A Night On The Water

"I have a new hatred in my life, and he goes by the name of Mighty Peking Man."

- Equinox21

A Night On The Water (1998)

Director: Kang Jeong-Su

Producer: Lee Eun-So

Cast: Sung Hi Lee (Sunghi Lee), Yoo Ji-Ha, Yoon Hee-Jeong, Jody Thompson, Jeff Andersen

Running Time: 100 min.

Plot: 'Baek Seong-Ha' who enters a investment company in Canada. In spite of invisible prejudice and jealousy about colored people, he grows up to the most promising dealer in his company. However Seong-Ha drives his company in bankruptcy as he excessively invests depending on his own sense, and finally he is fired. He is getting absorbed in Alcohol and gambling in despair. Seong-Ha, who gets on the road of wandering, happened to meet a woman called Phoebe and spends a night with her. Phoebe is a girl on the street who lives with incurable injury due to her adopted father's sexual abuse during her childhood.

Availability: This title is available at HKflix.com




What a sad testimony it is to life that my very first film review for City On Fire is for the "film" A Night On The Water. Taking Equinox up on the challenge of viewing and reviewing the "film", I received the package through the post on the weekend. Included with the DVD was a handwritten note saying that "You'll be happy when it's over. Suicide is not the answer!"

Over the course of the next two nights, I proceeded to watch the "film" with a certain degree of anticipation. After all, I've seen my fair share of bad films and survived, so this can't be THAT BAD, right?

Well, now I'm through watching the "film". Normally, I would start off a review with a brief synopsis and then a discussion about what was good and what was bad. However, a synopsis presumes that there is a storyline or plot. In the case of A Night On The Water, I am still left with absolutely no fucking clue about what the story was about. Therefore, we'll just cut to the chase...




Yes, that's right - this film had nothing good about it. Not even the fact that the normally beautiful Sung-Hi Lee shows off her two points quite a lot is worth noting as good. Which leaves only the following notes that I took down during the film...

  • When Phoebe (Sung-Hi Lee) is introduced to Sungha, he says that he's heard of the name before. Lo and behold, he figures that the name is from The Catcher In The Rye. Ooh, overused literary reference...it must mean that the film is very smart! And she's really fascinated with whales and whether they eat shrimp. Ooh, overused quirkiness factor...it must mean that the character is really complex!
  • After Phoebe and Sungha have sex for the first time, for some strange reason, he asks her "Why didn't you tell me that you're Korean?" Now, I'm not sure how he figured that out because she made no mention of it at all prior to getting nekkid. Was it her sexual techniques? Did the removal of that hot pink wig give her away? And does it even matter at all? Boy, I'd sure like to know because a superpower like that could be used for the good of humankind.
  • I have no idea who they got playing Sungha but he has got to be the absolute worst actor that I have ever seen. This greasy looking rock-star wannabe is so monotone, he makes that teacher from Ferris Bueller's Day Off sound like Tony Montana. He is so fucking inept in the art of acting that Michael Wong seem like Laurence Olivier in comparison. Plus, he's a pretty ugly looking bastard. Oh, my God...I'd go on but that would require me to keep the memory alive when I'm trying so hard to erase it completely.
  • Am I supposed to feel sympathetic to the character of Phoebe? I mean she's had such a tragic life as a prostitute who was sexually abused as a child by her stepfather, right? She's a drunk and a junkie, right? Well, I don't because the whole "prostitute with a tragic life" crap in this story is so cookie-cutter cliche.
  • This "film's" production qualities are atrocious. The picture is a shoddy full-frame print with sound like it was dubbed in a broom closet. I'm not sure whether it was the transfer or the film itself. Needless to say, it made the task of watching this "film" very difficult without cranking up the contrast and brightness of my television. On top of that, it made Sung-Hi Lee look like an old hag at times.
  • The sex scenes. Dear God, they still manage to fuck up the only place where they could score points with me. The director uses slo-mo in every sex scene (I think there was three) in the film. Why? I figure it's to appease the pervs out there who want to jack off longer. I can't figure out any other reason why because the slo-mo really took every ounce of erotica out of the scenes. The only feeling left was one of queasiness.
  • There's this one scene where Sungha and Phoebe are on a bed sucking each other's toes in a quasi-69 position. Not only was it laughable but it the only scene where I did begin to feel sympathetic for Phoebe...mostly because Sungha's really got to scrub his feet clean sometime.
  • The filmmakers felt that an action scene was needed to liven things up so they tossed in a scene where Sungha bitchslaps Phoebe's pimp in a washroom. Bitchslap is so appropriate because the pimp seriously begins to yelp like Richard Simmons during the beating ("Oh, god...no more! Don't hurt me!"). God, that was too funny.
  • After the bitchslapping, Sungha and Phoebe run like they're being chased by a pack of zombies and, after pausing several times to kiss each other, they both decide to move from city to city to hide. I'm not entirely sure who they plan to hide from because if it's that so-called pimp, then they're really exaggerating his viciousness. Plus, they don't seem to get very far...from the beginning, it's obvious that this was filmed in Vancouver, BC, and after the two supposedly run away to another city, it's still Vancouver as evidenced by the Rockies and the various views of the harbor. On top of that, Sungha still finds the time to go to work.
  • After several nights of boozing and coking up (all hidden from that dumbass Sungha's knowledge), Phoebe fires a gun point-blank at her head in a suicide attempt. Not only does she survive (doctor says that she only grazed her head), but she gives birth to a perfectly healthy baby girl. Yep, all those cigarettes, tequila, and cocaine did wonders for the health of that child.
  • After Sungha finishes his flashback story, he says something about how he never expected his life to be so tragic, like it was some kind of film noir. The only thing "noir" about this film is the lousy print which made everything so hard to see. Film noir my ass...the story read like a bad acid trip. More like film brun, as in the result when you take film stock to wipe your ass.


