22 November 2006 | TheNaughtyLibrarian
Better Than People Give It Credit
In a number of forums I've seen this film mercilessly trashed, and I'm not quite sure why. Perhaps it's having Tsui Hark's name attached to it, thus giving people the wrong idea about the film as they go into it. While I don't think it's the best film ever made by any stretch of the imagination, Vampire Hunters does serve it's purpose. I was entertained thoroughly, startled a few times, laughed a few times, and spent a great deal of my viewing time in suspense. The one thing you can say about this film is that it's definitely not slow moving!
While it does suffer from the lack of in depth characterization that seems to be the downfall of many martial arts films, in general I found the acting to be up to par -provided you watch the film subtitled as opposed to dubbed. The wooden voice acting of the English translators is highly reminiscent of the hilarious goofy bad dubbing of 70s martial arts flicks, and really detracts from the genuine scariness of the vampire scenes.
And those vampires! Yikes! Spitting acidic gas, sucking your blood through the air, covered in maggots.... Truly makes ol' Bela seem like a puddytat! It's interesting to see the differences between Eastern and Western vampire mythos.
The movie itself is beautifully and imaginatively lensed, the director of photography should be proud. The camera-work zooms and jumps during the right moments and steps back and slows down to take in grandeur. The fight scenes are excitingly filmed, and the effects are no worse than any other film I've seen lately. Not the best, but everything moves quickly enough that you don't really notice.
All in all, I got what I wanted; escapist, exciting, engaging fun that made me forget about the rest of the world for an hour and a half. And after all, isn't that what a movie is supposed to be? They can't all be caviar, sometimes I really just want popcorn.