Carry on Hotel


The next time I go to Singapore I know exactly where I am staying – the Pan Pacific Hotel – which is where this film takes place and is in fact a real hotel in Singapore. There is always something happening at this hotel – jewel thieves, female psychos, hidden cameras in the rooms, clandestine affairs, spying bellboys and lustful managers – and need I mention that it is filled to the brim with beautiful women. It is somewhat amazing that this hotel agreed to allow their name and premises to be used!
Cherie Chung and Pat Ha
This 1988 film directed by Jeff Lau is composed of four stories that take place in the hotel involving both staff and guests. Perhaps its inspiration was the American TV show Hotel that was on back in the 80s. The stories are all slightly comic – but take on different emotional hues – from slapstick to romance to horror – and the quality differs a fair amount between them. In total though, I found it pleasant and harmless going  - with a few very good moments – and a fabulous cast.
Joey Wong and Cecilia Yip
In some ways this really might be a film for die-hard HK film fans – nothing here to get excited about for most people – but just having such a nice large cast full of favorites is a real treat for me. The photography is absolutely first rate and there are a number of dazzling close ups that had me wanting to take three times more pictures for this review than I did. The four actresses in particular look absolutely stunning here. It’s a bit hard to say the same for Richard Ng, Kent Cheng, Woo Fung, Billy Lau and Eric Tsang! More a visual feast for the male viewer than the female I must objectively report.
Kent Cheng and Charlie Chin
The first story is the weakest of the lot – Kent and Billy begin surveillance on a room where they expect an adulterous couple to set up shop for a few hours. They install cameras in the room, but before the couple shows up they realize they didn’t book their hotel room for the next day and have to leave. A rock group instead turns on their TV set to see Charlie Chin and a married woman embracing one another. Charlie sees the not very well concealed cameras – and starts to perform a melodramatic soap opera from his Taiwanese weepy days that is fairly amusing.
Richard Ng, Woo Fung and Yasuaki Kurata
In the second episode, hotel manager Woo Fung is expecting a top shareholder as a guest – and everyone mistakes Richard Ng as this person. Ng seems to be playing the same character from his Lucky Stars films – and thinks he can hypnotize everyone. Since they all think he is this powerful mucky muck, they all pretend they are under his control. Of course, he is actually a thief and soon the real big shot, Yasuaki Kurata, shows up. This one isn’t all that great either – but the next two stories are much better.
Eric Tsang is a group tour leader – and coming out of the shower he notices that a stunning Cherie Chung has let herself into his hotel room and is lying seductively on his bed. Feeling a little frisky, Eric wants to get down to business with Cherie – but she has other plans in mind – like gutting poor Eric.
He receives a call from Pat Ha claiming to be Cherie’s nurse telling him that Cherie is crazy and that she will soon be up to help him. He opens the door only to discover that she too wants to slice and dice him. He now has two female killers chasing him around his very lovely and spacious suite (that’s the one I will ask for when I go to Singapore – the Eric Tsang/Cherie Chung Psycho Suite) – competing with one another as to which one will kill Eric.
Pat Ha, Cherie Chung and Eric Tsang
Even though it is humorous, this story verges on the edge of being suspenseful – and if that had been the intention it could have been quite good. The cinematography for this segment in particular is eye catching.
Joey, Cecilia and Jacky
The final story is very sweet and romantic – and has an outstandingly attractive performance from Cecilia Yip – not that Joey Wong is anywhere close to shabby mind you – just that Cecilia really will capture your heart in this one.
Jacky Cheung and Cecilia are both maintenance workers for the hotel – and though buddies he won’t give her greasy tomboy looks a romantic thought. She clearly is in love with him – but Jacky only has eyes for the much higher status gorgeous Joey. Through falling tears, Cecilia even helps him write love letters to Joey  – and even though you see it coming a mile away like a fat guy walking on the beach – the ending is still very sweet and romantic.

My rating for the film: 6.0



DVD Information:

Distributed by Mei Ah

The transfer is terrific - one of the best yet for a film from Mei Ah - and an older film too. The colors and sharpness are great - can't say how happy I was with this DVD. If they can do it for this film - why can't they do it all the time?

Letterboxed

Cantonese and Mandarin language tracks

9 Chapters

The subtitles are Chinese or English or none.

There is a trailer for this film - and one for Dirty Tiger, Crazy Frog.

The subs are very easy to read.