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on September 29, 2004
Thanks to the explosion of the DVD market oodles and oodles of really great Asian films have finally been made available for American and European audiences. Just recently released in a digitally remastered format is Ricky Lau's "Mr. Vampire," which first appeared in 1983 to capitalize on the success and popularity of "Ghostbusters". Featuring an oddball ensemble of comedic actors, some zany early 80's special effects and a plot line that mixes up ghosts and vampires, this is one of the funniest and most enjoyable offerings from the entire catalog of asian cinema.

Set in British-Colonial China, the film features Lam Ching Ying as the straight man, a feung-shui master whose specialty is looking after the well-being of deceased spirits. He's the man that families call when a disturbed ghost or hopping vampire is on the loose. Unfortunately, the master has two addle-headed disciples whose prank-playing rivalry always gets them in over their heads. First a powerful vampire begins claiming corpses, and then a beautiful siren-like ghost enchants one of the disciples. Chaos ensues and the hilarity piles up like football players at center field. The film relies on a clever blend of physical comedy and Noel Coward-like situational comdey to keep the laughs coming, and the result is worthy even of Harold Lloyd or Charlie Chaplin. This is one zany movie, and there's no almost no lengths the filmmakers won't go to get your laughs.

In addition, the remastered look is excellent. The picture is super-sharp and the sound is crystal clear. I had previously only seen this film as an Asian release, and the improvements are hard to exaggerate. For what its worth, I can guarantee that this is one of those films you can purchase sight-unseen and feel confident that you are going to be pleased with it. Even the subtitles are well done, with no mis-spellings, misworded idioms or other bothersome distractors. With only a few exceptions, this is the kind of film that almost anyone will enjoy, yourself included.
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on July 30, 2003
Fans of vampire legends will enjoy Mr. Vampire. Mr. Vampire is exorcist/vampire hunter (played by Lam Ching Ying), whose life takes a turn for the worse when a client refuses to stay dead! Add to the mix one bumbling apprentice and a beautiful ghost and you get an hour and a half of amusing comedy.
I found the relationship between Mr. Vampire (as the long-suffering teacher) and his two apprentices to be quite funny. Also the necromancer/priest with the "hopping bell-controlled" vampires with the prayers attached to their foreheads was very funny.
This video is a must for fans of horror comedy, or vampire fans who want a change from Lestat angst. If you like this one there are two more in the series: Mr. Vampire 2 and Mr. Vampire 3.
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on February 27, 2006
Very good.

The performances are excellent, and the broad humor is genuinely amusing. There's also a heck of a weird story with hopping vampires and a ghost lover. The Asian sensibility of these elements is what pushes this into the forefront. These are not Bram Stoker's undead, and even the ghost is much more physical than you'd ever see in an American film. And she can even shoot off her head, which is pretty damn neat.

This is an excellent movie for anyone looking for monsters, martial arts, and a healthy dose of humor. Can't recommend it enough. So see it already.
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This is a classic example of Hong Kong slapstick, where fancy fighting moves are displayed, but with the intent to amuse rather than amaze. Blows fail, hit the wrong person, and mistaken identity fights are the rule. The viewer gets something of an education in Chinese vampire lore, including a chorus of 8 hopping vampires and a regular family of walking vampires. And one beautiful ghost.

Lam Ching Ying plays Master Kau, who seems to make a business out of vampire control and storage. Equipped with two bumbling assistants - Man Choi and Chou (Ricky Hui and Siu-hou Chin), the unfortunate Kau must undo the damage done when a vampire is accidentally released and starts munching on his family. Soon there are three vampires to worry about, and Chou has become entranced by a ghost who has fallen in love with him.

There's nothing lackadaisical in the action, which is a true fire drill of fight moves, spell casting, and a great deal of running hither, thither, and yon. The settings are very well done, straight out of turn of the century Hong Kong, where Western influence has begun to grow. The story never misses an opportunity to lampoon Chinese bureaucracy, bumbling policemen, and an entire basketful of magical practices. Yo, especially u may never reach for a stake again.

Mr. Vampire is a light confection, enjoyable, but silly. I found it fun to watch right down to the eight vamps a-hopping and sticky rice hot feet. This was a very popular film in its time and spun off an entire series of feature films. Now that most Western horror films are either over-pretentions or romantic it's refreshing to find a film that laughs at the very things that are supposed to frighten us.
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"Mr. Vampire" is a movie for people tired of angsty, gorgeous vampires with thick Transylvanian accents.

