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maryann johanson | #BlackLivesMatter

Tsui Hark’s Vampire Hunters (review)

It’s no Evil Dead 2 — what is? — but when you pit kung-fu against the undead, it’s bound to be midnight-movie-riffic, and the less sense it makes, the more fun it becomes. We’re in rural 19th-century China and surrounded by hopping zombies who want your tasty flesh so they can transform into flying vampires who don’t even need to touch you to suck your blood. I was too busy being delighted that zombies have found a new mode of locomotion beyond shuffling to wonder how in the Sam Raimi this could be. Enter four itinerant heroes — Lightning (Chan Kwok Kwan), Wind (Ken Chang), Rain (Lam Suet), and Thunder (Michael Chow) — who can, apparently, control the elements they’re named after, though I suspect that anyone with a metal rod could call down a bolt lightning in the middle of a thunderstorm. They, perhaps it need not be said, fight the zombie/vampire things for 90 minutes, with lots of blood and gore and flying severed limbs. There’s a girl, of course, and lots of fog, and some cool sword fighting, and a whole house full of creepy dead people encased in wax, too. These kinds of flicks are always most enjoyable when you discover them late at night on some cable channel with a really high number, and you’re a little drunk and with some goofy geek friends and you all just MST3K the heck out of it. But you could buy the DVD and pretend you stumbled on it, too.

MPAA: rated R

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