Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Blue Jean Monster (Kai-Ming Lai, 1991)

According to Pauline Wong Siu-Fung's leggy gal pal, the reason babies are born without teeth is because the father usually knocks them out with his erect penis. (Wait, that can't be true.) It isn't. It's what passes for humour in the delightfully irregular The Blue Jean Monster, the latest Cat III flick to unwittingly scamper across my desk with an unruly thud. (Please. Don't try to make it sound like you stumbled upon this film by accident, 'cause nobody is buying that; not even for a second. You saw that the curvaceous Amy Yip was prominently featured on the film's poster wearing a red bunny suit, and you did what any sane person would, you tracked the film down, and then you watched it. End of story.) You know what, you're absolutely right. That is the reason I watched this film. (In order to get to the scene where Amy Yip prances around in a red bunny suit, you're going to have to endure a lot of politically incorrectness. I mean, weren't you offended by the film's anti-gay temperament?) Offended? Me? I don't think so. First of all, I wouldn't call the film's overall temperament "anti-gay," just parts of it. And secondly, the anti-gay slurs come as a result of one of the characters witnessing something that angered them. Since you're already practically on the edge of your seat, I'll tell you what perturbed them. You see, a pregnant Pauline Wong Siu-Fung (Her Vengeance) was upset because she caught her husband rolling around on the living room floor with Power Steering (Tse Wai-Kit), their physically disabled friend. Interpreting their frenzied rolling around as man-on-man action, Pauline Wong Siu-Fung let's fly a barrage of anti-gay epithets. In reality, and in a manner that would have made the cast of Three's Company proud, Pauline Wong Siu-Fung misunderstood the sight of her husband and Power Steering merely trying to jump start the former's undead corpse using electricity for gay sex.

If that sounds absurd, it's just the tip of Amy Yip's glorious nipples in terms of brain-crippling weirdness. Here's another example that just came to mind. In order to find out which employee at a fast food joint felt up the breasts attached to ETC (Siu Jing-Yee), her less chubby friend, Gucci (Gloria Yip), instructs them to do the same to a couple of hamburgers. Remember that scene in The Thing where Kurt Russell tries to find out which team member is the alien by testing their blood? Well, the hamburger feel up scene in The Blue Jean Monster is just like that, only a million times more stupid.

Speaking of food, Power Steering gets diarrhea from eating undigested noodles. No big deal, right? Diarrhea happens. Yeah, but not that many people get diarrhea from eating noodles that had just oozed out of the gaping metal pipe wound located near the abdomen of Hisiang Tsu (Shing Fui-On), the "blue jean monster" of the film's title.

Is he monster, though? I'm not entirely sure. A zombie? Perhaps. A vampire? Nah. Other than shirking the light, he doesn't strike me as a vampire. A demon? I'll have to admit, his eyes did scream demon possession on several occasions. How 'bout a ghost? He could be, but who knows. Well, whatever he is, he's determined to be around when his son is born.

How did Tsu end up becoming a monster, you ask? Well, that's simple. After being killed by a gang of bank robbers at a construction site, lightning strikes the debris that crushed him. (Hold up, why did the bank robbers kill Tsu at a construction site? Don't bank robbers usually kill people inside the bank they rob?) Huh? Oh, I see. Acting on a tip from Power Steering, Tsu, who's a cop, a cop who plays by his own rules, chases a gang of bank robbers. And that chase leads him to a construction site, where, after a prolonged shootout, Tse gets crushed by a pile of building material.

Left for dead by the bank robbers, Tsu bemoans the fact that he'll probably miss seeing his son being born. However, seconds after he expires, the debris on top of him is struck by lightening. Now, I'm not entirely sure if the guy on the motorbike was a bank robber coming back to look for a missing bag of money (Gucci, who was taken hostage during the robbery, managed to snag some money for herself) or just some random dude. Either way, the guy on the motorbike stabs Tsu in the stomach with a large metal pipe. Of course, the pipe has no effect on Tse, who returns the favour stabbing the guy on the motorbike with the very same pipe.

Even though the pipe wound doesn't hurt, Tsu covers it nonetheless with one of his wife's tampons. When he notices the noodles he had for dinner are oozing out of his pipe wound, he replaces the tampon with cookie dough.

"Replaces the tampon with cookie dough"? What the fuck, early 1990s Hong Kong?

