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Hong Kong Action Film
at the Frontiers of Cinema
CSCS - Centre for the Study of Culture and Society

Telugu Newpaper and Magazine Advertisements
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In the absence of trade publications dedicated to the Telugu film industry, importers and distributors have often relied on newspaper and film magazine advertisements to target potential viewers as well as smaller distributors or exhibitors. Most advertisements have contact phone numbers and some indicate the distribution territories that are still open.

An example of the ways in which Hong Kong films are localised. Jackie Chan 001, a Telugu dubbed version of an unidentifiable Jackie Chan starrer. According to the advertisement Jackie Chan says, ‘My boss, Chiranjeevi,’ obviously referring to Telugu film industry’s biggest star. The Telugu star, whose photograph appears on the top left hand corner, is often referred to as Boss or Big Boss (which is also the title of one of his films). Dubbing into Indian languages has over the past few years become much more than a translation of the dialogue. Producers of the late nineties dubbed versions proceeded under the assumption that dubbing was an act of straightforward translation. While the earliest attempts at dubbing into Indian languages were often laughed at, recent attempts demonstrate a far more sophisticated approach that, among other things, takes considerable liberties with the original.
(Source of image: Superhit, 30th January 2004)

Merupuveerudu, ‘Releasing Soon’
(Source: Vaartha, 20th November 2001)

Merupuveerudu, ‘Releasing on December 7th.’
(Source: Vaartha, 27th November 2001)

The film was released simultaneously in both English and Telugu as Sahasaveerudu.
Vaartha, 4th November 2001)

Merupu Veerudu, the Telugu dubbed version of Once Upon a Time in China, was released long after the English film (released as The Rebel) had a successful run. The phone number mentioned here and some other advertisements on this page belongs to R.K. Bhagawan

The advertisement for Kapala Dweepam (Telugu dubbed version of Rape of the Red Temple) states: ‘Another massive action film directed by Jackie Chan’s guru Ringo Lam’
(Source: Vaartha, 27th April 2002)

Vaartha, 19th April 2002 Vaartha, 28th April 2002 Vaartha, 26th April 2002
China Strike Force and its Telugu version Mugguru was perhaps the most publicized Hong Kong film in the recent past. Unlike the other major Hong Kong releases, this film did not have a single star who was familiar to Indian audiences.

Vaartha, date ?.
Trimurthi Films, Secunderbad, requests exhibitors in a particular territory to approach them directly to do business. Perhaps a response to claims being made by another distributor that he holds the rights.

Vaartha, 15th July 2002
Bhetala Konda is advertised as a massive action film which created a record in China by collecting 270 crores (2.7 billion, presumably rupees).
Vaartha 28th August 2002
'Highest share earners in the film industry: Adi and Indra in Telugu, Padayappa and Baba in Tamil, Robotrix, Robotrix and Robotrix in English.'

Vaartha, 25th August 2002.
Fast Fighter (title of Telugu version). An unsuccessful attempt at catching the attention of the once loyal audience for the female action hero.
Vaartha, 12th June 2003.
Cobra (title of Telugu version). In the recent past the shrinking market for the Hong Kong action film has resulted in importers shifting their focus to soft-porn films (or films that can be marketed as such). In the 1990s soft-porn films were rarely sourced from Hong Kong.
Superhit, 4th July 2003
Asadhyudu 003, probably a Telugu dubbed version of a Hollywood B film.