Reviewed by: j.crawford
Summary: Hip Hopping
Really great feature on this website is the random posters that pop up on the front page. This movie came out the same year as the "other" Tony Leung's Vampire Controller which was really, really bad. The Vampire Combat is directed by Wilson Tong who a few years earlier had directed Ghostly Bus. Here he gets a chance to make amends for The Musical Vampire, which was a pretty bad entry in the genre. This time out things are quite amusing and entertaining. This is worth seeing if you can find it.
Reviewer Score: 7
Reviewed by: MrBooth
Summary: Like the 21st century never happened
VAMPIRE COMBAT - Yes! Screw Wu Yen, this is the film that's going to bring back the early 90's to Hong Kong. It's almost as if the past decade never happened, except now there's some really bad CG effects in the mix too. The scenario... 60 years ago, Andrew Lin leads a gang of intrepid vampire fighters to rescue his girlfriend, Yin Woman, from the clutches of Demon Monster. There is a big fight and Demon Monster is vanquished, but not until he's sucked the blood of Yin Woman. Some years later, Andrew Lin (who for reasons that are never really explained is ageless), finds the reincarnation of Yin Woman and seals her third eye so that Demon Monster's faithful assistant can't find her. Skip some more years, and as the millenium approaches the planets and stars align once more, Demon Monster can be resurrected if Yin Woman can be found. Fate has declared that Jackie Lui, the vaguely psychic head of the "Supernatural Detective Agency", shall bear the task.
Reviewer Score: 8
Now doesn't that sound like fun? The plot has that great feel of "anything goes" that was what really drew me to HK cinema in the first place. This script hasn't been passed through 7 marketing departments for target audience approval, or 15 layers of producers, each of whom feels the need to justify their job by demanding some pointless change that kills whatever spirit the story had when it was written. Hell, I'm pretty sure this script never existed at all. This isn't a film about scripts though... it's about having an idea, a minimal amount of cash and going out and trying to make the best film you can with it. Wilson Tong appears to have been making Kung Fu movies since the 70's, as an actor mostly. He has a lot of HK movie heritage, and it shows. VAMPIRE COMBAT feels like a truly Hong Kong film. It's got the blue lit scenes filmed through blue filters, the plot that leaps about quite dizzyingly, the bad acting (no offense) and worse special effects (several of which are blatantly stolen from Blade, but badly done). It's even got some Kung Fu! Yes really. With some quite creative wire & speed-up use too. God I loved it!
It's never going to win an oscar, it's never going to earn critical praise, but dammit it's a fun film that dares to throw whatever is handy into the mix and see what the result is in the end.
Mei Ah, seemingly recognising the importance of this release, have done us proud. The DVD is a minimal disc featuring shabby transfer, with absolutely dreadful subtitles... a huge number of great hex errors. It just wouldn't be right any other way :-)
Reviewed by: magic-8
Summary: Good Low Budget Vampire Movie
Wilson Tong Wai Shing's "The Vampire Combat" has a budget that's as low as low can go. All of the money went into the special effects, which were very crude but quite adequate. Andrew Lin squares off with his mentor, a vampire that has sucked the life from his wife, played by Valerie Chow. Lin seeks revenge for his wife's death. Along the way, Jackie Lui shows up as a supernatural detective.
"The Vampire Combat" is an entertaining vampire flick. The special effects are taken from many vampire movie sources, like "Blade." Although they aren't as sophisticated as their Hollywood counterpart, the effects are very integral to the vampire story. The special effects work because they fit within the film's tone and pacing. Note the "flash" like running and jumping. Lin must fight the remaining vampire disciple, who is working to bring back the evil master vampire from the grave. Valerie Chow, usually cast as the temptress or harlot in other films, plays a dual role as Lin's wife and reincarnate.
There is a slight bog down in the middle of the film, but things progress rather quickly. Without any major distractions or tangents from the film's plot, the film breezes along nicely. There are no frills here. Tong knows exactly what he has to do and what he has to work with to direct an engaging vampire story. For the most part, aside from almost non-existent budget, Tong succeeds in bringing some life back to the vampire genre. This grade B-movie is an easy way to spend 91 minutes.