Asian Zombie Vampires

Tsui Hark's Vampire Hunters

When you stop whatever it is you’re doing and watch Tsui Hark’s Vampire Hunters (aka, The Era of Vampires/2002), a made-in-Hong-Kong period piece (ancient 19th Century days), you’re gonna learn some things about vampires and zombies that you never knew.

Tsui Hark's Vampire Hunters

First, vampires and zombies are one in the same. Crazy talk, I know. But when a person dies and is buried in a p*ssed off state of mind, that anger energy festers and reanimates your death bod. When you come out of the grave and go on an “all the flesh you can eat” binge, then you change into a vampire. It should be noted that while in zombie and vampire mode, your face looks like deceased meatloaf. And the only thing that goes with that is human ketchup. (Note: In zombie form, you can still be “cured” with coffin wood powder. I think you can get it at GNC™.)

Tsui Hark's Vampire Hunters

Along with their master, four kung fu disciples — Rain, Lightning, Thunder, and Wind (graduates from the Taoist Mao Shan School of Magic) and a gaggle of disposable soldiers — tirelessly roam the land for zombie vampires. They do this at night because vampires look cooler after the sun goes down. Doesn’t take long to find one — and it just happens to be general of some recognition. The combative thing shoots out of the ground, flies around, and sucks blood right out of your proprietary orifices — from a foot away! Wish my vacuum cleaner had that kind of sucking power.

Tsui Hark's Vampire Hunters

Someone screws up (looking in your direction disposable solider #6), resulting in a huge explosion due to methane gas turning the air explosive. This made everyone think Master Jing (It rhymes with ‘blaster zing”) was barbecued. (He wasn’t, but got separated from the tour.) Now it’s on, with the band, whose descendants I think formed Earth, Wind & Fire, tracking errant vampires, all the while meeting chicks, finding gold and living up to their frat pledge: “Turn it up I can’t hear, more chicks more beer!” Okay, that was my frat motto — and I didn’t even go to college. Heh.

Tsui Hark's Vampire Hunters

The House of Jiang is rich and loaded with gold that everybody keeps trying to steal. And there’s zombies in the basement. The Jiangs have been preserving their departed loved ones in wax and keeping them around the house like objet d’art. You can see where this is going. Master Jiang turns out to be an extremely accomplished vampire with car exhaust breath, and engages in an epic, gory, kung-fu acrobatic, sword slicing, hi-flying battle with the gang and their reunited master. (His explanation as to why he’s been gone all these months is pretty funny.)

Tsui Hark's Vampire Hunters

The fight takes an unexpected turn when sticks of dynamite are introduced to the mix. But it’s the last shot of 100 (maybe there was 97) zombies in the basement that sets up a sequel that either never happened or I didn’t see. What’s the difference? In all, an entertaining waste of time.

Tsui Hark's Vampire Hunters

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