Music, films and TV shows from the East

I have blogged about popular music from the US and Russia. This time, I would like your indulgence in some films, TV shows and music from the East.

  • Japan: This blog post was supposed to be about music only but then I saw this movie.
    • Crazy Family: This movie from 80s starts off quite innocously but then the horror starts unexpectedly and does not stop until the end. It just became worse and worse like the movie Dead Alive! The story is about a family that moves from a cramped quarters in the city to a spacious suburban house. The abundance of space makes each family member possessive about their exclusive space. Everyone becomes detached from the others and become selfish. The head of the family then boards up the house and sets it on fire. Things go from bad to worse after that. The director more than manages to drive home his message. I wish he was less successful.
    • Johnny Sokko and his giant robot: This TV serial was shown on DoorDarshan in 80s. All the kids watched it when it was broadcast. It was created by the man who introduced Japanese monster madeness.
    • Kyou Kare Ore Wa: This was manga cartoon created in the 80s. It is about two high-school rebel kids who get into trouble with roughs from other schools. Lots of fighting, humour and action. Nothing boring like the other manga stuff that gets shown on Cartoon Network. There is some off-colour swearing but the stories are all good-natured fun. Only 10 episodes were made.
    • Ninja Hattori: This popular TV cartoon was original broadcast as a TV serial in Japan in the 1960s. The ninja was played by a kid but with a wooden mask. The ninja dog was quite big – bigger than ninja. For some reason, the ninja and his dog move from Iga village and moves in with the family of a schoolkid in the city. When the TV serial was made into a cartoon, the dog became much smaller. The kid’s elder sister was gone. A rival ninja kid and his ninja cat was added. One of the Ambani companies did the dubbing in English using Indian voice artists and released it all over the world. I am currently going through the Japanese TV version. Without subtitles, the episodes are not as funny. However, it shows how developed Japan was in the 60s. (The serial was filmed in black-n-white.) I even saw one train that looked like their iconic maglev vehicles.
  • Hong Kong: I saw several compilations of Tik Tok videos. I do not use social media apps so these videos were quite a revelation for me. I picked up a few wonderful-sounding Chinese/Vietnamese songs.
    • Yi Jin Mei: A famous Taiwanese TV personality name Fe Yu-ching sang this song in the 80s. It got revived by a conehead in Hong Kong recently. The song has become on Tik Tok and other platforms. I have provided English pronunciation of the song, which are very different from the romanized transliteration of Mandarin Chinese.
    • Unknown song: I am unable track down this song.
    • Happy Ghost 2: Raymond Wong is a prolific producer, director and actor. In this movie, he acts as an arts and games teacher in a girls school. There is a mean girls club called Club ___ in his class who torment him. The teacher’s attempts at disciplining them fail. He has some magical powers thanks to a ghost who got reincarnated as him. It belongs to a Ming dynasty scholar who committed suicide. The ghost helps in outwitting the girls and helps him lead the girls to victory in sports events. The girls nevertheless continue their pranks and get him almost fired. This movie has a lot of great Cantonese songs.
    • Mr. Vampire I & Mr. Vampire 2: This Sammo Hung comedy horrow movie started the genre of hopping vampire in HK cinema. The vampire hunter in many of these movies was Lam Chi Shing who unfortunately died at the young age of 44. You may have already seen in many Sammo Hung and Jackie Chan movies. The second movie has Yuen Biao.
    • We will eat you: Under Mao, farms were collectivized and unqualified were put in charge. The result was a famine that lasted several years. Chinese people in mainland started eating all kinds of animals, bugs and even humans. People who were condemned by the Chinese Communist Party were killed, cooked and eaten. Cannibalism was widespread in rural and urban China. The movie was very horrifying and I did not follow the subtitles. It is actually very funny but I was too chicken and fast-forwarded the movie to the fight scenes of which there are many. They are absolutely terrifying and fast.
    • Gift From Heaven: Three girls doing late shift for a giant retail corporation find a shopping bag with millions of dollars. They take it home but decide not to spend the money until they can be sure it is not mob money or company money. They want to be certain that it is safe to spend it. The money was a payoff for a man blackmailing the manager of the corporation. He is a relative of the owner. The owner asks the police to conduct a confidential investigation. The girls are now too scared to anything. The movie is funny and extremely thrilling. I do not care for character development in films but it in this movie it is very realistic.
    • Troublesome night: The first movie was an anthology of loosely related ghost stories. It became a big hit and several sequels were released. I saw the first two of them. The second movie has a bereaving girl committing suicide and her ghost asking song requests of the song “I am beside you”. This is a really haunting song. Anyone will like it and want to hear it all the time. After a lot of guesswork, I tracked it down to a 70s movie.
  • Australia: I have decided to include Australia because that country does not deserve to be treated as part of a separate continent. It has been chickenized after it elected some wimpy politicians. They have given up their guns, accepted the climate BS and adopted the carbon tax. They are now happy to be an appendage of Communist China.

    I have seen a total of three Australian movies before this. Interesting but not remarkable. This movie was quite different.
    • Australiens. Is there a science fiction movie where all the characters are so likeable? I particularly like the lead girl who talks about ‘other-wordly cognitive powers’ in almost every dialogue and the newsreader who calmly reports the attack. The movie is about aliens who decide attack Australia and nowhere else. This prompts envy in Washington DC who refuse to help country and dare the aliens to attack the States. The movie has low-budget but spectacular graphics. The aliens quickly body-snatch humans so the believability quotient is high. The attack vehicles are sharply designed. The plot changes quickly and dialogues are fun. An alien bodysnatches one of the characters and he looks green, moves laterally and speaks suspiciously but nobody suspects him. Every other person is interogated and asked to prove their human-ness. There is a fun song about Tasmania, which the aliens surprisingly leave out of their attack.




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