Mou lei tou Chow

Stephen Chow’s brand of slapstick, nonsensical ‘mou lei tou’ comedy was one of Hong Kong cinema’s biggest draws during the 1990s, with films such as Fight Back To School, Justice My Foot!, God Of Gamblers II, and Flirting Scholar becoming staples during festive seasons.

Stephen Chow (left) and Jet Li.

The Kungfu master wave

Once upon a time in Hong Kong, a certain martial artist named Jet Li released a series of films based on legendary kungfu master Wong Fei Hong, and sparked a wave of numerous countless versions of Wong Fei Hong and other Chinese martial artists.

Triads rule cinema

There was a time when Hong Kong cinema seemed to be made up of just triad movies. The trend started with the Ekin Cheng and Jordan Chan-starring Young And Dangerous movie in 1996; and suddenly everyone wanted to be called “San Kai” (or “hill chicken”, after Chan’s character).

The rise of King Khan

Shah Rukh Khan’s career grew by leaps and bounds in the 1990s, with many of King Khan’s biggest hits coming during that decade, including Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995), Dil To Pagal Hai (1997) and the monster-hit Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998).

Arthouse China

The reputation of Chinese-language cinema grew exponentially thanks to acclaimed filmmakers such as Zhang Yimou (Raise The Red Lantern), Chen Kaige (Farewell My Concubine), Ang Lee (The Wedding BanquetEat Drink Man Woman), and Wong Kar Wai (Chungking ExpressDays Of Being WildHappy Together).

The RM6mil man

Directed by Datuk Yusof Haslam, Sembilu was released in 1994 and it starred popular rock singer Awie, vocal powerhouse Ziana Zain, and Miss Malaysia/World Erra Fazira. The sequel, Sembilu II, was released in 1995, and Yusof became known as the “RM6mil man” due to the film’s success at the box office (it earned a total of RM6.1mil).

Scenes from Sembilu (left) and Ringu.

Ring of horror

Long-haired female ghosts clad in white smocks may seem to be a dime a dozen these days, but back in 1999, Sadako in Hideo Nakata‘s Ringu was THE scariest long-haired female ghost clad in white smock to hit the silver screen (and crawl out of your TV set) ever.

Jackie takes America

Jackie Chan had tried (unsuccessfully) to break into the American market before. However, it wasn’t until 1995 that he finally made it with Rumble In The Bronx – a silly, almost plotless movie that showcased Chan’s unique blend of action and humour perfectly. After that breakthrough, Rush Hour (1998) beckoned, and the rest is history.

Yeoh, Malaysia’s darling

In 1992, Chan came to Malaysia to film his movie, Police Story III: Super Cop, which made Malaysia’s very own Datuk Michelle Yeoh an international action star. From there, Yeoh would later move on to greater things, including becoming a Bond Girl in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997).

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Rise of the machines