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Tsui Hark's Vampire Hunters (Bilingual)

Ken Chang , Michael Chow Man-Kin , Wellson Chin    DVD
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
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In 17th century Asia, "zombies roamed the lands," which in turn led to many vampires roaming the lands, because the zombies turned into vampires. Or so Tsui Hark's Vampire Hunters would have us believe. This lively, wisecracking movie is a little short on narrative logic (actually, it's short on the kind of logic that leads one shot naturally into the next). But it has the staples of the Hong Kong ghost story, with plenty of gravity-defying fights and putrescent zombies. The prolific Tsui Hark wrote and produced this one, but decidedly did not lend his often thrilling directorial touch. Still, there are moments within the generally bewildering mayhem that soar: a zombie-vampire dragging a group of hunters by chains along the treetops, for instance. If you want to see what would happen if a Hammer Film were dropped into an acid bath, this is the movie for you. --Robert Horton

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Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Hunting, hunting June 12 2007
Tsui Hark has created some of Chinese cinema's best, such as "Chinese Ghost Story," "Zu Warriors" and "Once Upon A Time in China."

So why exactly did he attach his name to this murky, incoherent action flick? "Tsui Hark's Vampire Hunters" is an attempt to recapture the kung-fu/vampire magic on the 1980s, but it manages to have neither plot nor character development. But it does have some wicked vampires and creepy atmosphere... its saving grace.

China is apparently riddled with the undead -- zombies that turn into vampires, and feed on the living. Wind, Thunder, Rain, Lighting and their master roam around getting rid of them, but during one nasty attack their master vanishes.

Three months later, they come to the Jiang house, where the beautiful Sasa has just been wed to young Master Jiang -- all six of whose past brides died on their wedding night. The next morning, HE'S the one dead of a snakebite. And so the Vampire Hunters are hired to find the snake, even as one of them falls in love with Sasa.

But Master Jiang has some secrets -- he preserves all his relatives in wax, and keeps a massive store of gold somewhere in the mansion (which is why Sasa's bandit brother married her into the family). And when a zombie wrangler arrives, the waxed corpses will return to unlife -- and the arrival of the king vampire will set off the final showdown between vampires and Vampire Hunters.

