Life Is Cheap... But Toilet Paper Is Expensive

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Life Is Cheap... But Toilet Paper Is Expensive
Life Is Cheap... But Toilet Paper Is Expensive Poster.jpg
Directed by Wayne Wang
Produced by Winnie Mokri
Written by Spencer Nakasako
Amir Mokri
Wayne Wang
Starring Cheng Wan Kin
Music by Mark Adler
Cinematography Amir Mokri
Edited by Sandy Nervig
Distributed by Lions Gate Entertainment
Silverlight Entertainment
Release date
  • August 24, 1990 (1990-08-24)
Running time
83 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Life Is Cheap... But Toilet Paper Is Expensive is a 1989 film directed by Wayne Wang.[1] The film stars Cheng Wan Kin and John Chan. It won an award at the 1990 Rotterdam International Film Festival.[2]

Director Wayne Wang in 1981

The film was the subject of controversy when it originally received an X rating from the Motion Picture Association of America, the distributor, Silverlight Entertainment, chose to release it without this rating and with a self-anointed adults-only A rating.[3] On their TV show for the week of August 13-17, 1990, the late film critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert praised the decision to apply the A rating since it was a concept they had often discussed on At the Movies in the context of harshly criticizing the MPAA's standards of forcing serious films aimed at adult audiences to either undergo damaging edits to receive R ratings or be locked out of most theatrical and advertising outlets. Both critics, however, also said the film itself was not very good.[4]

Plot summary[edit]

A man is hired, by people he believes to be gangsters, to deliver a briefcase from America to Hong Kong.


  • Cheng Wan Kin as Duck Killer
  • John Chan as The Son In Law
  • Kwan-Min Cheng as Uncle Cheng
  • Allen Fong as Taxi Driver
  • Rocky Wing Cheung Ho as Punk #2
  • Angela Yu Chien as Blue Velvet


External links[edit]