a.k.a. The Era of Vampires
starring Chan Kwok Kwan, Ken Chang, Suet Lam, Michael Chow Man-Kin
screenplay by Tsui Hark
directed by Wellson Chin
by Walter Chaw An incomprehensible bit of garbage produced and written by legendary Hong Kong filmmaker Tsui Hark, Vampire Hunters juggles at least three plots and drops each of them repeatedly and egregiously. Its lore is confused and its heroes are unremarkable but for the unusual degree to which they're inept and disinteresting. The promise inherent in a chop-socky wuxia opus concerning a quintet of fearless vampire hunters and a cadre of zombies is almost infinite, making the abject failure of the piece something almost awe-inspiring. Though it's tempting to blame director Wellson Chin's propensity to stage fight scenes in unrelieved murk, the real culprit of the piece may be a bad guy who looks and moves a lot like a mannequin on a string. William Castle, eat your heart out.