Vampire Hunters

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

As zombies hop across the landscape, some turn into vampires and of course, that is bad news for mankind. In order to prevent such transformations, an order of vampire hunters is present and they seek out the zombies before it can happen. The order also does battle with all the vampires already created, so they’re often engaged in supernatural conflicts. But when the Vampire King and an entire nest of vicious vampires are awakened, the order of vampire hunters just filled their dance card for a long while. The Vampire King can dispatch most hunters with ease, but the order is determined to send him back to the grave. A number of battles follows, in which most of the order is slaughtered by the Vampire King and his minions. The leader of the order is believed to have survived, but he has vanished. Now it is up to four martial arts students, all skilled in combat and the supernatural, to end the Vampire King’s reign of terror. The warriors are known as Rain, Thunder, Lightning, and Wind, each able to control the element of their namesake, so these are some powerful students. But in addition to going after the Vampire King, the quartet must try to track down their master and of course, protect innocent people from the creatures. But can four students take down the powerful Vampire King and his coven?

This movie has a thin premise, cardboard characters, and often aimless direction, but trust me, you’ll never care, even for a second. This Tsui Hark produced project combines action, fantasy, horror, and old school style hijinks, which makes for one hell of a fun experience. I was quite pleased to see a return to mostly practical special effects, as a lot of Asian movies have been flooded with low rent visual effects of late. A few small instances of CGI can be spotted, but for the most part, Vampire Hunters is straight old school. Even the vampires are a throwback, as these bloodsuckers are the kind seen in movies like Mr. Vampire, not the slick Eurotrash type we’re used to seeing in other countries. So the hopping, burrowing, moldy faced vamps are in ample supply, which means lots of fun moments. The horror elements don’t work as far as real scares, but the atmosphere is well done and provides a nice backdrop. As I mentioned, Vampire Hunters is thin on storyline and such, but for the most part, it never proves to be an issue. I do wish a little more attention were paid to some elements, but this is still a terrific movie. A lot of dead-ends, wrong turns, and sidetracks are present just to allow for some cool stuff to happen, which works in this case. I think Vampire Hunters is a nice change of pace from the more serious movies coming out of Asia these days, so even with no extras, this disc is well worth a look.

Video: How does it look?

Vampire Hunters is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The visuals here have a washed out texture and grain is evident, but no worries, as its all part of the movie’s intended visual scheme. The print does show some grain, but marks, nicks, and debris are all minimal, so excellent source material was used here. The colors are muted and bathed in black, so don’t expect bold hues, but the colors look as they should. As far as contrast, the black levels look spot on and aren’t softened by the grain. So you will see some visual quirks, but they are part of the original scheme and not the fault of this terrific presentation.

Audio: How does it sound?

The film’s original Cantonese soundtrack is preserved here, via an active, fun Dolby Digital 5.1 surround option. This is often a more basic presentation, but when the action picks up, some nice surround use can be heard. The swordfights provide cool presence, as do the more fantasy driven sequences. The sound effects have a fun texture also, so when the speakers kick in, it really enhances the experience. The music is also well handled, so it has some life, while dialogue is crisp and clean throughout. I do wish there was more punch to the bass, but this is a much more involved soundtrack than expected. This disc also includes French and English language tracks, as well as subtitles in English and French.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc includes no bonus materials.

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