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"Thanks to the explosion of the DVD market oodles and oodles of really great Asian films have finally been made available for American and European audiences. Just recently released in a digitally remastered format is Ricky Lau's "Mr. Vampire," which first appeared in 1983 to capitalize on the success and popularity of "Ghostbusters". Featuring an oddball ensemble of comedic actors, some zany early 80's special effects and a plot line that mixes up ghosts and vampires, this is one of the funniest and most enjoyable offerings from the entire catalog of asian cinema.
Set in British-Colonial China, the film features Lam Ching Ying as the straight man, a feung-shui master whose specialty is looking after the well-being of deceased spirits. He's the man that families call when a disturbed ghost or hopping vampire is on the loose. Unfortunately, the master has two addle-headed disciples whose prank-playing rivalry always gets them in over their heads. First a powerful vampire begins claiming corpses, and then a beautiful siren-like ghost enchants one of the disciples. Chaos ensues and the hilarity piles up like football players at center field. The film relies on a clever blend of physical comedy and Noel Coward-like situational comdey to keep the laughs coming, and the result is worthy even of Harold Lloyd or Charlie Chaplin. This is one zany movie, and there's no almost no lengths the filmmakers won't go to get your laughs.
In addition, the remastered look is excellent. The picture is super-sharp and the sound is crystal clear. I had previously only seen this film as an Asian release, and the improvements are hard to exaggerate. For what its worth, I can guarantee that this is one of those films you can purchase sight-unseen and feel confident that you are going to be pleased with it. Even the subtitles are well done, with no mis-spellings, misworded idioms or other bothersome distractors. With only a few exceptions, this is the kind of film that almost anyone will enjoy, yourself included."
Don't let the ugly cover fool you..
SereneNight | California, USA | 07/30/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Fans of vampire legends will enjoy Mr. Vampire. Mr. Vampire is exorcist/vampire hunter (played by Lam Ching Ying), whose life takes a turn for the worse when a client refuses to stay dead! Add to the mix one bumbling apprentice and a beautiful ghost and you get an hour and a half of amusing comedy.I found the relationship between Mr. Vampire (as the long-suffering teacher) and his two apprentices to be quite funny. Also the necromancer/priest with the "hopping bell-controlled" vampires with the prayers attached to their foreheads was very funny.This video is a must for fans of horror comedy, or vampire fans who want a change from Lestat angst. If you like this one there are two more in the series: Mr. Vampire 2 and Mr. Vampire 3."
A classic film of undead martial arts tomfoolery
Mojo Jojo | 02/27/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
The performances are excellent, and the broad humor is genuinely amusing. There's also a heck of a weird story with hopping vampires and a ghost lover. The Asian sensibility of these elements is what pushes this into the forefront. These are not Bram Stoker's undead, and even the ghost is much more physical than you'd ever see in an American film. And she can even shoot off her head, which is pretty damn neat.
This is an excellent movie for anyone looking for monsters, martial arts, and a healthy dose of humor. Can't recommend it enough. So see it already."
Temporarily Hold Your Breath
C. Hsu | San Francisco, CA USA | 03/16/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Don't let the title mislead you. The film title should have been translated as Mr. Zoombie instead of Mr. Vampire as these hopping ghosts are what we called zoombie. When the film was first released in the 80's, it was titled as Temporarily Stop Your Breathing. It was an enormous hit throughout Asia. 2 or 3 sequels were made afterwards. It also created a zoombie sensation in Japan. Among the Chinese zoombie movie, this one stood out the most as it succeeded in all three genres that it tried to achieve: action, comedy and horror.
Mr. Vampire, along with Chinese Ghost Story 1, is among my favorite films from the 80's.
Hop, hop and hop."
The Eternal Sifu starts the saga rolling.
C. Hsu | 11/03/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The eternal Sifu Lam Ching Ying starts the series going with this fine film.Mr. Vampire is the first in a series of Vampire buster films that Lam Ching Ying did over his career.I suggest you purchase this dvd and then you will be hooked and start searching out and purchasing the next installments in the Mr. Vampire saga there are many BUT Mr. Vampire is the first.Mr. Vampire is the prime example of amazing HK horror / comedy films.The eternal sifu battles Hopping Vampires as well as a alluring female ghost that trys to seduce one of his students of the arts.What else could you ask for having the Sifu fight hopping vampires and angry spirits , this film also has a flying head sequence that is hilarious yet may spook the younger kids.I recommend you purchase this dvd and start you Kung Fu Taoist Vampire film collection now.The best example of Horror/Comedy HK Style."