One of the most wild & unpredictable filmmakers of all time hands down has got to be Hong Kong’s Lam Ngai Kai aka Lam Nai-choi, Most well known for his mega cult classic ‘RIKI-OH/The Story of Riki’ it’s clear this guy is, in my opinion one of the most underrated directors in the horror genre. Imagine if Sam Raimi made movies as consistently awesome as the Evil Dead trilogy, well that’s a good way to sum up this guy’s catalogue of crazy ass films. I’ve been fully surprised at how many people love ‘Riki-Oh’ yet aren’t familiar with anything else this guy’s done.
It probably doesn’t help that he completely disappeared off the movie map in 1992 for unknown reasons. Perhaps he realized he’d unlikely ever be able to top the craziness of his back catalogue of bizarre flicks. I’d love to know what he’s up to today and what I’d love even more would be his return to filmmaking. There’s however, literally zero info on why he stopped his film career and what the dude’s been up to these days. That being said let’s take a quick look at some of his coolest flicks you may not have even known existed! First if you’ve never seen Riki-Oh from 1991 it’s easily one of the wildest action/horror hybrid movies out there and totally on par with the awesomeness of Evil Dead 2. It features some of the most over the top action/gore of all time:
Next is another equally crazy ass flick from 1986 called ‘The Seventh Curse‘ which is like Indiana Jones on acid fighting monsters and exploring some truly epic locations. It features Chow Young Fat in a small role and continues with totally frantic action sequences that never slows it’s pace right to the very end. A true hidden gem of a movie that many 80’s horror fans have completely missed out on over the years. Seek this out asap as it’s more proof this guy’s got chops on par with the likes of early Peter Jackson, Sam Raimi & Don Coscarelli.
Kai’s got more under his belt too if you want another horror adventure that’s a true spectacle to behold check out ‘The Peacock King‘ from 1988. A totally unique movie that’s also a full on FX extravaganza. This one literally utilizes nearly every 80’s special fx in the book, from stop motion monsters, to animatronic creatures etc. etc. etc. you name it, this movie will take you on tour of the bizarre set to a super fun, dark yet equally light hearted adventure. Check it out:
‘Ghost Snatchers‘ is yet another super fun flick he helmed filled with tons of 80’s cheez and rad special effects. It involves some crazy paranormal activities plaguing a Hong Kong high rise building and continues the frantic and truly unpredictable tone of his previous movies. It’s easy to tell what kind of stuff was influencing him during the 80’s and it’s always a treat to see what spin he puts on the genre. Ghost Snatchers from 1986 is most definitely worth tracking down:
Another one of his movies I’ve been trying to track down for years on dvd is ‘The Cat‘ from 1992, which is also the last movie he helmed. I recently found the movie on youtube, this he filmed back to back with Riki-Oh and it’s just as bizarre. It’s got a cat from outer space that teams up with a teenage girl to fight an crazy ass alien monster. At one point the monster takes on the form of a dog and soon we’ve got the cat doing kung fu battle with it in a junkyard. It must be seen to believed. Influenced by movies as well like John Carpenter’s “The Thing”, ‘The Cat’ is truly filmmaking at it’s strangest!
There’s several more movies worth a look by Ngai Lam Kai like the 1988 revenge flick”Her Vengeance” that’s jam packed with more of his odd story telling and bizarre characters-check this shit out!!
There’s the 1990 more “kid friendly” adventure movie ‘Saga of The Phoenix‘ which is a sequel to the Peacock King that I’ve yet to see. It looks like a blast however:
The guy’s got a lot more in his back catalogue of weird movies worth checking out, these I listed are the ones I think are his best. My question is where did this guy go and when will he return to cinema to give us another does of his insane signature film making?! If you got any clues let me know in the comments below! If you have any idea where I can find a copy of ‘The Cat’ please let me know too!