Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Young Master - Jackie Chan (1980) - Lok Wo Sha Lane, Wu Kai Sha

This scene is the other one that shares a location with Drunken Master. Sadly, it's a location that is pretty much unrecognisable these days and I have only really been able to ascertain its exact place thanks to a handy 1979 aerial photo I obtained from the local mapping office (these have proved invaluable for this kind of project).

The scene is the one when the evil trio consisting of Fung Hak On, Lee Hoi Sang and Wai Pak intercept the police caravan transporting evil boss dude Whang In Sik from one place to another. Whang is strapped to a cart in the blazing heat, gets free and then unleashes some really awesome retribution to his captors. All of this scene takes place on a sandy track at the foot of Ngau Ngak Shan (a.k.a the Hunchbacks) - part of the mountain that forms the mountains of Ma On Shan.

Unfortunately for us, this area - which has featured on a whole heap of 70's and 80's films - has fallen victim to massive amounts of redevelopment as Ma On Shan has developed into a new town and the Ma On Shan MTR Rail track terminates right next to this location at Wu Kai Sha.

Despite this I figured I would head out there and grab a few shots of the location where most of the action formerly took place, but first here is a reminder of the scene in the film.

 Now, this sandy path was fairly long and connected various points around the Wu Kai Sha area (including what used to be a quarry at Whitehead Point and Starfish Bay) and has since been removed. However, the path's legacy is quite noticeable because, like with many other parts of rebuilt HK, the route the path took hasn't been developed with any buildings but did form the basis for a road that now follows its length reasonably well. The road is Lok Wo Sha Lane and it runs from Whitehead Point, past Starfish Bay and terminates in front of the Li Po Chun United World College.

The part of the path that was the widest - and therefore seemed to be the focus for filming - was a bend that curved from NW to SW at the site of what is now the carpark in front of the aforementioned college.

Here's what I am talking about on the 1979 aerial view. I've circled the part of the path where most of the scene was filmed.

 In a modern context we have the following view from GoogleEarth.

There's been no reclamation along this part of the coastline at all but the development on top is marked, with what was rural farmland and quarries being converted for high rise housing, a rail line, a highway etc.
The area I have circled sits right in front of a small carpark and remains untouched other than being converted into a small green space with trees and flowers.See the photos below of what it looks like today - looking south towards the mountain.

And here is a photo taken from the green area that once saw Whang In Sik kicking 10 bells out of a load of HK stuntmen. Hard to believe it's the same place really, but that's HK for you.

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