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Top 100 Hong Kong Films of the Nineties - Numbers 80-61

Welcome to second installment in our countdown of the Top 100 Hong Kong Films of the Nineties. Sorry for the two day gap but we were busy. Life’s like that.

Today, we’ll be looking at Numbers 80-61 of our Top 100, all determined by actual LoveHKFilm.com Readers. Yes, they do exist.

Previous updates:
Numbers 100-81

In case you’re following along, each film has a link to an existing review at LoveHKFilm.com, if not the film’s entry at the Hong Kong Movie Database. When putting this whole thing together, I took the opportunity to read some of the earliest reviews on this website. There are over 15 years of film reviews stored here, and if the later reviews qualify as solid writing, than the earliest are juvenile chicken scratch. I’m actually embarrassed to link to them. However, as Confucius said, “Only by sampling our vomit may we cook a dish that is palatable.”

Okay, maybe he didn’t say that.

Confucius
“Someone’s bullsh*tting using my name again.”

Hit the jump to find the list!

80. THE SAVIOUR OF THE SOUL (1991), directed by Corey Yuen and David Lai - 26 points - LoveHKFilm Review

Saviour of the Soul

Andy Lau and Anita Mui anchor Corey Yuen and David Lai’s fantasy actioner, but it’s Aaron Kwok as the villainous Silver Fox who steals the show. Stylish, dizzying, over-the-top fun.

79. GOD OF GAMBLERS’ RETURN (1994), directed by Wong Jing - 26.5 points - LoveHKFilm Review

God of Gamblers’ Return

Chow Yun-Fat’s return as Ko Chun blazed at the box office, becoming Hong Kong’s highest grossing film at the time. Chow is charismatic, Wu Chien-Lien winning and Chingmy Yau super sexy, but the most memorable thing about Wong Jing’s gambling comedy? Maybe the fetus in a jar.

77 (TIE). TASK FORCE (1997), directed by Patrick Leung - 26.5 points - LoveHKFilm Review

Task Force

An underrated cop soap opera from director Patrick Leung, TASK FORCE is a nineties gem with plenty of genre love, not to mention Charlie Young as one of the most endearing hookers-with-a-heart-of-gold ever put to film. As John Woo says in his cameo, “well done.”

77 (TIE). RUMBLE IN THE BRONX (1995), directed by Stanley Tong - 26.5 points - LoveHKFilm Review

Rumble in the Bronx

The movie that made Jackie Chan in North America. The scenes between Chan and Francoise Yip don’t convince one iota, but who really cares? RUMBLE IN THE BRONX has some of Jackie Chan’s most entertaining and fun set pieces, with a fine use of props and the typical Chan daring. It also has Anita Mui. And a hovercraft.

76. VIVA EROTICA! (1996), directed by Derek Yee and Law Chi-Leung - 27 points - LoveHKFilm Review

Viva Erotica!

Lest we forget, Derek Yee and Law Chi-Leung’s comedy reminds us that filmmakers and actors who make softcore pornography are people too. That’s one of two big lessons taken from VIVA EROTICA. The other big lesson: Shu Qi is a damn fine actress.

75. THE CHINESE FEAST (1995), directed by Tsui Hark - 27.5 points, 1 first place vote - LoveHKFilm Review

The Chinese Feast

One of Tsui Hark’s most enjoyable flicks, this Lunar New Year Comedy gets better with age. Awesome production values, esoteric and appetizing dishes and a terrific cast led by Leslie Cheung and Anita Yuen make this a winner. The Widesight DVD is teh suck though.

74. DR. MACK (1995), directed by Lee Chi-Ngai - 28 points, 2 first place votes - LoveHKFilm Review

Dr. Mack

One of UFO’s most entertaining upscale comedies, DR. MACK features at its heart a roguishly charming Tony Leung Chiu-Wai in one of his most underrated performances. Lau Ching-Wan, Gigi Leung, Richard Ng, Eileen Tung and Andy Hui are also pretty good. We miss the Lee Chi-Ngai who directed this, HEAVEN CAN’T WAIT and LOST AND FOUND.

73. SHANGHAI GRAND (1996), directed by Poon Man-Kit - 28.5 points - LoveHKFilm Review

Shanghai Grand

Producer Tsui Hark’s remake of SHANGHAI BEACH a.k.a. THE BUND is solid genre stuff, with Andy Lau and Leslie Cheung ably filling the iconic roles. Neither can hold a candle to the original drama’s Chow Yun-Fat — but really, can anyone?

72. CITY OF GLASS (1998), directed by Mabel Cheung - 30.5 points, 1 first place vote - LoveHKFilm Review

City of Glass

Shu Qi and Leon Lai provide the superstar romance, but Daniel Wu and Nicola Cheung give CITY OF GLASS its heart. Does anyone remember that Eason Chan was in this movie? Does anyone even remember Nicola Cheung?

