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Top 100 Hong Kong Films of the Nineties - Numbers 100-81

No, we didn’t forget. It’s time for another countdown from a LoveHKFilm Reader Vote! Simon Yam and pals are excited:

Running
“Oh boy! We gotta get to a computer to check out the results!”

After a couple of weeks of tallying and formatting, we’re counting down the Top 100 Hong Kong Films of the Nineties, as voted upon by LoveHKFilm.com’s readers. Response was pretty good; we received over 130 entries and over 250 total films were nominated. We barely got any sleep over here.

First of all, an apology: a lot of good stuff didn’t make the cut, but that’s to be expected. This vote is a totally subjective thing, so if you disagree with the results — well, that’s your problem. Next time you can participate to help sway the vote.

Also, our apologies to everyone who voted for GOD OF GAMBLERS and A CHINESE GHOST STORY, but both those films actually came out in the eighties. You’ll have to vote for them another time.

This entry lists Numbers 81-100 of the Top 100. We’ll follow next time with 20 more, before getting really annoying and cutting it back to 10 or even 5 per entry as things progress. We’ll try to add a new entry every 1-2 days, but that’s not a promise.

Let’s get started:

100. A CHINESE GHOST STORY III (1991), directed by Ching Siu-Tung - 17 points - LoveHKFilm Review

CGS3

No Leslie Cheung, no real problem - Tony Leung Chiu-Wai makes a more than adequate replacement. Ching Siu-Tung and Tsui Hark deliver more of the same, which isn’t bad at all. Joey Wong may be the most iconic flower vase in Hong Kong Cinema history.

99. RED TO KILL (1993), directed by Billy Tang - 18 points - LoveHKFilm Review

Red to Kill

If you must see one movie about a serial rapist who runs a care center for the mentally disabled, then make RED TO KILL that movie. Grady Hendrix says, “there are a lot of great, sleazy films from the 90’s, but the one film to rule them all is RED TO KILL. Bloody Billy Tang makes a movie as meticulously crafted and auteurist as anything by Dario Argento, but it’s so offensive that just owning a copy automatically reserves you a place in Hell.”

98. MY FATHER IS A HERO (1995), directed by Corey Yuen - 18 points, 1 first place vote - LoveHKFilm Review

My Father is a Hero

Jet Li’s strong presence anchors MY FATHER IS A HERO, but what makes it special is kung-fu dynamo Tze Miu and a supremely charismatic Anita Mui. An action film with over-the-top sentimentality that works. Corey Yuen’s action choreography is top notch, as usual. This is the first movie on this list that Wong Jing had something to do with.

96 (TIE). TEMPTING HEART (1998), directed by Sylvia Chang - 18.5 points - LoveHKFilm Review

Tempting Heart

Hey, Gigi Leung can act! If her work with Derek Yee hinted at it, Sylvia Chang’s TEMPTING HEART confirms it. Karen Mok and Takeshi Kaneshiro - they aren’t so bad, either.

96 (TIE). EBOLA SYNDROME (1996), directed by Herman Yau - 18.5 points - LoveHKFilm Review

Ebola Syndrome

Nothing beats Anthony Wong raping and killing - except when he’s spitting ebola-infected blood onto people. Wong and co-conspirator Herman Yau do their bloody best to outdo THE UNTOLD STORY. Some people think they succeeded.

95. ROYAL TRAMP II (1992), directed by Wong Jing - 19 points - LoveHKFilm Review

Royal Tramp 2

Stephen Chow brings the snarky comedy, Brigitte Lin the charismatic presence, and the bevy of babes - Chingmy Yau, Michelle Reis, Fennie Yuen, Vivian Chan - the eye candy. Fun action and a side-splitting SWORDSMAN II parody do the rest. Wong Jing really did make good movies once upon a time.

94. A CHINESE GHOST STORY II (1990), directed by Ching Siu-Tung - 19 points - LoveHKFilm Review

CGS2

As if Joey Wong wasn’t enough beautiful enough, CHINESE GHOST STORY 2 actually has the nerve to add Michelle Reis to the cast. Straight girls and gay guys get Leslie Cheung. The genre fans get flying kung-fu and Jacky Cheung as the Wu Ma stand-in. Horror fans get the evil tree. Everybody gets something.

93. THE ODD ONE DIES (1997), directed by Patrick Yau - 19 points, 1 first place vote - LoveHKFilm Review

The Odd One Dies

Johnnie To was only the producer, right? Patrick Yau’s quirky crimer is a great little movie about lost souls connecting on the way to oblivion and/or paradise. Reader WillJayRod calls ODD ONE DIES “darkly humorous, with one quirky soundtrack. Outsourced assassinations, stinky socks, bad haircuts, amputated fingers on ice…good times!”

92. LIFELINE (1997), directed by Johnnie To - 19.5 points - LoveHKFilm Review

Lifeline

Basically a firefighter soap opera, LIFELINE features stirring heroics and some unabashed human drama. Reader Lord Garth says, “More Lau Ching-Wan and Johnnie To goodness. HK’s answer to BACKDRAFT is actually a beautifully shot, intense film that stands on its own. The fire cinemotography is stunning and all the more impressive that the stars did their own stunts.”

