Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Trail

The Trail (Jui Gwai Chat Hung) Directed By Ronny Yu, Starring Kent Cheng (1983).

Here's a Golden Harvest epic directed by Ronny Yu that is not in the famed Deep Red Catalog, but it got such a high rating in the underground Hong Kong video trading circuit, that I paid Skunkape in grape hubba bubba (which is street level primo weed) to procure a copy for your benefit, we're just doing you readers a favor so don't forget to tip your dealer. 
   Yu is the now lame-o director who used to churn out magical shit like Bride with the White Hair, since then he took over the later Chucky sequels and Freddy Vs. Jason (try to scrub those out of your subconscious right now or you will get a preconceived opinion about his work)!
   I recommend viewing this slightly sober, because there's a rich tapestry of storyline that you may accidentally overlook. Ricky Hui and Kent "Fatty" Cheung (from Mr. Vampire and Run and Kill) show up at a village that shuts down very early for some odd reason. They play the Ennio Morricone score from John Carpenter's The Thing periodically throughout the film. 

Oh Shit, is that the Wicked Witch of the West with a flaming broom coming toward us?

   Meanwhile at a separate village, people are up late partying and singing songs. It's not all chow and fun as an evil Master played by Miao Tan forces a girl to strip naked as he drowns her boyfriend in a fish tank. 
   Captain (Kent) warns his buddy Ying (Lau) as they dine, not to eat too much because he might get hemorrhoids! They are both monks who get recruited to cure leprosy by a guy who resembles a monkey/catfish and the sadistic bastard who drowned his servant for perverted reasons. 

Blazing Saddles 2: A Fistful of Yen 

   They find a rag tag group of ner-do-wells and take a hike through a misty forest. One fat galoot in their crew named Bo (Cheng Fu-Hung) almost drowns in quicksand but gets rescued soon enough. There's "Indiana Jones" style boasting hijinks and comedic timing as they defeat some marauders in facepaint.  
We're both up for the role of Short Round

   Later on something sinister comes bubbling up from the swamp, it starts killing animals and people with lightning fast precision. After a few more slapstick scenes, the team figures out that a zombie (or Mummy) is responsible. Their methods to deal with it are strange to say the least, they are: yellow paper, a net and virgin urine! These weirdos make every boy in the village piss in a pot so they can use the pee to fight evil, lets see an American filmmaker take that bit of pedophilic weirdness to their Western Hong Kong remake! I actually would hate to see that happen!

Can you direct me toward the set of John Carpenter's The Fog?

   The creature hides in a spooky tower and they all wear garlic around their necks as they search. This is the first time I've seen garlic used to ward off a monster in any HK film, so it's slightly unusual. They don't even bring it to a fight in any of the hopping vampire films.
The syrupy looking dribbling beast quickly shows up and picks up a huge pig, draining it like a chili dog. It nearly kills Fatty, but he somersaults off the ledge and falls into a net on the ground.

  The next day, they return to the castle for more "Temple of Doom-ish/ Golden Child" type shenanigans. The monster is shown mostly by way of shadows, with only that pustule arm sticking up. 

Oh man I love those Chinatown knock-off light sabers

Fatty and his pals are totally fucked, that is until they find a helpful wizard with an eyepatch. This film has no sympathy for its dying characters and once they're gone, the other people have no reaction or use it as a slapstick device! 
   The evil Master who drowned that innocent man in the fish tank from the beginning, takes over as the villain during the last 10 minutes. It turns out he's somehow responsible for the zombie's trail of vengeance. Maybe that's why it's called the trail, who knows?

Can you please cover my anus/face with Tucks medicated pads?

  When they finally show the Mummy's face it looks like a gaggle of hemorrhoids with long hair, bleccchhhhhh. Make sure you stick around for a surprise Exorcist joke that's a really howler!
The Trail is a little shaky, inept but a lot of fun and very original, I think it's worth seeking out.


Yogurt the wise? No, Don't make a fuss, I'm just plain ole Chinese Yogurt!

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