Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Animals With Weight Issues

HK filmmaker and martial arts super star Sammo Hung severed ties with longtime powerhouse production company Golden Harvest as the 1980s came to a close. With a leaner budget he soldiered on with intensity, but the cracks were starting to show. 1990 saw the release of SKINNY TIGER AND FATTY DRAGON, an uneven but fun action comedy that sees Hung reunite with comedy legend Karl Maka and action master Lau Kar-wing. The fight scenes still shine brightly, while a few of the “in between” scenes feel a little more like filler material. Still, the film remains a highlight of Hung’s 1990s output.

For the cover art, I tried to play-up the dynamic colorful nature of the film while paying homage to the design aesthetic of the time in which the film was made (especially inside the pages of the included booklet). I derived the color palette from the HK title logo and gave the composition energy with an explosion of overlapping lavender-toned characters amongst orange and teal paint splatters. Our heroes are depicted surrounded by adversaries (even quarreling with each other in the center as they do in the film), but at the bottom stand together ready for battle.

 Not being a fan of the original somewhat awkward-looking English title, I created a new title treatment that read clearer and better fit my various uses for it (spine, disc, menu, etc.).

Since I feel a so-called “limited edition” o-card slipcover should provide something that is actually limited in availability, for the inlay artwork I decided not to reuse the same art but rather to utilize this space to highlight the wonderful Thai poster artwork. I painted out the Thai text and added the new English title font. And for the reverse, I recreated a close approximation of the original Hong Kong photo poster artwork from various elements I had, since a high resolution version could not be provided by the licensee.

I had seen a YouTube trailer for the Mark Houghton documentary I AM THE WHITE TIGER and suggested to my client to possibly license the doc as an extra feature. Sometimes they go along with my suggestions (such as fixing the color grade on THE BRIDE WITH WHITE HAIR, as the provided master was an over-bright teal and orange mess) and sometimes they don’t (releasing WARRIORS TWO and THE PRODIGAL SON in separate Amaray cases inside a hard slipbox, ala CINEMATIC VENGEANCE). You win some, you lose some. But somewhat to my surprise, a week later they told me they were now including it on a limited bonus disc. Cool!

I wish we could’ve sourced an HD version of the entire extended Taiwanese cut of the film. But it’s not unusual for those Mandarin-dubbed prints to be extremely hard to find in good condition these days. At least excerpts are included in standard definition as a bonus feature.

See you next time… where we keep the DRAGON theme going. FOREVER.

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