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"It's The Only Way To Survive"

                 Hong Kong Classic Review
                    ICEMAN COMETH

Starring: Yuen Biao ,Yuen Wah , Maggie Cheung.

Directed By: Clarence Fok aka Ford

1989

Copyright© 1989 Golden Harvest / Star Filmed Entertainment 1993 /2005 

 

ICEMAN COMETH


In our ongoing look at some of the classic films to come out of Hong Kong and Taiwan in the 80's and 90's here we look at another Yuen Biao classic from Golden Harvest.


Now for the uninitiated ,Yuen Biao is the younger Peking opera brother to Sammo Hung and Jackie Chan. If you have NOT seen any of the films with the three starring in I suggest you hunt them out and view .


Now of course all three brothers have made films apart and this vehicle directed by Clarence Fok is a prime example of Yuen Biao magic.

Here he stars along side another of his Peking Opera brothers ,Yen Wah (also a regular with the three brothers,though mostly as the villain). Also on hand for action direction is another Peking Opera brother ,Yuen Tak who choreographed the action along with Yuen Biao and Yuen Wah.


The story set in the Ming Dynasty follows the story of a Royal Guard to the Emperor by the name of Fong Sau-Ching ( Yuen Biao) who is sent on a mission to apprehend a former Guard gone renegade played by Yuen Wah.


When Fong Sau-Ching's earlier attempts fail ,his outlook looks bleak but in one last show of Mercy the Emperor gives him another chance to capture Feng San (Yuen Wah).


Catching up with Feng ,Fong enters into a battle in the icy conditions of a harsh Winter.


When both engage in a final face off they ,both fall to the icy depths ,believed to be dead.


Fast forwarding to the present (the 1980's for this film) We see a archaeological group on a dig in China ,when they unearth a frozen block which contains our two Ming Warriors frozen and undamaged or decayed.


The findings are taken to Hong Kong ,It's here our two warriors will be accidentally defrosted and brought back to life.


Finding themselves in a totally new world with Cars,TV's and Electricity effects both warriors in different ways, Fong ends up saving a A young Woman named Polly (Maggie Cheung) ,she takes advantage of Fong's innocence and inexperience in the modern world.


Polly makes Fong believe Woman are the superior sex and men are just used as slaves for woman. Polly is in fact a trickster ,who pretends to be a prostitute to con clients out of money ,she ends up using Fong's ability as a fighter to rescue her from sexual attack by her clients while she robs them.


Meanwhile Feng has seen the seedier side of modern life,getting caught up with a local thug ,he sends Feng of on robberies and gives him a fraction of the share, Threatening him with telling the authorities he is a illegal .

But when Feng gets a taste of his new life ,he soon gets rid of his Boss and his bitchy wife,now he can rob,rape and kill to his hearts content.


Fong continues to be used by Polly as protection and housemaid, though his antics in coping with modern life and appliances lend themselves to some Hilarious moments .


When Fong realizes he is being used he soon puts paid to Polly's liberty taking,though over time the two have grown fond of one another. Plus with Fong finding out that Feng is alive and in Hong Kong reeking havoc, he vows to finish his mission for the Emperor and capture Feng once and for all.


This ends up putting Polly at risk as Feng plans to use Polly as bait to end Fong's obsession with killing him.


Iceman Cometh is a great Fish out of Water story, some have likened it to Highlander ,but I think the story is to different to be compared to,The Highlander lived many lives over hundreds of years where as here our two rivals have woken up hundreds of years later and the Ming Dynasty was yesterday, I would liken it to say something like Stallone's ''Demolition Man'' which was on TV recently.


The beginning of the film where our two warriors fight in the snow was filmed in Korea amidst freezing temperatures, many cast and crew suffered Frost bite with the primitive way they had to camp out in the wilderness, sleeping on Brick beds which where heated by fire beneath (ohh! The love of film making).


The action scenes are a joy to watch as our two Peking opera brothers clash swords and fists, Yuen Biao performs some blistering leaps and kicks that will have you reaching for that rewind button.


In the interviews on the disc I watched ,Yuen Biao praises Maggie Cheung for her role and the fact that she undertook the role of this cheating Prostitute at the risk of her career ( thus ruining her screen persona at the time which was very popular),in fact the role could only show how versatile she was as a actress as her performance was brilliant and funny as well.


There are so many memorial moments within the film, just look at how great a actor Yuen Biao is as he talks to the TV ,which is showing a Peking Opera set in the Ming Dynasty, or when Polly tells Fong to look hard and menacing as she takes him to sort out some hoodlums she owes money to.


Iceman Cometh is a very enjoyable film from a era that made uncomplicated action films where the action was so real you had to rewind to believe what you where seeing ,now tell me how many of you rewind footage of modern films to the extent you did with these classic 80's flicks.


Score out of Ten = A Spine Shivering 9


Review Date : April 2012


Sertes Nake

                                                   Stills

                                       Alternative artwork

The Hong Kong Legends release cover.

 

                                        Cast and Credits

 

Directed by

Clarence Fok

Yuen Biao- (action)
Produced by Raymond Chow
Johnny Mak
Stephen Siu
Written by Johnny Mak
Stephen Siu
Starring Yuen Biao
Maggie Cheung
Yuen Wah
Tai Po
Elvis Tsui
Corey Yuen
Stanley Fung
Cinematography Hang-Sang Poon
Editing by Hung Poon
Distributed by Hong Kong Legends UK
Tai Seng Video MarketingUSA
Release date(s) August 18, 1989
Running time 114 minutes
Country Hong Kong
Language Cantonese

 

  • Yuen Biao as Fong Sau-Ching / Fang Shou Zheng
  • Maggie Cheung as Polly
  • Yuen Wah as Feng San
  • Po Tai as Pimp (Chang's thug)
  • Elvis Tsui as Chinese Scientist
  • Corey Yuen as Bum
  • Stanley Fung as Santa Claus
  • Jing Chen as Arms Dealer
  • Liu Wai-hung as Angel
  • Wong Jing as Crane Operator
  • Alvina Kong as Hooker
  • Sarah Lee as Hooker
  • Sin Lap-Man as Robber
  • Yuen Tak as Person (extra)
  • John Cheung as Doctor
  • Cho Tat Wah as Zheng's uncle instructor
  • Lau Chau Sang as Chang's thug
  • Lai Yin San

 

                                               Trailers-Clips
                Other Films Featuring Yuen Biao on Site

My Kingdom -2011 -Yuen Biao in a extended cameo in this Peking Opera Story.

The Legend is Born -IP MAN - 2010 - Yuen Biao stars as one of Ip Man's teachers.

Kid From Tibet-1992 - Yuen Biao stars and Directs this action film from the 90's.

Peacock King - 1989 - Yuen Biao is one of two savors fighting Evil in this Fantasy.

                   Other Films Featuring Yuen Wah on Site

Choy Lee Fut -2011 - Yuen Wah plays the teacher of the school in this Fist Fest.

Just Another Pandoras Box -2010 - A spoof of all the recent period films .

Millionaires Express -1986 - Yuen Wah is the Security Officer turned Robber.

Where's Officer Tuba? -1986 - Yuen Wah plays a Gang Member in this Sammo Flick.

                  Other Films Featuring Maggie Cheung
coming soon!

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