Back when I was madly watching every Hong Kong film I could get my hands on and scribbling reviews for my zine, Asian Eye, I would trek out to Chinatown East and rent VHS tapes from China Book Store. The back of the store was crammed full of video boxes and in the years that I went, I only ran into other gweilos once. And sure enough, one of them had a copy of my zine jammed in their back pocket. I slowly stopped going as the HK industry started into its decline and VCDs/DVDs took over as the way to stay abreast of the scene.
Last spring as my girlfriend and I were biking through that area, I decided to show her one of the sources for my fountain of my HK knowledge. Luckily my obsessive hobbies are an amusement to her. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised with what I saw when we stepped into the shop - all the VHS long since gone. Bums me out because they had so many that have not been released onto DVD. What did remain of their stock was being sold - $2 for a bag of 8 tapes! We grabbed a much and went through them as some of the tapes had no English on them. 60% were duds (educational or business or dull mainland stuff with no subs), but did score the following: Ronny Yu's China White, the sleazy Red to Kill, Dennis Yu's The Beasts, the Sammo Hung produced sci-fi film Final Test and others. Only just stated to pop them into the VCR now that I have some time and delighting in the mucked up tracking and finding wild trailers packed at the end of the feature. Enjoy thinking back to when I first stumbled upon these images and how fresh and exciting they were. Pardon me while I wallow in nostalgia for a bit... wait a minute - guess that is all I ever do on this blog!