Ricky Lau (director)
96 min (length)
20 July 2020 (released)
16 July 2020
This ground-breaking and hugely popular martial arts horror-comedy from 1985 launched the ‘hopping vampires’ trend and remains among the best and most entertaining movies in this particular genre.
Utterly bonkers, MR. VAMPIRE was directed by Ricky Lau and turned out to be one of the biggest box office hits in Hong Kong, later on it became equally popular in the West and laid the influencial groundwork for several other ‘hopping bloodsucker' flicks mashed up with martial arts and other dynamic stunts. English studio Hammer Horror already had its very own ‘hopping vampire’ offering with ‘The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires’ (1974).
However, the so-called ‘Jiangshi’ movies in which a re-animated corpse is controlled by a Taoist priest had already emerged some decades before. In MR. VAMPIRE it’s Taoist priest Master Kau and his two bungling students Man Choi and Chau-sang who have a hard time avoiding a bloodbath when a body comes back to life...
When Taoist priest Master Kau (Lam Ching-ying) is approached by rich businessman Yam (Huang Ha) to remove his deceased father from his grave and re-bury him in the hope that the deed may bestow the family with more prosperity, Kau agrees. However, upon inspecting the corpse it becomes clear that the dead body is very much intact, meaning he has already turned into a vampire. In a decision he soon comes to regret, Kau has the corpse transported to his house so he can conduct further studies. He orders his two inept students Man Choi and Chau-sang to safeguard the corpse by lining the coffin with ‘enchanted’ ink but they forget to line the bottom of the coffin. Soon, the vampire manages to escape and mayhem and madness ensue when a member of the Yam family becomes the first victim. A little later Man Choi is critically wounded by the bloodthirsty vampire and now runs the risk of becoming a bloodsucker himself.
Meanwhile, Chau-sang falls in love with an exotic beauty called Jade (Wong Siu-fung) who turns out to be nothing more than an ancient and rather dangerous ghost… Adding to the ongoing farce is Wai (Billy Lau), a geeky looking and incompetent (is everyone incompetent here?) police inspector smitten with Yam’s daughter Ting (Moon Lee), much to her chagrin. Despite clashing opinions and personalities this motley crew needs to stick together if they want to survive further attacks – setting the stage for some truly jaw-dropping action and special effects! Will Master Kau and his friend Priest Four Eyes (Anthony Chan) be able to control the hopping corpses with their magical skills? Can they prevent Man Choi from turning into a fully-fledged vampire? Will Chau-sang see sense and let go of Jade?
MR. VAMPIRE is delirious fun but martial arts is not neglected. The film is launched for the first time worldwide in Blu-ray format and the first edition (2000 copies) is presented in a hardcover slipcase with a collector's booklet. Special Features include trailers, interviews, archive material plus audio commentary. In original Cantonese sound with English subtitles.