Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Tsui Hark's Vampire Hunters|
Actors: Ken Chang, Michael Chow Man-Kin, Suet Lam, Kwok-Kwan Chan, Anya
Director: Wellson Chin
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Horror
No Description Available. Genre: Foreign Film - Chinese Rating: R Release Date: 4-OCT-2005 Media Type: DVD
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An amazing, refreshingly exotic vampire movie
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 09/01/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Watching Tsui Hark's Vampire Hunters was a new and very enjoyable experience for me. I had never heard of Tsui Hark before, and I know next to nothing about Asian cinema, but the premise and previews of this movie intrigued me. I was especially interested in learning just what an Asian vampire might look like. I have since learned that Tsui Hark is one of the biggest names in Hong Kong cinema, and I know that some viewers of this film were quite disappointed in it, deeming it unworthy of the great Tsui Hark. For my part, I can't imagine how this movie would disappoint any horror or martial arts fan. I enjoyed it tremendously. Certainly, the plot is a little confusing, but the subtitles to the Cantonese dialogue are above average. The intense action is almost nonstop and blindingly fast, and the special effects are, in my opinion, quite impressive.The story takes place in 17th century China, where zombies walk the earth; eventually, those feeding zombies turn into vampires. Only one brave wise man referred to only as Master and his four intrepid followers, who assume the names Lightning, Wind, Rain, and Thunder, have the skill and courage to hunt these vampires down and kill them. An intense confrontation with a Vampire King leaves the four men separated from the Master, yet they continue to hunt the undead on their own. Having detected the presence of a vampire with their compass (yes, compass) in a certain area, they end up serving in the court of a wealthy gentleman named Jiang whose efforts to propagate his family line take a turn for the worst when his son dies of a snakebite on the night of his marriage. The widowed bride, Sasa, is frightened by Jiang (who has the interesting hobby of preserving all dead members of his family in wax) and wants to return home to the brother who cruelly married her off for the sole purpose of getting his hands on Jiang's gold. The brother's continuing efforts to steal the gold culminate in the animation of all the waxed corpses in Jiang's house, which only complicates matters for the four heroes, for they have discovered and engaged in battle the powerful Vampire King. I thought the special effects were pretty incredible in this movie, although many others seem to disagree. This did not look like a low-budget film to me at all. The Vampire King is a true monster, sporting a ravaged zombified face full of maggots and a disposition to match. The best thing about this vampire is the way in which he feeds. While he does suck the essence out of his victims, he never touches them; instead, he somehow inhales what he needs through the air, and the shots of blood being sucked out of a guy's eyes, nose, and mouth in this manner were pretty darn impressive to me. The vampire also flies, burrows underground with ease and great speed, and breathes fatally noxious fumes on to those who would foolishly challenge him. Then there are the martial arts scenes. I was amazed at the speed, power, and beauty of the fight scenes. The human beings, including old Jiang, are super-human in their abilities, moving in the blink of an eye, jumping to incredible heights, and engaging in amazing sword play. The numerous martial arts scenes are numerous and lightning fast; if you blink, you could miss a couple of fights - that's how quick these guys are. The plot can be a little hard to follow, even with the excellent subtitles, but there is more than enough action to make up for the plot questions I had. I wasn't sure at first how to take the seemingly comical elements of the story, being unfamiliar with Asian culture, but it soon became clear that a measure of comedy was intentionally added to the plot. Several moments were indeed rather humorous, and I think the occasional moment of levity did much to strengthen the movie's entertainment value and to give the viewer a moment or two of relaxation in between all of the intense fight sequences. I have to say that I enjoyed Tsui Hark's Vampire Hunters tremendously; it offers a great new horror experience for those bogged down in Western horror's often formulaic offerings, makes the knife-wielding exploits of a Michael Myers look rather foolish, and delivers some really memorable moments of gory violence. If Tsui Hark fans are disappointed in this movie, then Hark's previous films must be unimaginably good."
I got suckered into thinking this was a Tsui Hark film.
