Kick'em In The Ghoulies

"It's The Only Way To Survive"

Hong Kong Classic Review


Mr.VAMPIRE - 1985


Lam Ching-Ying / Moon Lee  / Chin Siu-Ho / Ricky Hui

Directed by

Ricky Lau 

 Mr Vampire

Some People say to me Why is the spelling of Ghoulies the way it is in the site title and not written Goolies.

Well although a bit thin my reasons could be this review and others like it to follow as many martial art films from the East dealt with Ghosts and Ghouls in the Eighties and Nineties and the other reason I did not want the site solely associated with kicking people in the goolies and I felt I would get better exposure in search engines if I went with our Ghostly friendly version.

Anyway, that's my explanation.

So on with the review of what is truly a landmark piece of film from Boho films and Golden Harvest and starring the late and great Lam Ching Ying 'who we cover in the Artists pages ' Moon Lee also stars with Ricky Hui, Chin Siu-Ho in a film directed by Ricky Lau.

Although not the first film of its kind Mr. Vampire started a craze with these types of films in Hong Kong. The Story of a Taoist priest who can vanquish demons lost souls and Vampires using his form of magical spells, rituals, and Feng Shiu (they don't teach these things in the Catholic Church )

So the film shot in 1985 was the brainchild of Sammo Hung who created the whole genre with his Encounters of the Spooky Kind and Dead and Deadly.

Here Lam Ching-Ying plays priest Kau who in an attempt to Rebury a rich man's fathers corpse which is buried in the poor ground ( The Chinese believe that if bodies are buried in the poor or evil ground where maybe bad things have happened that bad luck will befall the following generations) is amazed to find the body still intact and is taken back to his place of worship so he may prepare for reburial to stop the body from rising, but these attempts fail and the body becomes a Jiang-shi ( hopping Vampire).

Now this Vampire hops around killing people and in the fight to stop it one of Kau's disciples Man Choi (here played by Ricky Hui) gets infected and is on vampire watch to stop him from turning into one himself, on top of this his other disciple Tsau Tsang (played by Chin Siu Ho) gets possessed by a ghost of a woman who wants to take his soul.

So along with these problems, Kau must fight to save the community from the Vampire but is accused himself by the police who is after having a relationship with the Vampire's son Daughter here played by Moon Lee.

What ensues is an action-packed 90 minutes where Tsau is confronting his own feelings for a ghost, Man Choi falling for Yan (Moon Lee) & not obeying Priest Kau and is slowly turning Vamp.

All in all this film is packed to the gills with Spot effects some amazing real-life stunts with dramatic falls, martial arts people on fire, and more. Top this with some brilliant comedy you can see why this film was such a hit that spawned 4 sequels as well as many spin-off movies.

So here goes it's not that often you will see this on kick'em in the Ghoulies.

        Score out of Ten = 10 

        Review by Sertes Nake


Alternate Posters and Artwork


Cast and Credits

  • Lam Ching-ying as Master Kau (九叔)
  • Ricky Hui as Man-choi (文才), Kau's student
  • Chin Siu-ho as Chau-sang (秋生), Kau's student
  • Moon Lee as Ting-ting (婷婷), Master Yam's daughter
  • Huang Ha as Master Yam (任老爺), a rich man. Apparently killed by the vampire, he rises from the dead as well to become like his late father.
  • Anthony Chan as Priest Four Eyes (四目道長), Kau's friend. He uses magic to control "hopping" corpses and transport them to their hometowns for burial.
  • Yuen Wah as the Vampire, Master Yam's deceased father
  • Wong Siu-fung as Jade (董小玉), a female ghost who seduces Chau-sang
  • Billy Lau as Wai (阿威), the cowardly police inspector. He is also Ting-ting's cousin.
  • Ho Pak-kwong as a villager
  • Ka Lee as the night watchman
  • Wu Ma as the rice shop owner
  • Wong Wan-si as the rice shop owner's wife
  • Tin Kai-Man as the rice shop owner's idiotic son
  • Yuen Miu as a policeman
  • Yuen Biao as a "hopping" corpse
  • Pang Yun-cheung as a policeman
  • Chow Gam-kong as a policeman
  • Chin Sing-wai as a policeman
  • Cheung Wing-cheung
Directed by Ricky Lau
Produced by Sammo Hung
Screenplay by Sze-to Cheuk-hon
Barry Wong
Wong Ying
Starring Lam Ching-ying
Ricky Hui
Chin Siu-ho
Moon Lee
Music by Anders Nelsson
Alastair Monteith-Hodge
The Melody Bank
Cinematography Peter Ngor
Editing by Peter Cheung
Studio Bo Ho Films Co., Ltd.
Paragon Films Ltd.
Distributed by Golden Harvest
Release date(s) 7 November 1985
Running time 96 minutes
Country Hong Kong
Language Cantonese