91. SHE SHOOTS STRAIGHT (1990), directed by Corey Yuen - 20 points -LoveHKFilm Review

She Shoots Straight

Few fighting female films can outdo SHE SHOOTS STRAIGHT. This 1990 actioner had melodrama and cheesiness to spare, but the painful girl-on-girl fisticuffs more than compensate. Joyce Godenzi = action goddess.

90. SWORDSMAN (1990), directed by King Hu, Tsui Hark, Ching Siu-Tung, Raymond Lee, Andrew Kam and Ann Hui - 20 points - LoveHKFilm Review

Swordsman

Tsui Hark and company brought the wuxia back to prominence with SWORDSMAN, helping to spur the genre’s incredible nineties boom. The glut of costume action films only lasted 4-5 years, but they were good times, weren’t they?

89. SEALED WITH A KISS (1999), directed by Derek Chiu - 21.5 points - LoveHKFilm Review

Sealed with a Kiss

Back when Milkyway Image produced more than fan-baiting crime films, they delivered this unheralded little gem set on rural Peng Chau. As for why it’s so good, reader WillJayRod cites “Louis Koo’s underrated performance coupled with a great, if depressing, ending.”

88. ARMOUR OF GOD II: OPERATION CONDOR (1991), directed by Jackie Chan - 22.5 points - LoveHKFilm Review

Armour of God 2

Despite terrible racial stereotypes, OPERATION CONDOR is one of Jackie Chan’s most enjoyable action-adventures, with awesome set pieces and bravura stuntwork aplenty. Proof of Chan’s one-of-a-kind talent. Released by Dimension Films in the US. Remember?

86 (TIE). JUSTICE MY FOOT! (1992), directed by Johnnie To - 23 points - LoveHKFilm Review

Justice My Foot

One of Stephen Chow’s biggest box-office successes, JUSTICE MY FOOT! features laughs-a-plenty, a dynamite supporting cast and most of all, the scene-stealing Anita Mui as Chow’s kung-fu kicking wife. Directed by some guy named Johnnie To.

86 (TIE). CRIME STORY (1993), directed by Kirk Wong - 23 points - LoveHKFilm Review

Crime Story

Jackie Chan sweats seriously in his intense Golden Horse Award-winning performance. Based on a real kidnap case. Despite the serious pathos at play, CRIME STORY still has Jackie Chan-type action, e.g. sometimes he runs up walls and uses props on people. Jackie Chan aims to please.

85. CASINO TYCOON (1992), directed by Wong Jing - 23 points, 1 first place vote - HKMDB Page

Casino Tycoon

Andy Lau plays Josie Ho’s father in this melodramatic, action packed biopic that’s probably more than a little divergent from reality. Not based on the popular PC simulation game, nor is the game based on the movie. Would be cool if it was, though.

84. HIGH RISK (1995), directed by Wong Jing - 25 points - LoveHKFilm Review

High Risk

Jet Li and balls-to-the-wall DIE HARD-inspired action rule this over-the-top actioner, but casting Jacky Cheung as Jackie Chan? What genius thought of that awesome idea? What, it was Wong Jing? In 1995, Hell froze over.

83. THE EAGLE SHOOTING HEROES (1993), directed by Jeff Lau - 25 points - LoveHKFilm Review

Eagle Shooting Heroes

Super all-star silliness that rises above similar fare produced by Raymond Wong and Clifton Ko. Maybe it’s Jeff Lau and Jet Tone Pictures that makes it work. Maybe its the A++++ cast. Maybe it’s Tony Leung Chiu-Wai’s sausage lips.

81 (TIE). HAIL THE JUDGE (1994), directed by Wong Jing - 26 points - LoveHKFilm Review

Hail the Judge

Stephen Chow owns all in this Justice Pao-inspired period comedy. Ng Man-Tat and Tsui Kam-Kong make fine partners in crime. Not even Wong Jing can ruin this one.

81 (TIE). ANNA MAGDALENA (1998), directed by Yee Chung-Man - 26 points - LoveHKFilm Review

Anna Magdalena

Quirky, charming and magical fantasy-romance that manages to expand upon Kelly Chen’s very limited acting range. Also featuring a vintage Takeshi Kaneshiro performance and probably Aaron Kwok’s best acting of the nineties. Came out the same week as BEAST COPS and HITMAN. 1998 was a great year.

Next time: Numbers 61-80. We’ll try to blaze through these.

22 Responses to “Top 100 Hong Kong Films of the Nineties - Numbers 100-81”

  1. Cihan Says:

    Chinese Ghost Story 3: “Horror fans get the evil tree. Everybody gets something.” Haha. It had Tony Leung so it could never fail, that guy brings 100% to every role he’s in, it’s amazing.

    Couple of Johnnie To films in this list that I’ve been reminded to check out. I’ve been going through his filmography lately and he’s shot up into my top 10 favourite directors.

  2. b3n1 Says:

    Anna magdalena, I don’t like this movie but I must say Aaron Kwok acting is very good here.

