5.7/10
94
3 user 8 critic

Life Is Cheap... But Toilet Paper Is Expensive (1989)

Unrated | | Comedy | 24 August 1990 (USA)
A man is hired by a group of people he believes to be gangsters to escort a briefcase from America to Hong Kong. When he arrives, however, his contact is nowhere to be found. With no ... See full summary »

Writers:

, (story) (as Amir M. Mokri) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Wan Kin Cheng ...
Duck Killer (as Chan Kim Wan)
John Chan ...
The Son-in-Law (as John K. Chan)
Kwan-Min Cheng ...
Uncle Cheng (as Cheng Kwan Min)
Allen Fong ...
Taxi Driver
Rocky Wing Cheung Ho ...
Punk #2 (as Rocky Ho)
Cinda Hui ...
Kitty
Gary Kong ...
Punk #1
Chung Lin ...
Ex-Red Guard (as Lam Chung)
Lieh Lo ...
Pianist
Wei Lo ...
The Boss (as Lo Wai)
Cora Miao ...
Money
Spencer Nakasako ...
Yat Boon Jai
Bonnie Ngai ...
The Daughter
...
Blind Man
Wu Kin Man ...
Spiritualist
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Storyline

A man is hired by a group of people he believes to be gangsters to escort a briefcase from America to Hong Kong. When he arrives, however, his contact is nowhere to be found. With no further instructions, he decides to take in the sights of Hong Kong, which consist of him taking part in a great deal of blood, sex and general weirdness, all while wearing a briefcase handcuffed to his arm. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A scathing new black comedy from the director of "Dim Sum" and "Chan Is Missing"

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

24 August 1990 (USA)  »

Box Office

Gross:

$108,392 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Wayne Wang's experimental style of guerrilla filmmaking was met with legal consternation by Disney attorneys after Wayne used Mickey Mouse ear caps in a scene as a satirical prop for his scathing commentary on the cultural effects of global capitalism in a pre-emerging China. Subsequently the Disney icons were digitally fogged out of all exhibition prints. See more »

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User Reviews

 
a failed experiment
1 December 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Director Wayne Wang's return to modern Hong Kong (the Final Frontier at the edge of China) is a scattershot quest for cultural identity in the Wild Wild East, spiced with casual displays of scatology and copraphogy (illustrating the lengths to which traditional Chinese will go to maintain face). The ersatz plot line, in which a frustrated currier fails to deliver a briefcase to a mysterious crime lord, is little more than incohesive filler interrupting a series of mock-documentary encounters with various local characters, in episodes that might have been more effective if they were genuine. Scripted cinema verité is an oxymoron, and even with directorial assistance (from writer/star Nakasaka) Wang is too polite a filmmaker for this type of narrative deconstruction. Highlights include some striking photography and editing, and an exhilarating (if pointless) chase that finally captures that elusive spark of vitality missing from the rest of the film.


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