Saturday, May 31, 2008

Vamp or Not? Mr Vampire 5


Like Mr Vampire 3 this 1990 film ends up as a ‘Vamp or Not?’ rather than a review and to be honest probably suits the alternative title ‘Magic Cop’ than the Mr Vampire moniker. Like that movie and films Mr Vampire and Mr Vampire 2 it stars Lam Ching Ying, who was only missing from the fourth instalment. A new director, Wei Tung, was at the helm.

A cop, Feng (Lam Ching Ying), is also a Taoist and takes on cases that are perhaps a little too unusual for the rest of the force. When we first meet him he is helping Auntie Sam and his niece Lin (Mei Way Wong) who are having a little trouble with a ghost after Auntie Sam inadvertently puts out a brazier used to burn offerings to the ancestors.

the walking deadIn the city Detective Lam (Wilson Lam) and Sergeant 2237 (Kiu Wai Miu) – his name is never actually given, just his badge number – are undercover at a restaurant trying to uncover a drug smuggling ring. Lam becomes suspicious of a girl at a table who has not moved for two hours. She ignores them and when she tries to leave will not be stopped, even when she takes a bullet to the leg. She is only stopped when a truck hits her.

Lam Ching Ying as FengAs she is related, in some way, to Auntie Sam, Feng comes to the city to identify the body, with Lin in tow, and realises that something was very wrong. The girl was dead prior to being shot and there is a hole in her skull. The autopsy confirms that she died 7 days before the incident. During this we get our only mention of vampires, a glib remark about how moving corpses were once called such.

Ma Wu as Inspector MaAnyway, Feng gets assigned to the case and much of the film surrounds the clash between Feng’s old fashioned techniques and spiritual beliefs and Lam’s modernistic approach – plus the fact that he is a letch he clearly fancies Lin. There is a nice cameo by Ma Wu as Inspector Ma, chief of police and Feng’s erstwhile partner.

Michiko Nishiwaki as the sorceressThe corpses are being enchanted and controlled by a mysterious sorceress (Michiko Nishiwaki), who is adept in the black arts but, to be honest, they are not really vampire like – in fact they are probably more akin to a voodoo type zombie. They have no sentience of their own, simply carrying out orders, and there is no blood thirst nor fangs to speak of.

It is, like film number 3, a fine film and well worth watching in its own right but it is not a vampire movie.

The imdb page is here.


Bill Courtney said...


I tried to send a comment but it may ave been lost since I must use a proxt to access blogspot. If you get two posts from me I am sorry.

Great site. I found out about it from The Moon is a Dead World (also a good horror movie site).

I will come back and I may try my hnad at a vampire post and send it to Ryne.

If you have time drop by my site.

I hope you like it. It is not as developed in theme as yours. I linked your in my list if you do not mind. I just liked the look of your and the Chinese vampire reviews (I live in China right now)

Take care and keep up the good work!

Taliesin_ttlg said...


Many thanks for the kind words. I'll reciprocate the link of course - I had a look at your site and it seems rather interesting - looking forward to having a good explore.

Anonymous said...

This isn't really Mr. Vampire 5, it was just retitled MV5 in some releases, to cash in on the popularliy of the MV series, and Lam Ching Ying.

Still who cares? It's a good fun movie all the same.

I'm surprised there's no Mr Vampire fansites out there, I've been trying to find one somewhere. Ee still dont have decent DVD releases of this great series.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

to be honest, there are at least 3 Mr Vampire 5's that I've discovered!!!