    Wow, It has lots of Wong Jing movie in the top 100 during 1990’s. I must say I also vote for 2 movies made by Wong Jing for my Top Ten, which is God of Gamblers 2 & God of Gamblers Return.

    Casino Tycoon is a good movie, I watched it during my high school year, but why there is no review of this film at LoveHK film. Webmaster Kozo?

  3. Nil Says:

    None of the 20 movies I voted for are up yet and I’ve only seen 13 of the above. Need to check the others out! First out Casino Tycoon tonight :)

  4. QQ Says:

    None of my picks so far but many came into consideration of my top 100 list. Chinese Ghost Story II & III didn’t have the same magic for me. Rest of this list soon please! We should have Lovehkfilm Festival and show all the picks from both votes.

  5. Wongsaurus Says:

    Eagle Shooting Heroes!? That would be on my worst movies list. The super cast didn’t make the super silliness work for me.

  6. WillJayRod Says:

    Sweet, I got quoted twice! But dammit, The Odd One Dies only ranked #93, even with my ten points behind it, tsk!

    Other stats - seen 10 of the 20 films listed above, voted for 2.

  7. Garvin Says:

    I only watched seven out of the movies listed so far, not surprising since I tend to stay away from Cat III and the late 90s was a period in which I watched almost no new HK releases.

  8. Webmaster Kozo Says:

    Hi b3n1, there are MANY movies on this website without reviews. In the case of CASINO TYCOON, I actually haven’t seen them yet. It’s just a series I never got to. I do own them, though.

    Hi Wongsaurus, I’m sure you’re not the only person with a dislike for EAGLE SHOOTING HEROES. This is one reason I’d like to do a “Worst Hong Kong Movies” list — just to see which films cross over.

  9. Fullers Says:

    I voted for The Odd One Dies as one of my top 10 films as well. That’s two of us, possibly a third and fourth person, out of some 250 vote casters. Very sad. I haven’t seen some other of my choices in this list which leads me to fear that they won’t make the top 100. Wong Jing ahead of Fruit Chan and Ann Hui? It’s enough to make me weep.

  10. CeeFu Says:

    I’m surprised that Swordsman is so low! Oh wait, I didn’t put it on my list. She Shoots Straight? Really? Ok.

  11. Juan Says:

    Didn’t vote for it, but 11 years and a gazillion lead roles later, Sealed with a Kiss still has Louis Koo’s best acting.

  12. Richard Says:

    Hahaha,
    A lot of my picks already showed up… I guess I am the one who made them appear at the bottom of top 100!!
    Well, as Kozo said, it’s all subjective… feel a bit ashamed though…lol
    PS: High Risk scores surprisingly low…

  13. b3n1 Says:

    @Kozo. If you have time to watch Eagle shooting heroes (which is very very ridiculous movie) then you should spare your time to watch Casino Tycoon. It is not the best movie made by Wong Jing but it is better than any movie made by him nowdays.

    @Ceefu. I voted for Swordman 2 because it is better than the first one.

    @Richard. I thought Jet Lee’s My father is a hero is a better movie than Jet Lee’s High risk but it scored even lower than I expected.

  14. MIKE Says:

    Considering i’ve seen all the movies here except red to kill (dislike the dark dramas)… I’m very surprised that hail the judge fared this low… IMO it was probably one of the most entertaining movies i’ve seen despite the fact that i had to watch it a couple of times before getting all the jokes in the movie… lol i guess hail the judge gets better the more you watch it lol

    Also a surprise is Royal tramp 2 although not that shocking since cheung man only appears for like the begining scene. I hope royal tramp 1 gets at least in the top 25s lol

  15. hkfilmfan Says:

    None of my choices are out yet. I thought high risk was actually good fun, I enjoyed it! Can’t wait to see the rest of the ratings come out. Wong Cho Yin was my favourite actress of the 80’s and 90’s esp in those ghost story roles. An iconic flower vase indeed.

  16. CeeFu Says:

    @b3n1. Now you are making me want to see Swordsman 2 again. It’s been a long time, but I’ll give it a whirl!

  17. Leemoy Says:

    Hail of Judge is not Stephen Chow 90’s best film, but it is still funny. I watched his films, My Father is a Hero, Lifeline and Casino Tycoon. I am not sure but I think I watched some parts of Armour of God on TV.

    I only got interested in Anna Magdalena and Odd ones dies.

  18. Mut Says:

    Well, looks like “Case of the Cold Fish” didn’t make the list, but I expected as much. Oh, well. Underrated little gem.

  19. QQ Says:

    I remember really liking Hail the Judge when it was fresh in the 90s even watching it multiple times. However, recent rewatching of old Stephen Chow films, this one doesn’t hold up as well as others for some reason.

  20. LongBodie Says:

    Oh man, Anna Magdalena is my favor all the time !!!!
    Anyways, the result is not too bad :((

  21. Jimaur Says:

    She Shoots Straight,Armour of God 2,My father is a hero,and High Risk made the list!! WOOT!! Let’s get some Sammo on here now!

  22. David Says:

    Who the hell voted for High Risk? Are you mental?

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