Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Vamp or Not? Ninja Vampire Busters

dvdWith this being on the Terror Tales Volume 1 DVD, along with Vampire Honeymoon, and with a title such as Ninja Vampire Busters – or Vampire Busters as it is also known – you’d be forgiven to wondering why this would come under Vamp or Not?

The film, from 1989 and directed by Norman Law and Stanley Wing Siu, might have vampire in the western title – but in the ‘Vamp or Not?’ rules of the game I suggest that having vampire in the title is sometimes “the worst reasoning for whether a film is of the vampire genre or not.” As my friend Leila has pointed out to me, if we look at the Chinese title for the film “zhuo gui da shi” the optimum word is gui. Gui or gwai is commonly translated as ghost but is often mistranslated as vampire, fox spirit or demon. Of course, Hong Kong movies are also known for mixing and matching their lore.

with the urnThis film starts with a communist march as the youth following Mao try to cast out the traditional. The leader heads to his father’s home – who seems concerned with preserving an urn – this makes them want to smash it even more. He explains that a priest’s student (Fat Chung) became evil and was cast out. A second student fought with him and captured his essence in the urn. The family have been guardians ever since. Of course they don’t believe it and so he throws it into the sea to protect it.

possessed councillorTime moves on and the urn turns up in Hong Kong where the politician Councillor Kai (Shui-Fan Fung) pays two million dollars (due to his son bidding against him as a prank) to buy the urn. His girlfriend Cat (Elsie Chan) suggests getting it checked by a fortune teller, Chan – who happens to be a friend of hers and a charlatan. His actions release the spirit of evil which then possesses the councillor.

spirits like it windy tooThereon in it is all about getting rid of the spirit, which can pass from person to person and is scared of religious icon – but that is about the only semi-vampiric thing we see. It has magical powers and, when it possesses Janet, Kai’s daughter, it has a tendency to whip up a wind around her. Now we did discover, via Scrubs, that vampires like it windy – so to it appears do spirits. For this is a spirit, no more and no less.

Not Vamp. The imdb page is here.

No comments: