Dr. Vampire


Unlike most Hong Kong vampire movies that deal with hopping creatures in nifty blue Mandarin outfits, the vampires in this film are the fanged blood sucking kind from the West. Bowie Lam is on a medical conference in the United Kingdom when he stops off at a pub to quench his thirst. Inside though are some nubile females who have a thirst of their own to quench – a thirst for blood. Blood and bangers - as if pub food wasn’t bad enough already.
Bowie Lam and Ellen Chan
Bowie is seduced by the enchanting vampiress Ellen Chan and loses his long held virginity to her. The film is to some degree a comedic morality tale against sexual wandering and he catches something even worse than a sexual disease. As he wails later about his moment of infidelity “I only did it once. Why did this have to happen to me?” Ellen actually quite likes Bowie, but is forced to bite him (in a very sensitive place mind you!) by the evil Earl of the Vampires (an Englishman with typical HK gweilo overacting skills).  Later when the Earl takes a little bite size taste of Ellen he revels in the sweet ginseng blood of the Chinese man that is coursing through her veins and orders her to go to Hong Kong and bring him back for the Earl to snack on.
Back in Hong Kong Bowie is acting a little strange and his colleagues, his girlfriend (Sheila Chan) and her friend (Crystal Kwok) are confused and concerned. Light is beginning to hurt his eyes, when he operates he has a desire to taste the blood of his patient (Shing Fui On) and he wakes up from a nightmare stuck on the ceiling. He and his two colleagues soon realize that he is turning into a vampire and is in need of blood. But where better than a hospital to find a nice supply of warm blood? Ellen shows up in a stunning gown (vampires tend to have such good fashion sense), but instead of bringing Bowie back to England the two of them end up in her coffin playing a game of touch and go. Sheila and Crystal snoop and fume – but another moral lesson that the film seems to imply is that if you don’t make your man happy sexually – he will find someone who does!
Crystal Kwok, Sheila Chan and Ellen
The final 20-minutes of the film becomes a wonderfully enjoyable madcap and congested action/chase with a Taoist priest, a few reanimated corpses, the Earl and his busty blonde deadly concubine, some Peking Opera performers and the remainder of the cast running around the hospital like madmen. This segment makes up for the somewhat lackluster and nonsensical parts that came before it - though Ellen is always a pleasure to watch in any circumstance.

My rating for this film: 6.0



DVD Information:

Though the film itself has the Media Asia and Universe logos when it begins playing – nowhere on the box is this indicated. The box credits WA as the distributor – a Mainland company I believe.

The transfer is watchable but fairly weak overall. It looks dark compared to the video, has occurrences of pixilation and a slight thin film over it in the dark scenes.

The DVD has a fairly substantial cut in the lovemaking scene between Bowie and Ellen. This came to my attention after reading the review in Stefan Hammond’s Sex and Zen and A Bullet in the Head. He says it has “one of the most sensual bloodsucking sequences ever put on film” but the DVD has no such heated exchange. So I rented the video to compare  – the DVD does cut out almost all of this scene – in particular the moment when Ellen works her way down and fangs him. There is no nudity in either version though.


Scene not found in the DVD version

The menu is in Chinese but as best as I could figure out gives you 8 chapters and removable sub-titles (though oddly the English ones came on automatically so I never had to figure it out).

Letterboxed

Mandarin language track only.