Posted in Fantasia 2017, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Reviews

Vampire Cleanup Department @ Fantasia 2017

vampirecleanupdeptVampire Cleanup Department / 救僵清道夫 / Gao geung jing dou fu (2017)
Directed by: Yan Pak-Wing, Chiu Sin-Hang
Written by: Yan Pak-Wing, Ho Wing-Hong, Ashley Cheung
Cast: Babyjohn Choi, Lin Min-Chen, Richard Ng, Chin Siu-Ho, Susan Shaw

Review: There was a time in Hong Kong when hopping vampire movies were popular. I’m not familiar with this genre so this is the first one I’ve seen. These vampires look like rotting corpses. They don’t walk but they hop with their arms straight out in front of them. The setup is simple, there is a secret department that’s tasked with eliminating vampires but the employees are getting old. In comes, a young, clumsy man named Tim (Babyjohn Choi) who would seem ill-suited for the job. But after getting his butt chomped on by a vampire, he discovers that he is immune to vampire bites. There seems to be something special about his blood as it seems to transform another vampire (Lin Min-Chen) from rotting corpse into her original human form of a beautiful woman. Although she looks human she still hops around like a vampire and craves blood cubes.

This is a comedy like most films in the genre with a bit of kung fu. There is also an innocent romance between Tim and the female vampire, who’s named Summer. They have awkward and cute moments together as Tim tries to teach Summer how to be more human. The situation reminds me of Edward Scissorhands but more simplistic. The more interesting relationship is between Tim and his mentor, Chau (Chin Siu-Ho, a notable martial arts actor), who trains him by initially tasking him to sweep crap off the floor a lot. I personally didn’t find the film very funny but it was amusing and enjoyable. I think fans of the genre would probably get more out of it since I’m sure there are a fair amount of in-jokes that a noob like myself wouldn’t recognize.

Action is not bad but there are obvious CG sequences. Story is predictable but the characters are likable. As long as you don’t go in with high expectations, you’ll likely have a good time with this film.

Seen in the theater at Fantasia film festival.




Longtime fan of East Asian films. Former "movie reporter" on the music radio show / podcast "Beats From The East" broadcasted on Concordia University's CJLO 1690AM radio station in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

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