8 user 6 critic

The Jitters (1989)

In Chinatown, merciless gang goes on nightly rampages of theft and destruction. Merchant Frank Lee has no way of fighting back - until he's undead, murdered by the gangsters...but he ... See full summary »


(as John M. Fasano)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sal Viviano ...
Michael Derrick
Marilyn Tokuda ...
Alice Lee
Randy Atmadja ...
Frank Lee
Tony Yang Sr.
Doug Silberstein ...
John Quincy Lee ...
Tony Yang Jr.
Gang Gal
Richard Thorne ...
Dave Roberts ...
Joe Podnar ...
Monster Chan
Cindy Cirile ...
Mona (as Clara Pater)
Keefe Lee ...
Wing Ho


In Chinatown, merciless gang goes on nightly rampages of theft and destruction. Merchant Frank Lee has no way of fighting back - until he's undead, murdered by the gangsters...but he returns to life transformed into a "Kyonshi" - Chinese version of a vampire - and ready to avenge his unjust death in a way that's sure going to give you the Jitters. Written by Z.B

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It's a Feeling You'll Never Lose ... Once You Got 'Em You Just Can't Shake 'Em.


Action | Comedy | Horror





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Release Date:

3 August 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Les Kyonshee  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$475,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The fight sequence in the back alley was filmed over the course of a single night. See more »


References Rio Lobo (1970) See more »


(You Give Me) Jitters
Written and Performed by Daniel Linck (as Dann Linck) and Tom Borton
See more »

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User Reviews

look elsewhere for better "Chinese vampire"/"hopping zombie" movies
12 March 2005 | by (Upstate New York) – See all my reviews

Pretty bad movie, although it wasn't so bad that I hated it.

I've seen a few "Chinese vampire"/"hopping zombie" movies (both terms are used to translate the word kyonshi/gyonshi/jiangshi - spelling variations due to variant transliterations). Some are straight horror or horror/action. Many are horror/comedy. This one falls into the latter, although the comedy is pretty lame.

As an American (or Canadian)-made Chinese vampire movie, you'd expect it to introduce these creatures to an unfamiliar audience. It does, to some extent, but you wish it had been a better movie. Possibly the directors and producers thought this could be a big hit after Gremlins (1984) and Big Trouble in Little China (1986) (incidentally James Hong is in both the latter and The Jitters). I don't know how much distribution film prints might have gotten, but the video is fairly scarce now.

The opening titles are done over drawings of Chinatown, with the credits drawn in. An animated Chinese vampire hops through some of the streets in the drawings. That was neat.

A woman in Chinatown helps her uncle with his shop. She has a white fiancé. The Uncle has some trouble with a mostly white gang. He fights them off, but they return and kill him. They don't leave with much money, and are sent back by their leader to find the stash he supposedly had. Enter the zombie! The Uncle is now a Chinese vampire, hopping into the store wearing some traditional Chinese clothing, and he now has fangs, a strange growl, and pointy ears. A Buddhist monk shows up and pastes a prayer or some strip of paper with Chinese writing on it onto its forehead, which stops it.

The woman and her boyfriend learn about a place in Chinatown where Buddhists collect these Chinese vampires, apparently to help them eventually be able to pass away properly. The gang continues to make trouble.

One of the gang members who dies from a vampire bite comes back later as a vampire himself, and he turns into an even more dangerous monster when exposed to mirrors. I'm reminded of Gremlins again.

Better to stick with Chinese vampire movies that come from China and Hong Kong.

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