Matthew King | Toronto, Canada | 11/29/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I decided to view Vampire Hunters for two reasons: Its intriguing premise of zombie/vampire hybrids invading rural China and also because the legendary Tsui Hark's name is attached to it. Little did I know that Hark did not direct this film. He produced it and wrote the script but the film is sloppily directed by a fellow by the name of Wellson Chin. In the grand scheme of things Vampire Hunters is a mess, even though there are a few things to like about this film.In 17th century rural China during the Ching dynasty, zombies roam the land feeding on human flesh, a nasty habit that turns them into vampires. Only a handful of people dare to challenge these night-crawling demons; 4 warriors named "Wind", "Thunder", "Rain" "Lightning" and their master Mao Shan. Their mission is to hunt down and destroy the Vampire King, a floating bloodsucking demon. Using their "vampire compass", they are led to the house of a rich mortician, whose son is set to marry the beautiful woman "Sosa" and where the Vampire King is believed to be hiding. There is also another subplot involving Sosa's crazy brother "Dragon", who is determined to find the gold that is rumoured to be hidden in the mortician's household.I found Vampire Hunter's storyline very hard to follow but soon gave up on trying to make sense of the plot after realizing that this film is just a hodge-podge of wacky martial arts, bad special effects and awkward acting that is next to impossible to make sense of. The action sequences feel cartoonish and choreographed, and the dialogue(from the English dubbed version) is choppy and robotic, similar to dialogue you get from an anime film. It also doesn't help that the characters keep uttering stupid phrases the likes of "We're in love, If we live let's get married". The zombies are just laughable, rarely have I ever seen cheaper looking zombies in a horror film. Their faces show no movement whatsoever and they just stand around like statues waiting to be slain. Instead of limping or shuffling along slowly, these zombies (when they do decide to move) shift from one spot to another in one straight horizontal movement. It's as if they are mannequins on wheels and a member of the film crew is moving them around with the aid of a remote control. And whoever did the make-up on these zombies is no Tom Savini that's for sure. Close-ups of their faces reveal all-too-human eyes gazing through sloppy makeup.
In one hilarious sequence, the sedentary zombies all of a sudden get a burst of energy and all start hopping around in unison like a pack of smurfs!
To his credit, director Wellson Chin is quite adept at creating atmosphere. There are lots of effective shots in dense wooded areas packed with mist and fog that lend an atmosphere of doom and dread. I was also impressed by the fighting sequences. At least Hark and Chin were able to hire actors and stuntmen skilled in martial arts (which is probably not that hard to find in China anyway). Tsui Hark's Vampire Hunters falls into the category of "so bad it's almost good". It also falls into the annoying category of lackluster films seeing the light of day only because of a big-name attachment to it (such as those "Wes Craven Presents" stinkbombs that have invaded video stores). Is Tsui Hark in danger of becoming the orient's version of Wes Craven?"
Hank Carlson | 08/08/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I think that previous movies had the gyonsi glide more than an out and out hop. And those were comedies, this is supposed to be taken more seriously.
Also the hopping zombie and the hopping vampire are really different. The hopping vampire is what you get when the hopping zombie gets out of control. At least I guess that's the way it works. They also dress differently and have different abilities and weaknesses.
The hop scoffers seemed to like the movie, so I'm not sure what the problem is.
Me, I thought it was a little silly.
Not that bad!!!
Lu Feng | 08/28/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"first off let us get one thing straight. this is by no means the first ever movie with HOPPING zombies. it is no wonder that these reviewers have trashed this movie so much. they don't know anything about the history of the chinese kung-fu horror flick! for any of you who know about the fad of chinese kung-fu horror flicks that reached their height of popularity in the early to mid 80's you will also know that this is definetly NOT the first ever movie with hopping zombies. Encounters of the Spooky Kind, Mr. Vampire, 5 Venoms vs. Wu-tang (which seemingly has nothing to do with the 5 deadly venoms or wu-tang) to name just a few that were put out about 20 YEARS earlier! anyway enough about that this movie doesn't deserve the thrashing it is getting. it is a decent action flick with good special effects (which i might mention special F/X is usually what Tsui Hark's movies focus on) i found the first 30 minutes or so kind of slow but then it gets more interesting. defintely worth a couple of bucks!!!"