The plot is an almost completely disconnected series of set pieces, and so defies easysynopsis. Essentially, a group of vampire hunters track a vampire king to the home of a richeccentric. Many battles ensue, and they are the main reason for watching this. The comedy islame, and the characterization non-existent. So many things happen, but for so little reason andwith so little relation to each other, that the story manages to be both frenzied and meandering.Apart from a fe… cheap bits of CGI, the special effects could just as easily have come from1987’s Chinese Ghost Story. Still, those battles are fun to watch, and the vampire himselfis a nasty piece of work. The zombies and vampires here are very different from their Westerncounterpart, and the vampire king has more in common with a Ringwraith than Dracula. The waythe monsters get about — hopping — should be ridiculous, but somehow it manages to be rathermenacing. Not a defining moment in the genre, then, but I can think of far worse ways tospend 90 minutes.
The music is atmospheric and enveloping, and the same is true of the sound effects. Wind,fire, thunder, galloping hooves — they all resound from all sides, which is great for pumping upthe overall atmosphere of the film. the dialogue is distortion free, and do stick to the Cantonesemix — if you’re going to deal with a style of delivery that is different from Western conventions,stick to the original language.
A full 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer (with no 1.78:1 cheating). The colours are verystrong: the reds are crimson, the blues almost black. The work on the contrasts is excellent, sothat while much of the film takes place in profound night, one has no difficulty making out whatis going on, and this is accomplished without bleaching the darkness. The night-blue scenes areparticularly gorgeous. There is no grain in all of these night shots either.
A basic menu, and the only extra is the oddly eclectic assortment of trailers: CowboyBebop, National Security, and Time and Tide.
Unlike Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (gratuitously invoked on the case), this isunlikely to convert anyone not already into Hong Kong cinema. Those who are should have apretty good time, however.
Special Features List