71. KING OF BEGGARS (1992), directed by Gordon Chan - 31.5 points - LoveHKFilm Review

King of Beggars

Way before Zhao Wen-Zhou strapped on the Beggar So togs, Stephen Chow took a swing at the character in this hilarious Gordon Chan-directed classic. A fine mix of action and comedy with some surprisingly subdued work from Stephen Chow. Don’t worry, he acts wacky too.

70. FLY ME TO POLARIS (1999), directed by Jingle Ma - 32 points - LoveHKFilm Review

Fly Me to Polaris

In FLY ME TO POLARIS, director Jingle Ma has a hammer and he uses it — and you know what, it works! Against all odds, this over-the-top romantic melodrama soars. With this and KING OF COMEDY, newcomer Cecilia Cheung showed that she had the right stuff.

69. BIG BULLET (1996), directed by Benny Chan - 32 points - LoveHKFilm Review

Big Bullet

One of the premier actioners of the nineties, Benny Chan’s BIG BULLET hits the bulls-eye with its mixture of high-octane action and mismatched cops camaraderie. Lau Ching-Wan is top notch in the lead, and the ace supporting cast includes Theresa Lee, Jordan Chan, Spencer Lam, Francis Ng and Anthony Wong.

68. NAKED KILLER (1992), directed by Clarence Fok - 32 points, 1 first place vote - LoveHKFilm Review

Naked Killer

This Wong Jing-produced exercise in over-the-top exploitation has surprisingly smart subtext and some very, very entertaining portions. Lee Rankin says about NAKED KILLER, “Hahahahahahahahahaha, man eats penis for breakfast!” Yeah, that about sums it up. The poster, featuring Chingmy Yau covering her naughty bits, is a classic in its own right.

67. FLIRTING SCHOLAR (1993), directed by Lee Lik-Chee - 33 points - LoveHKFilm Review

Flirting Scholar

Screwy comedy based on the same Huangmei opera that begat the Shaw Brothers classic THE THREE SMILES. Gong Li may be the co-star, but Stephen Chow simply owns FLIRTING SCHOLAR with his insane comic shenanigans. It helps if you know Cantonese, but it’s okay if you don’t.

66. LITTLE CHEUNG (1999), directed by Fruit Chan - 33 points, 1 first place vote - HKMDB Page

Little Cheung

Besides Wong Kar-Wai, Fruit Chan was arguably the filmmaker find of the nineties. Grady Hendrix says, “Fruit Chan has become a ‘whatever happened to?’, but with LITTLE CHEUNG he made what might be the perfect Hong Kong art film. It’s one of the best movies about Cantonese street culture and working class Hong Kong I’ve ever seen, and when Little Cheung pisses in the rain while reciting classical poetry…I still get goosebumps.”

65. METADE FUMACA (1999), directed by Riley Yip - 33.5 points - LoveHKFilm Review

Metade Fumaca

Eric Tsang is great but Nicholas Tse may be even better in this unexpected comedy-drama about aging triads and lost memories. Director Riley Yip’s follow-up to the excellent LOVE IS NOT A GAME BUT A JOKE marked him as a talent to watch.

64. WING CHUN (1994), directed by Yuen Woo-Ping - 33.5 points - LoveHKFilm Review

Wing Chun

In WING CHUN, Michelle Yeoh makes tofu and kicks ass — and not necessarily in that order. Yuen Woo-Ping is a master, but you knew that. Co-starring DONNNNIEEE as the dopey love interest.

63. TRICKY BRAINS (1991), directed by Wong Jing - 34 points - LoveHKFilm Review

Tricky Brains

Stephen Chow and Andy Lau get super silly with this wacky laffer from — who else — Wong Jing. TRICKY BRAINS features the duo hamming it up in this inspired nonsense comedy, and the cast is aces: Chow, Lau, Ng Man-Tat, Chingmy Yau, Rosamund Kwan, Waise Lee, and the late Shing Fui-On in a cameo.

62. HE AIN’T HEAVY, HE’S MY FATHER (1993), directed by Peter Chan and Lee Chi-Ngai - 34 points, 1 first place vote - LoveHKFilm Review

He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Father

The two Tonys go BACK TO THE FUTURE in this charming UFO comedy from directors Peter Chan and Lee Chi-Ngai. Featuring one of those awesome everyone-is-in-it UFO casts, including Carina Lau, Anita Yuen, Lawrence Cheng, Waise Lee, Chor Yuen, Michael Chow and the terrific Tony Leung Ka-Fai, who actually outshines Tony Leung Chiu-Wai for a change. Where’s that DVD remaster?

61. ALL’S WELL END’S WELL (1992), directed by Clifton Ko - 35 points - LoveHKFilm Review

All’s Well Ends Well

Stephen Chow, Leslie Cheung, Maggie Cheung, Sandra Ng, Teresa Mo — what, you need someone to draw you a diagram about why this Lunar New Year film is so much fun? Jennifer Ng justifies her love for ALL’S WELL, END’S WELL with, “Everyone is in this film and it spawned the eternal phrase ‘I need television! The world is ending!’ — it’s funnier in Cantonese, but it’s our household phrase. Among other things, the film has Hollyyok (Maggie Cheung), the upside-down Eiffel Tower kiss, Stephen King’s MISERY gone wrong, Stephen Chow hanging on clothesline, male PMS…oh, the memories”.

