Chivalric Tornado (1989)
Reviewed by: Gaijin84 on 2008-11-29
Summary: Labyrinth of what??
Chivalric Tornado (unofficial translation) is another film with the seemingly extremely popular child zombie/vampire character. From what I can gather, the "Kid Zombie" was introduced back in the late 50's in a Taiwanese comic strip by author Chen Hai-hung. It became popular in Japan as well, and a series of movies (Hello Dracula!) was later made involving the character. In this film, the Kid Zombie and his parents are rescued and then imprisoned in a cave, used for their powers to trap the "King of Evil" in a crypt. After 700 years, a bumbling priest (Jack Lung) accidentally releases the Evil King and the zombie family. Sensing the power of Kid Zombie, the Evil King tries to catch him in order to secure a special orb that will allow him infinite power. Meanwhile, the priest's grandchildren take a liking to Kid Zombie and are determined to save him. Another priest (Mark Lung) and his two assistants also want Kid Zombie for their own use, and the game is on to see who can capture the child vampire and harness his abilities.

Unfortunately, chances are this film can't hold a candle to the original comics on which it is based. The comedy is very weak (including a painful mahjong sequence that seems to last almost 15 mins) and at times quite juvenile. There are a myriad of characters that come and go, and nothing ever seems to be explained to a sufficient end. Anyone expecting to see Jack and Mark Lung show any of their martial art skills will be sorely disappointed. They are for the most part stereotypical Taoist priests using fancy handwork to produce special light effects and prayer papers that are stuck to the heads of marauding, hopping vampires. Any fights that do take place rely so heavily on wirework that it becomes laughable. Kid Zombie is especially sad to watch as he is hoisted and swung around in his harness, looking completely at the whim of his handlers. The special effects are very sub-standard as well, with colored lights firing from swords, bouncing off mirrors and shooting from people's eyes. An overall waste of time, especially if you are tricked into watching it because of the presence of the Lungs. On a related note, a big thumbs down to Xenon and their continuous false advertising of re-released films. No images that appear on the covers of either the VHS or DVD versions of this film appear in the movie. The related titles "Chess Boxing Matrix" and "Labyrinth of Death" also have no relation to the film. The company-provided description is the most misleading part as well, and has probably fooled many people into wasting money and time. While it is understood that this is a pretty common practice, it doesn't make it any more right.

2/10
Reviewer Score: 2