Pardon Me, But Your Sword Is In My Fangs
One of the movies we rented this weekend (in addition to 13 Going On 30, a pleasantly predictable comedy described by Vic as “Big with a chick”) was Vampire Effect. I’d seen the trailer for it on some of my Godzilla DVDs, and it appeared to be a stylish, martial-arts vampire flick. Plus, it had Jackie Chan. As it turned out, all of this was true, yet I was not prepared for the full-on weirdness that was this film. It was so odd that Vicky, who was tired and had intended to go to bed when I popped in the disc, wound up staying up through to the very end.
The premise involves a member of the Anti-Vampire Federation, an ill-defined group of “Buffy” wannabes. His partner is killed during the opening subway fight, and so he reluctantly takes on a new gal. For reasons which only make sense to the Chinese, she immediately gets into a prolonged kicking match with his live-in sister over a stuffed bear.
Their mission is to save the last of five princes, the other four of which have been killed by a vampire duke (apparently, there’s a whole undead hierarchy) who needs their blood to open an arcane book which will grant him invulnerability to sunlight. Why, you may ask, should they save the prince, who, by the way, is also a vampire? Because the sister, who does not herself hunt vampires, but who inexplicably has prodigious martial arts skills, has been dating the prince, despite the obvious loyalty issues involved. (She’s even given a guided tour of his custom coffin, which comes complete with a built-in home entertainment system.)
The romantic duo crash a wedding, at which Jackie Chan (who must’ve owed someone a favor) is marrying a lush who is played by a Chinese version of Janice from Friends. This proves fortuitous during a later scene in which Jackie is the driver of an ambulance carrying the prince to the hospital.
Why is the prince seeking medical attention? See, he hasn’t been feeding, ’cause he’s all girly and good, and has become very weak. So, they drive him to the hospital, despite the presence of bags of blood inside the vehicle. Naturally, some henchvamps attack, and our heroes keep them at bay by puncturing one of the bags and squeezing it, causing the fiends to catch the spurts of blood in mid-air like hungry baby birds. Then their mouths are filled with handy prescription drugs, which causes the vampires to…dance. Why? I DON’T KNOW.
Oh, and Jackie the ambulance driver also knows martial arts. Yes, Jackie Chan fights a vampire. Then he disappears from the film, having fulfilled his contractual obligation.
The fight scenes are very cool, with the CG-enhanced ghouls skittering up walls and ceilings. A running gag has the vamps getting sword blades between their fangs when attempting to bite someone. So, bonus points to Vampire Effect for exhilerating action.
On the other hand, the film does come from Hong Kong, and is therefore unbound by any laws of logic, common sense or plot coherency. I’m really not doing it justice. It simply messed with my head.
Rent it…if you dare!