Sunday, February 14, 2016

Spider-Man: The Dragon's Challenge - Nicholas Hammond (1979) - Cameron Mansions, The Peak

Spider-Man's nemesis in this film is a corrupt businessman who wants to secure a industrial contract in China. He's obviously wealthy because he walks around in silk dressing gowns and gets his portrait painted whilst standing in his garden. It's certainly what I would do if I had lots of spare dosh. Anyway, the garden in question is actually the terrace at Cameron Mansions along Magazine Gap Road on The Peak. There are a few nice views from here that would be great if they were any near decent resolution. Actually, the terraced garden you can see below specifically belongs to the part of the development called Cameron House.

In the back of this shot (above) you can see the 'Pink House' - currently HSBC senior staff quarters.


Actually, Cameron Mansions has another link to the film world because it was supposedly designed by local architect, Kwan Wing-hong, who happens to have been the father of Nancy Kwan. I've heard this rumour before but can't seem to find a source to back it up at the moment. I'll dig deeper and update later.

Anyway, the building was completed in 1951 and constructed on the remains of a large concrete base that formerly supported the (in)famous Japanese war memorial - erected during the occupation. According the post-war news reports, the site had been constructed for the purpose of mass suicide by the Japanese forces in case the British were able to re-invade Hong Kong. I guess they had second thoughts.

The memorial was destroyed soon after the war ended but rumours persist about a valuable ceremonial sword that was embedded into the foundation base as some sort of consecration. It may or may not be true but I suspect it will remain out of reach until the time comes for redevelopment of the site.

2 comments:

  1. Long time no visit, just stopped by to check what's new but don't have time to dig through all the posts I've missed yet. I did want to add to this one quickly, though. The link to Kwan Wing-Hong is cited in this SCMP article:

    http://www.scmp.com/article/42230/my-search-secret-samurai

    "''When the smoke cleared, the ruin of Japan's mute symbol of attempted domination was revealed to the cheering crowd,'' reported the South China Morning Post. What was left intact, however, was the base. Cable and Wireless sold this to Mr W K Kwan, father of the actress Nancy, and a well-known property developer.


    He built Cameron Mansions on top of the base, installed the exterior lift to transport residents and visitors up to the front door, sold the building to a lady who now lives in Kuala Lumpur, and that was the end of the matter."

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    1. a very welcome return from you as well. I wasn't quite sure if he was the actual developer or just the architect - it seems he was both...kerching!

      Actually, I do know that he was good friends with TC Wang (the founder of Salon Films) and it was this connection that helped Salon procure the services of Nancy for Brian Salt's locally made film "Mong Fu Shek", based on the legend of Amah rock. I'm still trying to track down a copy for the blog but it's a difficult one to find.

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