GEUNG SEE SIN SANG
Ricky Lau, Hong Kong, 1985, DCP, 96′, English subtitles
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When Taoist priest and expert ghost buster Master Kou (Lam Ching Ying) is called in to supervise the relocation of a grave, he realises that the corpse inside the coffin has become a hopping vampire. Plagued by the ghoul, and his two clumsy apprentices, Kou must use all his arcane skills to set matters right. But in the end, only sticky rice can save the day. Ricky Lau’s seminal kung-fu horror comedy Mr. Vampire is the godfather of the incomparable geongsi (jiangshi in Mandarin) subgenre of Chinese hopping vampires, a bona fide Hong Kong cult classic, and most importantly, it’s a riot!
“There’s nothing inherently scary about a vampire reduced to hopping around as if its legs were tied together, which is part of what makes the hopping-vampire subgenre of Hong Kong films so entertaining. One of the best known, and previously hardest to find, 1985’s Mr. Vampire has just been released on video, and it more than lives up to its reputation. /…/ Never slowing down for long, Lau piles one comic and stunt-packed setpiece on top of another, blending horror, action, and humor, with an emphasis on the humor. (Still, anyone tuning in for kung-fu antics won’t be disappointed.) For viewers who think they’ve seen it all, or anyone wondering where Buffy The Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon came up with the notion of pairing martial arts and bloodsucking villains, Mr. Vampire is a must-see. Watching a hopping vampire may not be frightening, but there’s nothing else like it.”
– Keith Phipps, AV Club