Youtube Film Club – Robo Vampire (1988)

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What the hell did I just watch?

We’ve dealt with the films of Godfrey Ho before on this site – “Full Metal Ninja”, “Ninja Terminator” and “9 Deaths Of The Ninja” and although there is some indication that this may be the work of a protege, it has the hallmarks of Ho all over it. You want (at least) two films, inexpertly spliced together? We got it! You want plots that make no sense, and supporting characters who appear and disappear randomly throughout? You know we got it!

The more I think about it, the more the details of this movie slide from my mind. I tried explaining the plot of this to my wife this morning, and the end of the conversation left us both confused and annoyed, so let’s see how well I do here. There are drug dealers. Because the cops are getting too close, they decide to hire and train a bunch of vampires to act as their personal security; also, one of the cops is killed in action and his co-worker is revealed to be a tech master, so transforms him into a robotic cop. Now, Ho was probably after some of that sweet Robocop money, but it might be said that his budget was a tad lower than Paul Verhoeven’s. Proof, I hear you request?

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The robot cop goes after the vampires, including the lead vampire (credited as “Vampire Beast”) who you can tell is a beast because he’s got a monkey’s face. Vampire Beast has a girlfriend who’s a ghost, and she’s annoyed at the baddies turning her man into a vampire and wants the two of them to die and be together forever on the other side…while this is going on, the rest of the cops go after the drug kingpin’s lair, in a whole other place, who unfortunately forgot to bring the vampires to do the job they were supposed to.

For those of you who are only familiar with sexy European and American vampires, seeing Chinese ones may come as a bit of a surprise. For one thing, they can’t walk, so have to hop everywhere. They’ve also got super-OCD, so the best way to beat them is to drop a bunch of rice in front of them, as they have to stop and count all the grains; oh, and as long as you’ve got a bit of paper with some Chinese lettering on it, you’re pretty much safe, because stick it to their heads and they freeze. Huh? Anyway, they are pretty indestructible, so they have that going for them at least.

This is a particularly shambolic film. The two halves of the story are tied together in the most tenuous way possible, with obviously dubbed sections of dialogue – then they actually end up further apart at the end! The robot cop is actually blown up about halfway through the film, then they just repeat the footage of him being assembled in the first place, and in the next scene he’s good as new. What? The film also switches from the forests and dirty shacks it’s spent most of its running time in, to the middle of a busy city for the final fight between vampire and robot; the other half of the film having been forgotten by this point.

But way down at the very very bottom of the cinematic barrel, there’s fun to be had. I’m kind of thinking this was a bit of a joke, as most of the film is so laughably inept that I can’t believe any sensible filmmaker would have let it go out like that. Just check this special effect out – rather than blowing up the robot cop’s actual outfit, this is the special effect they sub in an instant before a rocket hits him. This is really in the real finished film, for real:

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For the real experts among you, why not entertain yourselves by spotting the number of people who just disappear from the film, or show up like we should know them three-quarters of the way in? Or the number of times ponytail guy dies? Perhaps you’d like to ponder why someone thought smuggling drugs inside corpses would be a good idea, when corpses are larger than bags of drugs and more difficult to move about? There’s nothing to make sense of in this film, no liferaft to cling to as the insanity happens all around. Oh yes, and it doesn’t really end either. They figured if you were stupid enough to stick it out to the end, you deserved everything you got.

So, get yourself good and drunk, strap yourself in and get ready for a really fun experience.

Rating: thumbs up

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