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一眉道人 (1989)
Vampire Vs Vampire


Reviewed by: ewaffle
Date: 05/08/2010
Summary: A must see from the 1980s.

“Vampire vs. Vampire” has something for almost everyone. The One-Eyebrow Priest returns with his dumb, clumsy assistants. He is helped out by the Little Vampire, a hopping ghost who has been adopted into the household as a mascot. Maria Cordero is a tough first sergeant disguised as the Mother Superior of a small convent of nuns; Tiffany Lau hangs around (literally) as a wandering spirit who threatens to take over the bodies of both Ho and Fung until she is reunited with her missing body. Perhaps best of all, Sandra Ng is bitten by Dracula and changes into a vampire—not a Chinese hopping ghost but a Western, fanged, blood drinking, living in a coffin version.

As always Lam Ching-Wing is the calm center of this whirling world of insanity, doing his job of keeping the dead from disturbing the living and consulting with village elders regarding the Feng Shui of their water and air. There have been problems and he locates a new place for the village well. While everyone is at lunch a bunch of bats swoop in and move the stake showing the contractors where to dig—move it to directly above the body of their master, Dracula.

He is dug out of the ground but since he has been buried in the proper fashion with a stake through his heart there is no danger although to be sure the Taoist priest insists on a ceremonial cremation. Unfortunately those who buried the count didn’t follow all the directions and instead of using a wooden stake he was impaled with a cross with decorated with a huge ruby. When Sandra Ng and her cousin/boyfriend Billy Lau see the ruby they are able to switch the corpse with a statute giving them time to dig out the gem. When the cross is dislodged from the vampire’s chest he comes back alive (or as “alive” as a being like that can be) and the game is on.

One Eyebrow is confused at first since none of his Taoist magic works on this newly undead person. He laughs off red and yellow prayers stuck to his forehead, rips through a red net without difficulty and is unaffected by anything our hero can do. Since Dracula has already bitten Sandra Ng he must be stopped. This is where the real brilliance of this movie takes off. With his magic useless the Taoist priest must use his own extraordinary fighting and athletic skills to defeat the monster which he does after an exciting chase through the forest and a battle to the death on the edge of a quicksand pool.

There is an important subplot that parallels the battle with Dracula. Ho and Fung have managed to activate an enraged female spirit when they blunder into an enchanted palm tree grove. One Eyebrow has told them “Don’t touch the palm trees” and only a few seconds pass between the warning and the first palm tree grabbing. He rescues them and drives away the worst of the bad energy his bumbling assistants have unleashed then tell gives the guys detailed, foolproof instructions on how to deal with the succubus who is sure to arrive. There is always a fool to show that no plan is foolproof and one of the guys winds up possessed by the demon.

On one level there is One Eyebrow who is able to defeat his enemy even when his magic doesn’t work. One another, much lower and less developed level are Ho and Fung who are so caught up with their own rivalry, their untamable concupiscence and their general inability to take anything seriously that they are helpless even in a “normal” case where the spells are all but prepackaged and ready for use. The gap between the enlightened priest and the still striving apprentices has never been wider. Another intriguing character is Mother Superior who while not happy with the idea of saving the lives of the young women in her charge while possibly losing her own never thinks of abandoning them but maintains necessary discipline, order and fighting spirit even when they are attacked by hundreds of bloodthirsty bats.

The Western actor who plays Dracula is no Christopher Lee but his Count is a worthy opponent for Lam Ching-Ying. While there are a few lacuna in his part—he isn’t fazed by a crucifix, is able to operate on consecrated ground and doesn’t need sacred soil from Transylvania to survive—he is convincing and menacing. What he isn’t and what Dracula should be is seductive, particularly with five beautiful young nuns always around. However going with Dracula as fiercely ugly to the point of deformity emphasized how evil and powerful adversary he was.

The copy we saw seemed to be missing about six minutes. Not sure of the source but the editing was slapdash and the color timing atrocious but only took the edge off of our enjoyment of a terrific movie which is very highly recommended.

Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 04/24/2004
Summary: Mr. Vampire vs. Dracula !!

Once again, the One Eyebrowed Priest and his sidekicks strive to keep the spirit world in order. Joining forces with the cute little hopping vampire from a previous movie, he does battle with a sexy female ghost [Sandra Ng] and uncovers a vicious Dracula-like vampire. His mighty powers work fine against the Chinese spirits, but his spells have no effect on the European monster. This movie has some awesome action in the last 30 minutes with lots of laughs and scary stuff throughout. Highly recommended if you like this sub-genre.

Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 01/07/2003
Summary: Should of been a MR vampire!!

This is one of the better vampire movies to come out, in fact it should of been with the Mr vampire series. It's got action, comedy and a little fright, all the elements to make this a very watchable movie.

7/10


Reviewed by: danton
Date: 02/20/2002

One of the best of the HK vampire films. Directed by Lam Ching Ying himself, this effort pits the customary Taoist priest against a Western-style vampire who turns out to be immune to the usual weapons/spells, so Lam Ching Ying is forced to fall back on his wonderful acrobatic skills, resulting in some of the best and most original action choreography of any of the numerous films in this genre. Recommended!


Reviewed by: ksbutterbox
Date: 01/21/2002
Summary: Good Fun !

Being a big fan of Lam Ching Ying and this genre I bought this with no subs. Still, pretty easy to understand what was going on and Sandra Ng was a pleasant surprise! The title I have is called "One Eyebrowed Priest". Little vampire child is amusing but the last reel is done quite well! Glad I found it.


Reviewed by: dan_gale
Date: 02/20/2001
Summary: Well worth tracking down!

This films is more or less Mr. Vampire part 5 since it features Mr. Vampire lead Lam Ching Ying again as the same character, a Taoist monk named One-Eyebrowed Priest (his eyebrow twitches when troubles brewing!). This time around, as well as the usual two lunactic slapstick helpers, Lam is assisted by a small child hopping vampire (Little Vampire) who only sighs and moans electronically like Bubo the owl from Clash of the Titans. He's cute but potentially could put serious kung fu fans off. The main twist here is after several Mr. Vampire films in which chinese vampires have to be dispatched using the (to Western audiences) odd methods they normally use (sticky rice, Taoist mirrors, holding their breath), a travelling groups of nuns are setting up a Christian chapel in China and unearth a Western vampire that brings with it all the usual Western conventions of a movie vampire (bats, allergy to crosses, sunlight etc.) and our heroes have to battle it using methods they're not used to. The vampire is still a roaring monster, but doesn't hop and wears a long black cape so, despite being a 'Western' vampire, he's still very much an Eastern interpretation of a Western vampire. Christopher Lee Dracula, for example, spoke lots of dialogue, was capable of being almost human and often had no fangs in shot. This feller isn't like that at all!

Great fun, well worth tracking down if you like these films. Special effects have improved quite a bit and there's some great wirework and photography. On par with Mr. Vampire III and a step up above II and IV.

It's on VCD v.2 with (hard to read)English subtitles from Media Asia, over two discs.


Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

Looks like a fun taoist priest flick, but I can't find a versionwith subtitles. Watch for the cute bouncing kid vampire.

[Reviewed by Anonymous]