The Hong Kong film industry, renowned for producing action pictures with a unique blend of outrageous antics, has been enjoying a small resurgence of late. On the modern action side, Wilson Yip's SPL (retitled Kill Zone for the US market) kicked things into high gear in the fall of 2005, and more recently, Yip's Flash Point and Benny Chan's Invisible Target got fanboys like myself excited when they played at TIFF and Fantastic Fest last fall.

In between those films, Dennis Law's Fatal Contact came out in October 2006, and this week Dragon Dynasty makes it available on Region 1 DVD. Unlike those other films, the hero of Fatal Contact is not a police officer but a kung fu champion from Mainland China named Kong (Wu Jing, AKA Jacky Wu Jing, a villain in both SPL and invisible Target). His spectacular performance with a traveling opera company brings him to the attention of the criminals that run the underground boxing scene in Hong Kong. At the urging of a fetching, gold-digging co-worker (Miki Yeung), Kong is drawn ever deeper into a violent world ruled by bosses who gamble millions of dollars on every match.

Very much a story told in the traditional manner, with generous doses of broad humor, social drama and unrequited yearning, Fatal Contact succeeds by delivering a satisfying quotient of increasingly brutal fight scenes. As usual, Wu Jing is a rocket-fueled, unstoppable field of energy. Also notable is Ronald Cheng, a singer turned actor who looks pretty sharp as a fighter in the "street hustling sidekick" role. For good measure, he also performs a song over the closing credits.

Dragon Dynasty's two-disk edition includes an audio commentary by director Law with Bey Logan, four interviews, and a "behind the scenes" feature.

Also out this week is Ryuichi Hiroki's Vibrator, which won acclaim on the festival circuit a couple of years ago. It's a road drama about an alcoholic freelance writer (Shinobu Terajima); she's a woman "on the edge of madness, despair and finally love," in the words of Mark Schilling, writing in The Japan Times. The DVD is from Kino Video.