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(aka "The Oily Maniac")

 

Directed by Meng Hua Ho
Hong Kong 1976

 

Danny Lee (THE KILLER) played one of cinema’s most unlikely superheroes in THE OILY MANIAC (1976) - a Shaw Brothers creature-feature classic that is only now gaining a much-deserved premiere in the UK! In this gooey gem of a monster-mash, Lee plays a Hong Kong everyman who has been crippled and is down-on-his-luck - that is, until he learns of a spell that can turn him into a transformative and transmorphing pile of ferocious but malevolent mush. Yes, he is THE OILY MANIAC - and in this Cantonese predecessor to Troma’s THE TOXIC AVENGER, he is able to appear and re-appear at will, making it all the more tricky for his arch-enemies to dillute his delirious brilliance. Directed by the prolific Meng Hua Ho (THE FLYING GULLOTINE), this is one Far Eastern B-movie masterpiece that deserves to be seen.

***

Based on a folk tale and shot predominantly in Malaysia, this Shaw Brothers horror thriller garners unintentional laughs right from its opening shot of the title fiend emerging from the depths, accompanied by John Williams' famous "dun-dun-dun-dun" theme from JAWS. The music announces the creature's every appearance, desperately trying to lend menace to a villain that resembles a charred and melted version of the Michelin Tire man. Adding to the silliness is the fact that Yung cannot transform without somehow coating himself in oil, leading to scenes of Danny Lee desperately limping through construction sites and industrial areas looking for a barrel he can dive into (luckily, even coconut oil will do in a pinch!). The special effects are amusingly dire: the maniac can transform into an animated glob, allowing him to flow under doors and even travel through plumbing.

Excerpt from Hong Kong Digital located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 18th, 1976

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: 88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Distribution 88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:27:48.346        
Video

2.35:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,891,240,777 bytes

Feature: 20,245,555,200 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

LPCM Audio Cantonese 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
88 Films

 

2.35:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,891,240,777 bytes

Feature: 20,245,555,200 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

A Slippery Story - an interview with Calum Waddell (15:47)

8-page liner notes by Calum Waddell


Blu-ray Release Date:
July 24th, 2017
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: 88 Films Blu-ray (June 2019): 88 Films have transferred one of the more eccentric Hong Kong cinema's 70's Shaw efforts Oily Maniac to Blu-ray. It is on a single-layered disc with a supportive bitrate. It looks modest in 1080P - generally soft-ish and thick as we have seen from many of the Hong Kong films in the mid70s. Colors are fairly dull, but the image quality is consistent. Far from an ideal image it's easy to believe that it may have looked similar theatrically.

NOTE: We have added 22 more large resolution Blu-ray captures for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE.

On their Blu-ray, 88 Films use a linear PCM 2.0 channel mono track (24-bit) in the original Cantonese language. It has some depth notable in the animated score by Yung-Yu Chen (The Vengeful Beauty, The Ghost Lovers, Black Magic 2, The Mighty Peking Man, The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, The Five Deadly Venoms) that sounds quite like other Shaw flics of this era - flat with some hollow punch. 88 Films offer optional English subtitles on their Region 'B' Blu-ray.

The 88 Films Blu-ray include a 1/4 our interview with Calum Waddell entitled 'A Slippery Story' detailing his enjoyment and behind the production details of The Oily Maniac. There is also an 8-page liner notes leaflet with an essay by Waddell including some color photos from the film.

The Oily Maniac is one of the icons of the extreme, outrageous, Hong Kong creature-feature-esque horrors that always had me thinking of Swamp Thing.  It's totally goofy and takes itself seriously - which adds to the huge camp value. I am very happy to own on Blu-ray. If you are keen on this sub-genre - this is probably the most essential disc for your digital library.

Gary Tooze

 


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Distribution 88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray


 


 

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