Next time: LOVE GENERATION HONG KONG! EROTIC GHOST STORY III! WE’RE NO BAD GUYS! Maybe.

16 Responses to “Top 100 Hong Kong Films of the Nineties - Numbers 80-61”

  1. Juan Says:

    How great were the 90’s? Little Cheung was voted #66 and it only made me angry for a few moments - then I realized there are still a lot more great films to follow.

  2. Garvin Says:

    A lot of my picks showed up this time around.

    VERY disappointed that He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Father ranked so low and HOLY CRAP i need that picture in poster form ASAP.

  3. QQ Says:

    I saw almost all of 61-80. How did I forget to vote for He Aint Heavy Hes My Father and Dr. Mack?! But I am glad some are manifesting and I got quoted for All’s Well Ends Well (blush). But that just goes to show the 90s has so many endearing films.

  4. glenn Says:

    I know you are only tabulating the votes but…how the f*** did Chinese Feast rank so low? I wish I had voted now. I thought for sure that it would have rated in the top 20 at least. God, is my taste so out-of-whack? I am a bit shocked to see City of Glass rank below the Top 50. Same goes with the good lowbrow Naked Killer. And Viva Erotica below the Top 50 too? I almost dread to see what people voted on after this!

  5. b3n1 Says:

    I have to say that all movies from numbers 80-61 are great, unlike the previous one that have movie called EAGLE SHOOTING HEROES (Worse HK movie in the 90’s).

    My favourite among these 20 movies are:
    -Dr Mack,
    -Shanghai Grand
    -Tricky Brains

    Seems like Stephen Chow is a favourite in the 90’s.
    It looks like all his movies are in the TOP 100.

  6. Foxlore Says:

    So many films of the 90s were classics…in part because there were simply so many films. It was a golden age, but too hectic a pace to last. They just can’t make them like they used to.

  7. Jimaur Says:

    Naked Killer,Wing Chun,and Rumble in the bronx made the list! WOOT! Let’s get some Sammo on here!

  8. CeeFu Says:

    I’m pleased with 61-80, especially with dopey love interest Donnie in Wing Chun and God of Gambler’s Return (Chow Yun Fat made we want to quit my job and be a gambler!). But somebody has to explain Savior of the Soul’s position. I luv Andy Lau like everyone else on the planet, but am I missing something with this film?

    Waiting with anticipation for the next installment!

  9. hkfilmfan Says:

    Woo Hoo one of my films made it and that’s he aint heavy he’s my father. Damn I had this on VHS and maybe a shitty VCD copy. Wish they would remaster this on DVD.

  10. hkfilmfan Says:

    Whoops that 2 with metade fumaca as well. Personally I thought both deserved to be a little higher ranked.

  11. Nil Says:

    One of the twenty movies I voted for showed up this time and I’ve seen 16 out of 20. In total, I’ve missed 10. Something to do the next month :)

  12. Webmaster Kozo Says:

    @Glenn, CHINESE FEAST is one of those films that’s fallen a bit by the wayside 15 years later. The DVDs are crap, and current fans are more likely to seek out genre films than food-based Lunar New Year films. Tsui Hark does reappear on this list, but not for TRI-STAR or LOVE IN THE TIME OF TWILIGHT.

    @b3n1, you’re the second person who dislikes EAGLE SHOOTING HEROES! Please remember that when we run the WORST HONG KONG MOVIES reader vote. Maybe it’ll make that list, too.

    Oh, and not all of Stephen Chow’s movies from the nineties make the list. I’ll give it away right now and reveal that LUNG FUNG RESTAURANT is a no show.

    @Jimaur, it would be nice to see lots of Sammo on this list, but let’s face it: he’s an eighties Hong Kong Cinema guy. He still did solid work in the nineties, but by mid-decade he was rather quiet.

    @CeeFu, SAVIOUR OF THE SOUL is pretty strange, but it’s got some definite charm. Andy Lau had to make this list more than a few times, and I’d rather it be SAVIOUR than THANKS FOR YOUR LOVE or GAMEBOY KIDS.

  13. b3n1 Says:

    @Kozo, I didn’t know Stephen Chow is in the LUNG FUNG RESTAURANT. Is the movie came out after ALL FOR THE WINNER?

    THANKS FOR YOUR LOVE and SAVIOUR OF SOUL 2 were ANDY LAU worse movies in the 90’s.

    If Love HK film run voting for the TOP 80’s HK film then I’ll vote for Shammo Hung, Jackie Chan & Chow Yun Fat movies.

  14. ChinoDevean Says:

    FYI Kozo, the City of Glass link is the wrong link.

  15. Webmaster Kozo Says:

    Hi ChinoDevean, thanks for the heads up. It’s been fixed.

  16. WillJayRod Says:

    Damn, I’ve only seen 7 out of these 20, 2 of which are in my list. Tsk! Must get grimy hands on more quality movies from the 90s…

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