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New Mr. Vampire
AKA: Kung Fu Vampire Buster
"Is that Wong Jing I smell?"
"Boy, this movie stinks."
Year: 1986
Director: Billy Chan Wui-Ngai
Producer: Leonard Ho Koon-Cheung
Action: Chiu Yuet-Sang
Cast: Chin Siu-Ho, Lui Fong, Chung Fat, Pauline Wong Siu-Fung, Guk Fung, Wu Ma, Chin Yuet-Sang, Tai Bo, Huang Ha, Shum Wai, Fung Ging-Man
The Skinny: Yet another variation on the popular Mr. Vampire series. Does it add anything significant to the genre? In a word: no.
Review by
     Though it might seem like a sequel given its title, New Mr. Vampire isn't technically a part of the popular Mr. Vampire series. Some cast members from the original return in this film (as different characters), but the popular "one eyebrow priest" Kau (Lam Ching Ying) is sadly missing from the proceedings. Instead, we have the story of Wang Choi (Chin Siu Ho), a mischievous graverobber who accidentally awakens not one, but two corpses in the opening reel. The first spirit is a powerful vampire under the control of a sleazy Taoist priest, and the second, the lovely Hsi Wan (Pauline Wong), is a friendly female ghost who becomes supernaturally linked to Wang Choi. Somewhere along the way, Wang Choi enlists the help of the reputable Master Chin (Chung Fat) to vanquish the deadly vampire and exorcize the beautiful spirit. Cue the explosive, slapstick-heavy finale.
     In the end, I really can't recommend New Mr. Vampire. The film does have one truly inspired moment; Pauline Wong mimics Chin Siu-Ho's every movement in a sequence which boasts impressive comic timing. But for HK aficionados, the flick will pale in comparison to the original, and for greenhorns looking to experience a fresh slice of HK horror, New Mr. Vampire serves as a poor introduction to the mythology (the vampire doesn't even hop!). Though not all that engaging to begin with, the movie really grounds to a halt about two-thirds of the way in, and never really recovers. Much like a vampire, this movie sucks the very life out of you. It's ninety minutes you'll never get back, so why not just watch Mr. Vampire instead? (Calvin McMillin 2002)
DVD Notes: The Ric Meyers' commentary on the Tai Seng DVD is satisfactory, but often deteriorates into yet another endless recitation of an actor's filmography.
Availability: DVD (USA)
Region 0 NTSC
Tai Seng Home Video
Pan and Scan
English dubbed
Audio Commentary by Ric Meyers
image courtesy of Tai Seng Video Marketing Copyright 2002-2017 Ross Chen