Mr. Vampire (1985)
Reviewed by: Arshadnm6 on 2005-04-10
Summary: Good Storyline, Plenty of Laughs and Well Worth the Time!!!
Directed by Ricky Lau, the film begins with veteran Taoist Priest ‘Kau’ (Lam Ching-ying from ‘Encounters of the Spooky Kind’ fame) and his two totally lost assistants, ‘Chou’ (Chin Siu-ho from ‘Fist of Legend’ and ‘Tai Chi Master’) and ‘Man Choi’ (Ricky Hui Koon-ying), setting out to fix the Yam family’s recent streak of bad fortune. The priest soon uncovers that a vengeful feng shui master had tricked the family into burying its elder in a manner that would bring them bad luck for them. Before the problem has been corrected, the grandfather has transformed into a vampire and comes bursting out of the ground only to kill his son. When the son returns from the beyond to reek havoc on the living, Taoist priest Kau eventually manages to put him to rest for good, only for the grandfather to reappear and continue with his quest of terrorizing his grand-daughter, named ‘Jade’ (Pauline Wong) admired by Man Choi and her cousin, the head of the local police. Meanwhile, Chou has been seduced by a beautiful spirit (Moon Lee) he awoke in the graveyard and will be doomed to death if he continues his love affair with her. Whilst that, Man Choi is slowly turning into a vampire himself unless Taoist Priest Kau comes to his rescue.

This movie features horror with some doses of mild romance, supernatural martial arts, lots of black-comedy and adventures whilst being centred mainly on supernatural phenomenon. The setting is a bustling historical town and although the movie’s budget is not over-the-top it never ends up giving a low-budget feel to the settings or environments. Furthermore, the playful acting is top-notch with the assistants and Taoist Priest always keeping the audiences entertained and interested in the various antics pulled by them (including the Taoist Priest). There are no twists but the plot and subplots interweave in the movie to create a detailed and original storyline. The movie is not very serious and no tear-jerker but focuses on the comedy side as can be expected from the ‘Mr Vampire’ series. The length and pace of the movie are also well set and the character development is not a major issue in this movie which revolves around silly childish fun.

Overall, this movie has a bit of everything and focuses on entertainment value rather than being based on a single genre and it achieves this to very good effect. This movie obviously starred some fairly young and new actors in movie industry at its time that was headed by veteran Lam Ching-Ying, for his supremacy and limitless experience in this class of movies. It does not disappoint and delivers on all levels without being taken seriously. This movie sparked off a whole ‘Mr Vampire’ series and numerous side movies based on the concept including ‘Vampire vs. Vampire’, ‘The Musical Vampire’ and ‘Crazy Safari’ amongst many others

Overall Rating: 8.0/10
Reviewer Score: 8