Run away. Or at least, light up a fat blunt to dull the pain of watching this "film".

On second thought...just run away. No amount of chronic can make this any better.

*sigh* I would have put my notes together into a cohesive review but after the arduous task of watching this trash, I have no desire to do so.

Okay...next victim!

OWLMAN'S RATING: 0/10 (well, it's a well-deserved 0/10. I would have given points like EQ did for the T&A but the bad print pretty much ruined any possibility of that.)

EQUINOX21'S REVIEW: I have a new hatred in my life, and he goes by the name of Mighty Peking Man. You see, he sent me this "movie" that was so ungodly awful I felt like crying. The best it can be called is soft-porn, and that would be a compliment. This "movie" should never have been made, and I'm simply embarrassed for all those involved in its production.

I went in expecting it to be really bad, and it fell far short of even those terrible expectations. It actually started out on an ALMOST positive note. The song playing over the opening credits reminded me of something you'd expect to hear in an old 1980's Leslie Cheung/John Woo movie, and this is for a movie that was made in 1998. However, the instant the first person opened their mouth it went from bad to worse. The lack of reality, sensibility, and acting in this movie made the entire thing a painful watch. All you need to know is that it's about Phoebe (Lee Seung-Hi, a Playboy model, so you have some idea of why she got this part, it was obviously for her "talent"), an alcoholic, drug-addled prostitute who meets this guy, Baek Seong-Ha (who cares who he was in real life, he's never going to act again, if that's even what you can call what he did in this "movie"), and they have sex a lot. They fall in love, she gets pregnant, she gets very drunk and high on coke, tries to kill herself, they give her a C-section, it's a PERFECTLY healthy (crack-)baby, she gets happy, and finally does kill herself. Plus she has some incredibly stupidly-written obsession with whales. Whatever.

The acting, if you can call it that, was beyond laughable, it physically hurt to watch. I can understand why Lee Seung-Hi can't act, her lot in life is to get paid to take her clothes off for stroke-mags. But why did they hire that half-wit who played Baek Seong-Ha? He sucked! He was the most stiff, lousy, inept actor in history. Obviously, no one in this movie has had an hour of acting lessons, and it shows.

I was actually making a list of the stupid things in this movie, but I had to put my pen down because I was getting a hand cramp. This thing was produced in 1998 and looked as though it came straight out of 1978. The DVD transfer was HORRIBLE. It looked beyond a bad VCD. The ADR was either really, really bad or perhaps it was just not synced up correctly, either way, it was really damn annoying.

Other than that, Lee Seung-Hi got topless... a lot. And there were a bunch of other topless people in the movie, as if you care. I couldn't even stomach the terrible want-to-be soft-porn sex scenes; I had to fast forward through them.

I hate you, Mighty Peking Man. The End.

P.S. The guy had a fucking green light-up bed! Like the MATRESS WAS LIT FUCKING GREEN! What the hell was that? Fucking stupid, that's what.

EQUINOX21'S RATING: 2/10 (1 point each for Lee Seung-Hi's T&A)

MIGHTY PEKING MAN'S REVIEW: A friend and I discovered this movie at a used DVD store during a recent road trip to Tempe, Arizona. All we knew is that it was a Korean movie that starred Sung Hi Lee, a gorgeous Korean-American Playboy model. For about $8 we picked it up...wait...actually, I made him pay for it (I used the old: "Come on man, I drove!" technique). He gladly agreed to it. After all, An erotic Korean movie with tits and ass from a gorgeous babe like Sung Hi Lee couldn't be that bad. Boy, were we both so, so wrong.

I'm not going into details about the film itself. All I have to say is that "A Night On The Water" is so bad that my friend actually snuck it in with a pile of borrowed DVDs that he had returned to me. He could have sold it, traded it, or even trashed it (which would be way too easy). I sure as hell didn't want it, so I decided to do myself a favor and emulate my friend's sneaky tactics.

I happened to have a copy of "Infernal Affairs" which I had borrowed from a fella named Equinox21. Since he was so kind to lend me that overrated Andrew Lau/Andy Lau/Tony Leung flick, I figured I'd give him a little surprise. So, along with "Infernal Affairs", I packed in "A Night On The Water" (The result: See his review above).

Anyways, I would just like to thank the guy who sold the movie to that used DVD store in Tempe in the first place. You have no idea what you started. As for the others who might one day watch it...you are brave.