner The Fatal Raid will hit digital, Blu-ray and DVD Aug. 24 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

Action icon Jade Leung (Black Cat, Enemy Shadow) stars alongside Patrick Tam (All’s Well End’s Well, Ip Man 3, Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy), Min-Chen Lin (Vampire Cleanup Department), Jeana Ho (iGirl), Michael Tong (Man of Tai Chi, God of War) and Kristy Yeung (Good Bye, My Princess, Detective Dee’s Hell Road).

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In the film, two elite police teams head up a secret operation following a dangerous smuggling ring across the Macau border, but when their presence is discovered, the mission ends in a deadly firefight. Then 20 years later, an escort mission brings the survivors back to the scene of the tragedy — and fosters an unwelcome reunion.

Hong Kong Horror Film ‘The Untold Story’ Due on Disc Oct. 13 From MVD

Unearthed Films and MVD Entertainment Group will release the restored Hong Kong horror film The Untold Story for the first time in the U.S. on DVD and Blu-ray Oct. 13.

The notorious Category 3 film is the grisly tale of a killer. In 1978 in Hong Kong, a murder takes place. Eight years later on a Macao beach, kids discover the severed hands of a fresh victim. A squadron of cops investigate and suspicion falls on Wong Chi Hang, the new owner of The Eight Immortals Restaurant famous for its delicious pork buns. The hands belong to the missing mother of the restaurant’s former owner who has disappeared along with the rest of his family. Staff at the restaurant continue to go missing but the police can’t find any hard evidence that Wong is responsible. When he can’t produce a bill of sale proving his purchase of the restaurant, Wong is arrested and the police try to torture him into a confession.

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The film is written by and starring Danny Lee (City on Fire, Dr. Lamb), stars Anthony Wong (The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, Ip Man: The Final Fight, Ebola Syndrome, Hard Boiled) and is directed by Herman Yau (Ebola Syndrome, Taxi Hunter). Wong was awarded the Hong Kong Film Awards Best Actor Award for his performance.

Special features include:

  • commentary with Anthony Wong;
  • commentary with Herman Yau;
  • Q&A with Herman Yau;
  • commentary with Art Ettinger (Ultra Violent) and Bruce Holecheck (Cinema Arcana);
  • “Category III: The Untold Story of Hong Kong Exploitation Cinema”; and
  • “Cantonese Carnage: An Interview with Rick Baker.”

 

Blu-ray special features also include a slipcover on the first pressing only; liner notes by Art Ettinger on the first pressing only; and the isolated film score.