Instead, this hilarious supernatural comedy has a different kind of vampire -- the superstrong, zombielike "hopping vampire." And dealing with the hopping vampires are a long-suffering Taoist priest and his bumbling assistants, who add all sorts of wacky twists.

Master Gau (Ching-Ying Lam) agrees to help the wealthy Yam family move their patriarch's body -- until he sees the undecayed body. Turns out Grandpa is a vampire. And after his bumbling assistants fail to properly restrain the vampire, it gets loose, kills its son, and now the vampire hunters are facing TWO vampires instead of one.

To make matters worse, Man Choi (Ricky Hui) has been infected with vampire toxin, which will turn him into a vampire if they can't cure him with sticky rice, and Chou (Siu-hou Chin) is being seduced at night by a ghost. Master Gau must cure one, save the other, and somehow destroy a superpowerful vampire that invades the Yam household.

"Mr. Vampire" was such a success in China that it started a whole trend of "hopping vampire" movies. But as with most trends, the original is still the best and more entertaining example. And it incorporates traditional vampires and succubi from China, as well as little-known mythical trivia (such as sticky rice being the "garlic" for a Chinese vampire).

Expect lots of Peter Jacksonish twisted humor (Man Choi having his fangs filed down) alongside the more typical kind (Chou and Man Choi cast a spell to make their romantic rival strip in public). But when the vampires show up, there are plenty of wild, undignified action scenes. And lots of property damage -- they break every piece of furniture they come across.

The late Ching-Ying Lam became a star thanks to this movie, and his staid, unibrowed priest is a likable guy when you consider everything he has to deal with. Hui and Chin are hysterical as a pair of earnest but hormonal guys. They're kind of an annoyance when Gau isn't actually fighting vampires, but perhaps they're good for doing errands.

(Fortunately they also cleaned up the subtitling on this movie. The original subtitling was comically bad, but the new ones are are very well done)

"Mr Vampire" is one of China's better supernatural comedies, with weird vampires and lots of sticky rice. Hysterical and warped.
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on November 2, 2000
The eternal Sifu Lam Ching Ying starts the series going with this fine film.Mr. Vampire is the first in a series of Vampire buster films that Lam Ching Ying did over his career.I suggest you purchase this dvd and then you will be hooked and start searching out and purchasing the next installments in the Mr. Vampire saga there are many BUT Mr. Vampire is the first.Mr. Vampire is the prime example of amazing HK horror / comedy films.The eternal sifu battles Hopping Vampires as well as a alluring female ghost that trys to seduce one of his students of the arts.What else could you ask for having the Sifu fight hopping vampires and angry spirits , this film also has a flying head sequence that is hilarious yet may spook the younger kids.I recommend you purchase this dvd and start you Kung Fu Taoist Vampire film collection now.The best example of Horror/Comedy HK Style.
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on March 16, 2007
Don't let the title mislead you. The film title should have been translated as Mr. Zoombie instead of Mr. Vampire as these hopping ghosts are what we called zoombie. When the film was first released in the 80's, it was titled as Temporarily Stop Your Breathing. It was an enormous hit throughout Asia. 2 or 3 sequels were made afterwards. It also created a zoombie sensation in Japan. Among the Chinese zoombie movie, this one stood out the most as it succeeded in all three genres that it tried to achieve: action, comedy and horror.

Mr. Vampire, along with Chinese Ghost Story 1, is among my favorite films from the 80's.

Hop, hop and hop.
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on June 21, 1999
Mr. Vampire is one of the best Hong Kong Films that I have seen. The movie mixes witty comedy, scarry monsters and great kung fu action. The movie is very smart as it draws upon western and eastern vampire mythology. Most people are turn off by subtitled or dubeb movies, but Mr. Vampire's is so good that reading the subtitles is not a chore. If you love Hong Kong cinema you will love this movie.
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on December 4, 1999
This is one of the best films to come out of Hong Kong, has exceptional choreography, and bends the horror genre out of all alignment. Add to this a more than adequate transfer add we have an exemplary end product. If you like this,watch "Close Encounters of the Spooky Kind".
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on April 12, 2005
This 1985 Hong Kong "horror" flick caught my eye as a goofy impulse buy. But I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed it. Its horrible in cringe worthy way, but great in that Evil Dead way. With characters ranging from the hopping undead, a succubus ghost, a loopy priest, and abratty love interest, Mr. Vampire will keep you laughing in its splendid badness. I hear there are 2 more sequels to it that I just may have to check out.
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