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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Villager Bold Cheung (Sammo Hung Kam-Bo), known for his willingness to do anything courageous, bold or daring, becomes a target by the evil rich Master Tam (Huang Ha), who committed adultery with Cheung's unfaithful wife and wants to keep her as his mistress. Cheung is tricked into a bet to spend the night in a haunted temple, where a vampire was unleashed by Priest Chin Hoi (Lung Chan), hired by Tam, to kill him. However, Hoi's more righteous colleague, Priest Tsui (Fat Chung), wants to save Cheung and counterattack Hoi and Tam's wicked deeds.Written by
This film deals with the persecuted character of "Bold Cheung", played by Sammo Hung, as he simultaneously battles to find those who framed him for murder and also escaping a pursuing detective. It is a mostly kung-fu comedy film, and really defined the genre of kung-fu horror, (from which titles such as "Mr. Vampire" capitalised off greatly).
The brilliance of this film lies in it's great mix of excellent choreography, and interesting and exotic characters - the horror themes are like an extra background setting that improve the film even further. Not only is it a first in it's (sub)genre, but it happens to be one of the best - and this is due to Sammo's awesome talent.
The development of the plot really does centre around Cheung, as he uses his wits and savage kung-fu to overcome various set-pieces of action such as a resurrected corpse (Chinese vampire), a voodoo-doll, a band of policemen, yet another undead corpse, ghosts, specters, and men possessed with summoned Gods.
His slapstick style is present again, as well as his unique ability for weapon choreography. The ending sequence rivals "Odd Couple" as the best weapon skills caught on film - (watch those spear techniques closely!). Cinematography in this film is superb, and the restored version I own has not dated in the slightest. In fact, the film looks better than those brought out much later, (I did notice a wash of blue across the entire print, though).
Hang in there for the end - one of the most vindictive and vengeful endings I have ever seen. It has a strange satisfaction though!
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