Hong Kong Digital is sponsored by Poker Industries. Please see the Hong Kong Digital home page for a special offer from Poker Industries to Hong Kong Digital readers.

Issue #131a HOME E-mail: mail@dighkmovies.com BACK ISSUES October 28th, 2002

Vampire vs. Vampire
(1989; Golden Harvest/Diagonal Pictures/Paragon Films)

A Masterpiece
Highly Recommended
Very Good
Marginal Recommendation
Not Recommended
Definitely Not Recommended

Cantonese: Yat mei do yan
Mandarin: Yi mei dao ren
English: One Eyebrow Taoist

Alternate English Title: The One Eyebrow Priest

After starring in numerous horror comedies, Lam Ching-ying tries his hand at directing one and the result is among the best in this subgenre. This time out, The One Eyebrow Priest (Lam) and his pupils (Chin Siu-ho and Lui Fong) must rescue the local villagers when a nest of bats is discovered nearby. The creatures have poisoned the local water supply and, when the priest seeks out an alternate source, the bats secretly move his location marker. Consequently, the workmen then unearth the body of a powerful caucasian vampire. After feasting on blood, the creature lays siege to the countryside and the priest's eastern magic proves to be ineffectual against it. He is aided and abetted by a group of Chinese Catholic nuns (including Maria Cordero, Regina Kent, and Joanna Chan Pui-san) and a tame baby keung si (who, unlike his annoying counterpart in MR. VAMPIRE II, is an imaginative asset to the story) the priest keeps around the house.

Lam's first and best stint behind the camera, VAMPIRE VS. VAMPIRE is a wonderful, fast paced combination of Chinese horror conventions and Western gothic thrills. While there are numerous instances of acrobatic action, the climactic duel between Lam and the creature, in a forest at the stroke of midnight, is edge-of-your-seat exciting! Billy Lau Nam-kwong co-stars (in a trademark role as an obnoxious and decidedly slow-witted army captain), along with Sandra Ng Kwan-yu (getting to look sexy for a change; click here for still) and Chen Jing.

Cover art courtesy Mega Star.

Lam sifu and his undead assistant. Image courtesy Mega Star.
Mega Star #MS/DVD/296/JP (Hong Kong label)

Dolby Digital 5.1

Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks (both post-synched)

Optional Subtitles In English, Chinese (Traditional or Simplified), Japanese, and Korean

9 Chapters Illustrated In the Menu With Stills

Letterboxed (1.84:1)

Choice of Chinese/English or Japanese Menus

Macrovision Encoded

Coded for ALL Regions

NTSC Format

83 Minutes (at 25 frames-per-second)

Contains moderate violence and horror

DVD menu courtesy Mega Star.

Australia: M (Horror, Violence)
Hong Kong: II
Ontario: AA
Singapore: PG

While clearly not among Mega Star's best efforts, the image here is fairly good, though contrasts are a bit soft and light wear appears throughout on the element. The video master has been converted from PAL and some edge instability and smearing can be seen as a result. The sound is mostly "wide mono," though Mega Star has added some new stereophonic foley FX that work quite well for the most part. Extras consist of a brief Lam Ching-ying bio/filmography, the theatrical trailer, and lengthy trailers for THE HAUNTED COP SHOP and MORTUARY BLUES that practically give away the show.

is available at Poker Industries.

Having problems printing this review with Netscape? Go to the File option in the Netscape Task Bar, click the Page Setup from the sub-menu and make sure that in the Page Options listings, the Black Text box is clicked. This should resolve the "no text" printing problem.

Click here for more information about The Hong Kong Filmography

Copyright © John Charles 2000 - 2002. All Rights Reserved.
E-mail: mail@dighkmovies.com