Issue #295         HOME          Contact Us        BACK ISSUES          January 2nd, 2006

New Mr. Vampire
(1986; The Eternal Film HK Co.)

Cantonese: Geung si faan saang
Mandarin: Jiang shi fan sheng
English: Stiff Corpse Comes to Life
Alternate English Title: Kung Fu Vampire Buster

  RATING: 5/10


One of the first knockoffs of Golden Harvest's wildly successful MR. VAMPIRE, this independent production from director Billy Chan Wui-ngai (LICENCE TO STEAL) features more slapstick than martial arts or supernatural content, but remains moderately entertaining. Feuding siblings Master Chin (ENCOUNTERS OF THE SPOOKY KIND's Chung Fat) and Priest Wu (Chin Yuet-sang) compete for the task of burying a local mob leader's brother. When Chin wins, Wu sets out to sabotage things by bringing the corpse back to life as a vampire. While Chin and his pupil Tai-fa (HEARTBEAT 100's Lui Fong) try to deal with this mess, graverobber Wang Choi (Chin Siu-ho) appears on the scene. While looting a crypt, Wang accidentally breathes into the mouth of the female body inside. The subsequent mixture of Yin and Yang leaves the woman in a half-living/half-dead state, causing her to mimic his actions (a gag that is milked for all it is worth). The zombie turns out to be Hsi-wan (Pauline Wong Siu-fung, from the original MR. VAMPIRE), the ninth concubine of a drunken marshal (Shum Wai) determined to nab the culprit that plundered his beloved's tomb. Things go from bad to worse when Wu enhances the vampire's strength, causing it to attack everyone in sight.

Chin Siu-ho (left), Lui Fong Lui Fong (left), Chung Fat

The pace lags in spots and the final battle against the vampire is too drawn-out, making this one of the weaker entries in the cycle. The film does provide one new addition to HK vampire mythos, however: if you crouch down, you can evade a vampire because it can't smell anything under its nose! Tai Po, Wu Ma, and Ku Feng also appear, and the soundtrack includes music lifted from ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK and HALLOWEEN. A NEW MR. VAMPIRE II was produced, but should not be confused with Lam Ching-ying's vastly superior VAMPIRE VS. VAMPIRE (1989), as indicated in some sources.

Chin Yuet-sang (left) Pauline Wong Siu-fung


The title is missing from the beginning of this 1987 transfer, but it is otherwise the same as previously utilized for Ocean Shores' English-dubbed VHS release of the picture as KUNG FU VAMPIRE BUSTER. The 1.85:1 frame is cropped and slightly squeezed, and contrasts are weak, with overly dark night sequences. The sound is a bit harsh, but has no serious flaws. The DVD includes a Ric Meyers' commentary, which is fairly informative, but boasts the usual share of inaccuracies. A few corrections: screenwriter Wong Ying and prolific producer Wong Jing (who had nothing to do with this movie) are not the same person; THE NEW ONE ARMED SWORDSMAN and TRIPLE IRONS are not two separate movies (the latter is the American title created for National General's English dubbed release of the picture), Meng Hoi, not Corey Yuen Kwai, was the director of THE BLONDE FURY, FAST FINGERS is a Shaw Brothers picture, not a Sammo Hung production, etc. At one point, Meyers mentions that there is a lot of misinformation floating around about the HK film industry, seemingly unaware that he is compounding the problem by not doing the necessary research for these commentaries. The film's audio, as heard in the background on the track, is also quite out-of-sync with the visuals, though Meyers' remarks are not.

L to R: Chin Siu-ho, Lui Fong, Pauline Wong Siu-fung Chin Yuet-sang (left), Shum Wai

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Images in this review courtesy of Tai Seng Video Marketing. To read captions, hover mouse over image.

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- U.S. Release

NTSC – Region 0

Tai Seng Video Marketing #84103

Dolby Digital 2.0

Dubbed in English

No Subtitles

8 Chapters

4:3 Fullscreen (1.33:1 – cropped from 1.85:1)

89 Minutes


- Great Britain: 15

Ontario: AA

Quebec: 13+

Singapore: PG

Contains moderate violence and some crude content

10 A Masterpiece
9 Excellent
8 Highly Recommended
7 Very Good
6 Recommended
5 Marginal Recommendation
4 Not Recommended
3 Poor
2 Definitely Not Recommended
1 Dreadful