To makes matters even weirder, Power Steering not only eats the undigested noodles, he eats the cookie that Tsu's pipe wound creates after the cookie dough has been baking on it for a few days. He definitely got diarrhea from the undigested noodles; just ask Tsu's wife (the radiant Pauline Wong Siu-Fung), the smell of liquid fecal matter is stinging her pregnant nostrils. But I'm not sure what effect the pipe wound cookie had on Power Steering's digestive system.

Anyway, it would seem that Tsu's body needs a heavy dose of electricity every so often to stay animated. He learns this hard way when he is declared dead at a local hospital. Reviving himself using a defibrillator, Tsu gets up and leaves in a calm and rational manner.

(Does this "calm and rational manner" you speak of include putting aside some time to admire the black nylons attached to the legs of Nurse Ho? No? Well, that doesn't sound very rational, does it?) I guess you're right. (Of course I'm right. To not admire the black nylons worn by Carol Lee Yee-Ha, the name of the actress who plays Nurse Ho, is the epitome of irrational.)

Okay, we get it, he's not exactly rational when it comes to leaving hospitals. In case you haven't noticed, Tsu is slowly falling apart. In other words, he's got more important things to worry about. Hell, he can't even get an erection anymore. Instead of sulking, Tsu vows to make use of what little time he has left. Which reminds me, in-between all the jokes about the handicapped and AIDS, the film actually has a pretty profound message. (And that is?) Oh, it's to live life to the fullest and always take the time to appreciate sexy nurses in black nylons.

It's a good thing Tsu can't get an erection, as the sight of Amy Yip prancing around his flat in a red bunny suit would no doubt cause his penis to tear a hole in his blue jeans. (Um, how is that a "good thing"?) Oh, yeah, that's not a good thing at all.

Nevertheless, Pauline Wong Siu-Fung's best friend, the alluring Amy Wu Mei-Yee, tells her to hire Death-rays (Amy Yip) to placate what she sees as the wandering nature of Tsu's increasingly bi-curious penis; she thinks Tsu is having an affair with Power Steering.

(Was it common for pregnant women to hire bunny suit-wearing prostitutes to service their sex-starved husbands?) I have no idea, but according Amy Wu Mei-Yee, it totally was. But then again, the only reason she gave for this being an acceptable course of action was that it was "the nineties." I don't know how many people remember this, but shouting the name of the current decade was quite the effective tool when it came time to convince those around you who were reluctant to engage in certain activities.

Since it is the 1990s, the sight of Amy Yip's Death-rays straddling Tsu in a red bunny suit (her black pantyhose making mincemeat out of luscious thighs and mouth-watering hips) while Pauline Wong Siu-Fung and Amy Wu Mei-Yee listened outside was completely okay as far as social norms go.

Unfortunately, Tsu's undead penis is as useless as an escalator to nowhere, and he is unable to take advantage of his pregnant wife's bosomy gift.

As the truth about his condition slowly gets out, Tsu must act fast if he wants to achieve his two goals: #1: Make sure he's alive when his son born. #2: Bring the bank robbers who killed him to justice. Well, he's going to get the chance to complete both goals simultaneously when the bank robbers kidnap his wife and Gucci. Culminating with a warehouse shootout, The Blue Jean Monster mixes absurd humour with John Woo-esque action scenes to create a bizarre mishmash that will appeal to almost everyone in the audience; those who have an aversion to shapely Chinese chicks who dress up like bunny rabbits might want to skip this one.



    I think that's how most Hong Kong films are made. Especially Cat III. "Wouldn't it be awesome if..." Doesn't matter how insane, disgusting, or horrifically offensive it gets. They'll totally do it.

    Kids in the Hall also ripped on that "Its the 90s" thing a lot, too.

    That old Playboy bunny-girl outfit got super popular in Japan and still is for some reason. I guess it just hopped on over to Hong Kong at some point. I'm kind of glad it did. Just so Amy Yip could play a character called "Death-Rays," "her black pantyhose making mincemeat out of luscious thighs and mouth-watering hips." Dear god in heaven.

    1. I remember hearing "It's the 90s" at least twice on Seinfeld. Once Kramer says, "C'mon, it's the 90s, it's Hammer time." And another time a character, I forget who, says, "Get a calendar, honey, it's the 90s."

      I was going to agree with you about what you said about Amy Yip's thighs and hips, then it again, you're quoting me. Duh.