Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn once thought of Simon Yam as “the cool guy I wanted to be” after watching him in the 1992 Hongkong thriller Naked Killer.
During the COVID-19 lockdown, Gunn, like so many people hunkering down at home, kept himself preoccupied by playing The 30-Day Film Challenge, a social media game where participants posted their favourite movies every day for 30 days.
They have to make their choices based on a set of criteria such as ‘favourite film sequel’, ‘a film you like from your least favourite genre’, and ‘a film that you dozed off in’.
On Day 16, Gunn had to name ‘A film that is personal to you’ and he picked Naked Killer, the bat-poop crazy Basic Instinct-meets-La Femme Nikita thriller starring Chingmy Yau as an assassin who is being pursued by a detective (Simon Yam) and lusted by a hitwoman (Carried Ng). Or something like that.
“In 1992 I saw Naked Killer in a theater on NYC’s Lower East Side,” Gunn, 53, tweeted. Director Clarence Fok’s category III Hong Kong film mixing genres, blood, action & sex in an anything-goes pastiche blew my mind. Chingmy Yau became my crush & Simon Yam the cool guy I wanted to be.”
Day 16. In 1992 I saw Naked Killer in a theater on NYC’s Lower East Side. Director Clarence Fok’s category III Hong Kong film mixing genres, blood, action & sex in an anything-goes pastiche blew my mind. Chingmy Yau became my crush & Simon Yam the cool guy I wanted to be. pic.twitter.com/DC2YI8SurB— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) May 27, 2020
He added, "They opened me up to filmmaking & storytelling completely outside the art film, grindhouse & American cinema I was familiar with & eventually to other Asian cinema as well. Neither Guardians of the Galaxy nor The Suicide Squad could exist in their current forms today without them.
"And it’s why Naked Killer, although not a classic by many standards, is an incredibly personal film for me. What film is personal to you?"
Gunn’s tastes in Asian movies runs the gamut from action to arthouse. On Day 19, he chose 2046 as ‘a film made by your favourite director’. He wrote, “I have many favorite directors,” he wrote, “but Wong Kar Wai is definitely up at the top with only a handful of others...”
Day 19. I have many favorite directors, but Wong Kar Wai is definitely up at the top with only a handful of others. What’s your choice? #30DayMovieChallenge #30DayFilmChallenge pic.twitter.com/Yhb17IFwlb— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) May 30, 2020
Gunn is currently working on The Suicide Squad, the sequel to Suicide Squad (just slap a determiner to an old title and — bingo! — you have a brand new movie). After that, he’ll get cracking on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Photo: TPG News/Click Photos