֪LL (2004)
Shaolin Vs Evil Dead


Reviewed by: Gaijin84
Date: 09/12/2010
Summary: Not a bad start, hopefully more to come

Another hopping vampire film, but certainly not the worst of its kind. Gordon Liu plays Brother White, a Taoist priest working as a zombie collector/returner to their dead form. His two apprentices, brothers Sun (Jacky Woo) and Fire (Shi Xiao-Hu), are constantly messing things up and making life more difficult for White. After a long fight in a haunted inn, Fire ingests a spirit-laden egg, and it starts to grow within him. Meanwhile, Brother Black (Fan Siu-Wong) and his apprentice (Shannon Yiu) roam the countryside looking for towns to run various scams on. Brother Black has gone to the relative dark side of Taoism, and uses black magic in order to control people and situations. The two Brothers (actual brothers in the film) meet in a town where Black has taken control of the children and battle to a stalemate. Black then goes to find treasure in the town but lets loose the King of Vampires by accident. Fire gives “birth” to his spirit and all must gather together to defeat the King of Vampires before he starts to wreak havoc.

A relatively high-budget film, with lots of wire-work and decent martial arts choreography. The problems lie in the weak comedy and rather convoluted plot which tends to get dense in parts. Although specific to the version I saw, the dubbing is rather weak as well. The “birth” of the spirit “Egg” is also incredibly odd, and unintentionally funny because of the poor kid obviously covered in shaving cream that 10 people must have sitting around putting on him. Most strange is the way the film ends, right in the middle of the climactic battle with the King of Vampires. The closing credits show scenes which I presume are from the sequel, or at least I hope so, considering the abrupt and incomplete ending of this film.

6/10

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 05/27/2007
Summary: lovingly made tribute, but bad

Shaolin vs. Evil Dead is a lovingly made tribute to a bygone era of Hong Kong filmmaking. The by-the-numbers screenplay by Ho Yiu-Wang uses every cliché in the lexicon of Taoist "hopping vampire" cinema. This type of film was made famous over two decades ago by Lam Ching-Ying and Ricky Hui Koon-Ying in the seminal Mr. Vampire (1985). Producer Sharon Yeung Pan-Pan and director Douglas Kung Cheung-Tak must have dropped acid in their production meetings.

Since the Weinstein's and Tarantino have invented the Salkind Family's idea of shooting two films together [The Three Musketeers (1973)] with Kill Bill (2003), it has become chic-chic to mount your major production in like manner. Kung's film has a lot of good visuals that pique the interest of the viewer while racing to its disappointing conclusion where you find out that this is all just a set-up for the good stuff to come in the sequel.

Gordon Liu Chia-Hui does a nice job playing an ever so slight variation of the same character he's played for the last thirty years. His iconic image works very well in this film juxtaposed against the over the top bad guy histrionics of Fan Siu-Wong. Sik Siu-Foo and Jacky Woo are hardly worth mentioning while Shannon Yiu King proves herself to be a welcome newcomer to the movie business.

Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 02/04/2007
Summary: BORING

OF course any movie of the genre gets compared to MR VAMPIRE, but this movie is not good enough to even lick its boots!!

It's long and painfully slow moving, with minimal plot, it feels like its going through the motions. The action is ok and the special effects are better than expected

The movie just ends showing in the credits scenes from the next movie, which looks, special effects wise anyway, a whole lot better

But watching this, it will be hard for anyone to continue watching the 2nd movie

I love these type of movies but in recent years they all have been major disappointments

Reviewer Score: 3

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 01/21/2006

Douglas Kung continues with his mission to resurrect the glory days of Hong Kong cinema, this time turning his attentions to the "gyonsi" genre - supernatural kung-fu with Chinese vampires and Taoist rituals. Shaolin Vs Evil Dead clearly has the biggest budget Kung has yet to get his hands on, with some pretty impressive sets, costumes and special effects. Gordon Liu plays a Mr. Vampire-type Taoist master with young apprentices who are always getting themselves into trouble. Fan Siu Wong plays the darkly handsome rival/enemy Taoist, whose very sexy disciple is played by Shannon Yu.

The film was either made to be one very long film, or always intended to be released in two parts which were shot simultaneously. So far, only the first part has surfaced in any form - a real shame, as the end credits show a montage of what's to come which looks quite spectacular. The "making of" on the US dvd shows a lot of behind the scenes footage, most of which seems to be from scenes that are not in pt 1. At this point though, it's starting to look unlikely that we'll see the rest of the film any time soon, if ever :(

The production values are pretty high in this film, but it can't escape a certain feeling of cheapness that runs through all of Douglas Kung's films - they sometimes feel more like the work of a hobbyist or enthusiast than a professional director, which I think is one of the reasons he has charmed me. Well, that and the fact he's been carrying the torch for HK martial arts films for several years whilst everyone else forgot that's what HK always did best. SvED has quite a bit of action, including a lot of wirework and special effects of the physical or the CGI kind. There's quite a few vampires hopping around the place, which of course means we get plenty of those inscrutable Taoist rituals and charms that Lam Ching Ying used to specialise in. One of the highlights of Part 1 is a game of "Phantom Chess" between the two rivals, with a bunch of young kung fu kids fighting it out dressed as either vampires or Shaolin monks :) From what was shown in the "making of", it looks like Pt. 2 would be much more action packed, with some truly impressive looking scenes of vampire-busting action.

There's a lot to like in Shaolin vs. Evil Dead (like that name, for instance!), and a fair bit to criticise if you're that way inclined. I have to give Douglas Kung kudos for at least trying to keep genres like the gyonsi film alive. I do hope we get to see the rest of his film one day :)

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: AkiraRus
Date: 10/08/2005
Summary: Impossible trash

Just like Mr. Vampire - only it's not funny, very slow and just plain stupid. Era of Vampires which was made couple of years ago and was not so good movie too is much better.