Thursday, January 12, 2012

(Blue Jean Monster) Jeuk ngau jai foo dik Jung Kwai (1991)

I love Shing Fui On. If I had to speculate, then I would imagine his most famous role to Westerners would be his villainous turn in John Woo's The Killer (1989). His role in Woo's masterpiece may also be representative--Shing Fui On was a seriously credible badass on screen. He oozed intimidation and induced fear. Like many Hong Kong actors, Shing Fui On acted in a lot of films, many times as a villain, but also like many Hong Kong actors, his roles were often diverse. Shing Fui On was an exceptionally funny actor, as well. I sought out (Blue Jean Monster) Jeuk ngau jai foo dik Jung Kwai (1991) on DVD, because 1) it sounded like some wacky shit and 2) if the IMdB is correct, then Blue Jean Monster is the only leading role for Shing Fui On.
Shing Fui On plays cop, Tsu, who is about to be a parent with his expectant wife, Chu (Pauline Wong). Tsu and Chu go and seek blessings from Buddha, and unfortunately, Tsu receives an ominous one. Chu goes to the clinic for a checkup while Tsu goes and investigates a bank robbery. Tsu arrives at the bank and interrupts the bandits (led by popular cinema villain Jun Kunimura who appeared also in Woo's Hard Boiled (1992) and Miike's Ichi the Killer (2001), for example). After confronting the gang at a nearby junkyard, Tsu almost subdues them. Unfortunately, a large amount of scrap metal falls upon Tsu and kills him. The gang escapes and mistakenly leaves a witness, super-cute Gucci (Gloria Yip). A little bit of accidental mumbo jumbo combined with a bolt of lighting, and BAM! Tsu resurrects. Despite having his original consciousness, Tsu operates as a reanimated corpse--his body can last just long enough to catch the bad guys and see his child born into the world.
In 2012, I've seen way too many Hong Kong films and way too many insane ones to boot. Blue Jean Monster has moments of good old-fashioned political incorrectness and seriously bloody violence, so pervasive in Hong Kong cinema before the handover; yet there are few standout sequences or jokes worthy of making the film memorable. The best sequence involves buxom actress, Amy Yip (and for the record, in nearly every film in which I've seen her appear, there is at least one or two jokes regarding the size of Ms. Yip's breasts). Yip attempts to seduce Tsu, but Tsu refuses to have sex with her, because he loves his wife. One of the sicker side-effects that resurrected Tsu suffers from is that from time to time, Tsu's eyes become opaque, and he becomes possessed (and is the monster wearing blue jeans that the English-language title suggests). In order for Tsu to snap back into his original consciousness, he must be shocked--literally with electricity or with a splash of cold water. Well, during his meeting with Ms. Yip, Tsu becomes possessed and in a rage grabs Amy Yip's breasts and gives them a monstrous squeeze. Her breasts expel milk all over his face, and Tsu snaps back into consciousness. This scene is classic Hong Kong cinema political incorrectness, and unfortunately, there are not enough "holy shit"-type scenes, like this, to make Blue Jean Monster memorable.
Blue Jean Monster is surprisingly restrained, even more so considering its director is Ivan Lai, who would go on to helm some truly nasty Category III exploitation flicks, like Chik juk ging wan (The Peeping Tom) (1997). Blue Jean Monster is primarily of interest for fans of Shing Fui On. He's especially endearing in this role as an expectant father, caregiver, and diligent cop. Those familiar with early-90s Hong Kong cinema know this formula and whether of he/she wants to visit this film. I love the cinema and love its participants, so it's worth seeing in my opinion but perhaps it’s not one to go out of the way to see, however.


the-scandyfactory said...

Amy Yip makes everything that's good even better. I honestly don't know what I'd do without Fortune Star DVDs

Dr.LargePackage said...

Wonderful review, Hans. There are two things in this review that are most definitely large and in charge. Oh yeah.