We really take the English language for granted over here.
But for those countries where it's a second (or third, or fourth) language, our tongue can prove a little tricky. As proven with these humorous stumbles from a collection of wonderful and weird Eastern flicks, which have gotten a little lost along the way from one language to another.
Not that we're taking the mick or anything...
“I want to stool now!”
Lost In Translation: We’re assuming the fellow who utters this immortal line isn’t standing in cross-legged desperation for the nearest port-a-loo.
The film? Drawing on Romero’s Dawn Of The Dead , this undead Hong Kong wonder unfolds the story of bio-chemicals in soft drinks that turn innocent citizens into flesh-chewers. Lovely.
“When I was 30, I cried my eyes out with a tortoise shell.”
Chocolate Inspector (1986)
Lost In Translation: Uhh, tortoise shell? Is that a clever reference to Sly Stallone’s Demolition Man three sea shells conundrum? Can’t be, Chocolate Inspector came first…
The East’s answer to Inspector Clouseau arrives in the form of Inspector Chu (Chocolate), who’s earned that unfortunate moniker thanks to his love for Smarties. He’s just as bumbling as his European counterpart.
Next: Lifeline, Mr. Vampire 2 [page-break]
“Mom, please cut the carp?”
Lost In Translation: Rather than a request for some specialist fish-slicing, this chap is really attempting a bit of English lingo by asking his parent to cut the crap . Bless those subtitlers.
The plot in this late-90s Johnnie To thriller tracks the ups and downs of the firefighters who spend their lives attempting to save ours.
“Stab on the chest of any vampire.”
Mr. Vampire 2 (1986)
Lost In Translation: Oh, that fickle thing we call grammar. How quickly sense turns into nonsense; as exemplified with this guff. We’re sure that any potential slayer who attempts to adhere strictly to this advice would be in for a very pointy surprise.
The flick follows modern grave robbers who discover preserved specimens of ancient man, and realise too late that they are vampires.
Next: This Is Kung Fu, Troublesome Night [page-break]
“Never been to the Great Wall is not a great man.”
This Is Kung Fu (1983)
Lost In Translation: More grammatical stumbles to make us titter. It’s like reading the philosophical musings of a toddler.
This documentary examines the art of Wushu, with old masters showing the young ‘uns how it’s done, and some stunning Chinese vistas to sate our thirst for beautiful visuals. And yes, that is a baby Jet Li!
“I'm afraid he's scared to fail stooling!”
Troublesome Night (1997)
Lost In Translation: More toilet humour courtesy of translators getting the wrong end of the tense stick. What this chap really wants is to steal something (ah, there’s the sound of a penny dropping). Though if he gets caught, he probably will stool himself in fear.
The first in a series of Troublesome Night s, this misadventure centres on the haunted streets of Hong Kong.
Next: Odd Couple, Justice My Foot! [page-break]
“Looking at her face is like looking at her ass.”
Odd Couple (1979)
Lost In Translation: Is this lovely man talking about a woman’s behind or her donkey companion? Either way, it’s a pretty nasty insult. Assuming she has a horrible ass.
The plot follows two rivals who meet up every decade to duke it out to see whose weaponry skills are the better.
“Now I want you to say it thrice daily and don't dress a bun.”
Justice, My Foot! (1992)
Lost In Translation: A bun? Dear sir, what a proposition! Honestly, your guess is as good as ours with this one…
Stephen Chow stars in this decidedly bun-free period kung-fu flick, which includes an awesome courtroom scene in which a councillor brilliantly exonerates an innocent and proves the guilty parties guilty.
Next: Madam City Hunter, Fist Of Fury [page-break]
“Don't push me! Or I'll piss now.”
Madam City Hunter (1993)
Lost In Translation: Oh dear, the toilet humour just keeps coming. This scene surely includes one man busting for the bog while waiting during rush hour for a tube train. He finds a canny threat to ensure he’s not jostled by the mindless millions.
In actuality, Madam City Hunter is an action comedy about a brilliant female cop who meets a private eye. It all goes pretty pear shaped.
“Damn you, you want dying?”
Fist Of Fury (1991)
Lost In Translation: Is ‘dying’ a new dish being served at the local Wung Chan restaurant? It doesn’t sound particularly appetising. P’raps it’s really a request for hair colourant…
A young Stephen Chow crops up in this wacky homage to Bruce Lee.
Next: Righting Wrongs, Conman In Tokyo [page-break]
“Over studying makes you a moron.”
Righting Wrongs (1986)
Lost In Translation: Chinese wisdom proves itself supreme in all ways of thinking. Best not to yell this from the roof tops at the moment, considering all the younglings currently studying hard for their GCSEs and A Levels.
Righting Wrongs proves itself adept in the action stakes as well, featuring an infamous clash with Cynthia Rothrock and Yuen Biao.
“Long hung love will hurt.”
Conman In Tokyo (2000)
Lost In Translation: Too true.
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