Admittedly with a name like "Vampire Hunters," you're expecting a cheesy movie, probably without much plot. And this movie delivers on that score, attempting to recapture the martial-arts/vampire-hunting charm of old "Mr. Vampire" style flicks, but forgetting to include the humor and slapsticky kung-fu.
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I decided to view Vampire Hunters for two reasons: Its intriguing premise of zombie/vampire hybrids invading rural China and also because the legendary Tsui Hark's name is attached to it. Little did I know that Hark did not direct this film. He produced it and wrote the script but the film is sloppily directed by a fellow by the name of Wellson Chin. In the grand scheme of things Vampire Hunters is a mess, even though there are a few things to like about this film.
In 17th century rural China during the Ching dynasty, zombies roam the land feeding on human flesh, a nasty habit that turns them into vampires. Only a handful of people dare to challenge these night-crawling demons; 4 warriors named "Wind", "Thunder", "Rain" "Lightning" and their master Mao Shan. Their mission is to hunt down and destroy the Vampire King, a floating bloodsucking demon. Using their "vampire compass", they are led to the house of a rich mortician, whose son is set to marry the beautiful woman "Sosa" and where the Vampire King is believed to be hiding. There is also another subplot involving Sosa's crazy brother "Dragon", who is determined to find the gold that is rumoured to be hidden in the mortician's household.
I found Vampire Hunter's storyline very hard to follow but soon gave up on trying to make sense of the plot after realizing that this film is just a hodge-podge of wacky martial arts, bad special effects and awkward acting that is next to impossible to make sense of. The action sequences feel cartoonish and choreographed, and the dialogue(from the English dubbed version) is choppy and robotic, similar to dialogue you get from an anime film. It also doesn't help that the characters keep uttering stupid phrases the likes of "We're in love, If we live let's get married".
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5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing, refreshingly exotic vampire movie Aug. 31 2003
By Daniel Jolley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Watching Tsui Hark's Vampire Hunters was a new and very enjoyable experience for me. I had never heard of Tsui Hark before, and I know next to nothing about Asian cinema, but the premise and previews of this movie intrigued me. I was especially interested in learning just what an Asian vampire might look like. I have since learned that Tsui Hark is one of the biggest names in Hong Kong cinema, and I know that some viewers of this film were quite disappointed in it, deeming it unworthy of the great Tsui Hark. For my part, I can't imagine how this movie would disappoint any horror or martial arts fan. I enjoyed it tremendously. Certainly, the plot is a little confusing, but the subtitles to the Cantonese dialogue are above average. The intense action is almost nonstop and blindingly fast, and the special effects are, in my opinion, quite impressive.
The story takes place in 17th century China, where zombies walk the earth; eventually, those feeding zombies turn into vampires. Only one brave wise man referred to only as Master and his four intrepid followers, who assume the names Lightning, Wind, Rain, and Thunder, have the skill and courage to hunt these vampires down and kill them. An intense confrontation with a Vampire King leaves the four men separated from the Master, yet they continue to hunt the undead on their own. Having detected the presence of a vampire with their compass (yes, compass) in a certain area, they end up serving in the court of a wealthy gentleman named Jiang whose efforts to propagate his family line take a turn for the worst when his son dies of a snakebite on the night of his marriage.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Can't believe Tsui Hark lent his name to this ...
Tsui Hark is an amazing producer and director who has trained many a great action director such as John Woo. But this film? Ouch! Confusing plot. Stupid dialog. Read more
Published on May 3 2004 by S. Naimpally
4.0 out of 5 stars We laughed ourselves silly
My family loves really stupid movies and this one actually passes out of that genre into good fun. The fight scenes were surprisingly well done; the actors were charming. Read more
Published on April 3 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars Please don't let that flying manikin bite me......awwwwh
The master vampire in this movie looks exactly like a burnt manikin dummy being pulled through the air by a wire. The special effects in this movie is very cheesey. Read more
Published on April 1 2004 by Tim
1.0 out of 5 stars makes no sense
This movie has no central point. It jumps back and forth between the war between humans and vampires and the race for the gold. And what do they mean by VAMPIRES? Read more
Published on Jan. 12 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars waste of money
I expect a lot more more moviemaker such as Tsui Hark, especially I am a fan of his earlier films " Once Upon a Time In China (kungfu-master)" series (starring Jet Li). Read more
Published on Sept. 26 2003
2.0 out of 5 stars A stinker
What a waste of film. Especially with a name like Tsui Hark appearing on the case. I wouldn't mind the illogical premise ( anyone who dies is a potential zombie<!? Read more
Published on Aug. 31 2003 by "joe_momma"
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh, the torment...
I could not finish watching this movie. It is horrible. Anyone who would dare to compare this to "Crouching Tiger" should check into a mental ward! Read more
Published on Aug. 22 2003 by Chris Letempt
4.0 out of 5 stars My youth revisited
When Bruce Lee and Co. hit the shores of the US in the early 70s I was a gung ho 10yr old.Loved 'kung fu' movies. Read more
Published on Aug. 12 2003 by rickey l. esteves sr
3.0 out of 5 stars OK film for a Tsui Hark directing
Tsui Hark usually does a great job making movies. It was a little light on the action I might say. The plot was truly muffled and Tsui really doesnt use the traditional method of... Read more
Published on July 6 2003 by Blurb
3.0 out of 5 stars Retro-Horror from Hong Kong
This Tsui Hark produced movie is really a return to the early 90s. Here, after being separated from their master after a battle with a powerful vampire, a quartet of vampire... Read more
Published on June 21 2003 by Ralph Brown
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