Dir: Lau Koon-wai
Scr: Szeto Cheuk-hon
Prod Co: Golden Harvest, Bo Ho
Cast: Lam Ching-ying, Ricky Hui, Moon Lee, Chin Siu-ho, Pauline Wong
1985 / Colour / D Beta / Cantonese / Chi & Eng Subtitles / 94min
This film ranked seventh at the box-office in its year of release, and inspired a fad for vampire films. Focusing on a Taoist priest (Lam Ching-ying) who uses Maoshan Taoist rituals to catch a female ghost and vampires, the film took a pop cultural approach to the vampires of ancient Chinese folk legends and historical literature. While its vampire-hunting plot provided a good opportunity to re-enact classic elements of local Taoism, Mr. Vampire also created a new star in Lam Ching-ying, who uniquely symbolized local religious and cultural traditions. The subplot involving the love story of the scholar and the female ghost draws features of popular ghost legends into the vampire genre. The early Republican setting and characters, central master-pupil relationship, martial arts action scenes and comedy treatment all blended into typical elements of the late 1970s and early 1980s kung fu comedy genre. Mr. Vampire has successfully created a classical model for many locally-flavored, genre-bending vampire films to follow.
(This film is part of the “Haunted Screen: Hong Kong Ghost Films” programme.)
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||Cinema, Hong Kong Film Archive
* Post-screening talk with Cheung Tak Ching, Neky
# Ghost Film Festival Seminar after screening. Please refer to Profolio 65 for details.
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