Martial arts

Jean-Claude Van Damme deeply saddened by death of Hong Kong filmmaker Ringo Lam

  • The Muscles from Brussels worked on three films with the acclaimed Hong Kong director
  • The Expendables 2 star took to Twitter to express his shock over the passing of the famed director
PUBLISHED : Sunday, 30 December, 2018, 3:55pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 30 December, 2018, 4:34pm

Action star Jean-Claude Van Damme has expressed shock and sadness over the death of Hong Kong-born director Ringo Lam Ling-Tung, who died in his home on Saturday.

The former martial arts competitor turned Hollywood action hero worked with Lam on three movies – Maximum Risk, In Hell and Replicant – and took to Twitter on Saturday to express his “deep sadness” over the passing of one of Hong Kong’s greatest film directors. Lam, whose City on Fire found worldwide acclaim, was found dead at his home in Ma On Shan on Saturday. He was 63.

Van Damme was one of many celebrities who have come out to pay tribute to the famed filmmaker.

“I’m deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Ringo Lam. We worked together on Maximum Risk, In Hell and Replicant. My heart goes out to his family, friends and loved ones,” wrote Van Damme on his official Twitter page.

Hong Kong filmmaker Ringo Lam Ling-tung, director of 1987’s City on Fire, found dead at 63

The 58-year-old Belgian, known as the Muscles from Brussels, recently celebrated Christmas in Hong Kong and had earlier spent some time in Macau, according to his Twitter account.

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The Expendables 2 star, who was one of the world’s top box office draws during the 80s and 90s with martial arts classics such as Lionheart, Bloodsport and Kickboxer, had said in an interview that he was fortunate to have worked with Lam.

The Hong Kong director’s 1986 City on Fire is considered a landmark film about Hong Kong triads and was a major influence on Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs.

Lam’s passing sparked an outpouring of grief from Van Damme’s fans on his Twitter page.

“Yes, he is dead, but his accomplishments, memories and his name will never die. My condolences to Ringo Lam and his family,” wrote Luigi.

In Hell is one of your best. Sorry for the loss,” wrote Marc-Andre.

Patrick Rutherford wrote: “In Hell, Replicant and Maximum Risk are 3 of my favourites for sure, RIP.”

“Rest in Peace Ringo Lam, what a brilliant director,” wrote Dan Kownacki,

“Very sad indeed, he was a great filmmaker,” said Emil Nisanov.

Maximum Risk was Van Damm’s first collaboration with Lam and although it was generally panned by film critics, the action movie still did good business at the box office, taking in more than US$5 million in its first week of release.

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The film did better overseas, enabling it to earn back twice its budget.

Tarantino had said that Lam was a major influence on his work, telling the Baltimore Sun, “It’s [City on Fire] a really cool movie. It influenced me a lot. I got some stuff from it.”

Hong Kong action star Daniel Wu (Tomb Raider), who starred in Lam’s Sky on Fire, was also shocked by Lam’s passing, saying Lam was part of Hong Kong’s New Wave movement from the late 80s to early 90s that “put Hong Kong cinema on the map”.

“A true maestro of film you will be dearly missed. Rest In Peace sir! We will carry on your legacy!” Wu wrote on his Facebook page.