The planned reburial of a village elder goes awry as the corpse resurrects into a hopping, bloodthirsty vampire, threatening mankind. Therefore, a Taoist Priest and his two disciples attempt to stop the terror.
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A ghost sucks the life-force out of a one of Uncle Nine's student. The other is slowly turned into a vampire. They halt his transformation by filing down his teeth! The female ghost throws her head around like a boomerang to protect herself. Can Mr. Vampire chase away the Succubus and the hopping ghost and save his two students? Written by
Joseph P. Ulibas <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Another good reason to change diet to "Chinese" (Sticky rice).
The extremely polished production here may obscure one of the film's major virtues. This is pure ensemble movie-making, there are no "auteurs" or "artistes" here. The most recognizable actors in the film
Lam Chi Ying, Chin Siu-hou, Moon Lee, Wu Ma - turn in what were for
them(at the time) very uncharacteristic performances, and do so splendidly.
In fact, there is no "star" here, these actors are all taking turns with extraordinary grace as characters who at best "bumble through", and at worst fumble like, well, pretty much like any average person faced with exceptional challenges (how often does one get saved from a rotting zombie by an amorous ghost?).
Despite the stunts, and regardless of its genre origins, this is not a"kung-fu" film, but a top-notch horror-comedy on a par with Polanski'sunderrated "Fearless Vampire killers" and superior to "Abbot & Costello meet Frankenstein" (which admittedly set the standard, after all). Two plus-values in favor of this film: It provides a lot of information about Chinese vampires, ghosts, and zombies (and their traditional remedies), but does so visually or casually, without the heavy-handed verbal explanation frequent in western horror films. And there is an incredibly haunting children's song (!) about a love-lorn female ghost that is wisely used over the closing credits and which is unforgettable. Indeed, the only weakness in the construction of the film is that we really want to know more about the broken-hearted ghost of the sub-plot than the vampire-centered plot allows. Fortunately, Ching Siu Tung apparently also noticed this, and devoted an entire three-film series to investigating the problem, the remarkable "Chinese Ghost Story" trilogy; but Ching Siu Tung is exactly the kind of "auteur" that would weigh a film like "Mr. Vampire" with intellectual burdens its "pure entertainment"-directed plotting simply couldn't bear. "Mr. Vampire" is not a "work-of-art-for-the-ages", but it is a lot of fun, and spooky to boot, and on that level works as really great movie making, regardless of genre or "ethnic origin".
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