Robo Vampire Review: Top drawer shit!
Updated: Apr 17
Dir: Godfrey Ho
Release Date: 1988
“Narcotics agent Tom Wilde is given a second chance at life after being shot and killed. In a futuristic experiment, agent Wilde is returned to life as an Android Robot and he is sent on a very dangerous mission.”
I watched this earlier this year and, holy fuckballs, it is amazing!
As they often did back in the good old days with Hong Kong films trying to reach a western audience, splicing 2 different films together with different actors and storylines, they pull them together and make no sense whatsoever. Ninja films are another fantastic source of the same thing happening and you can be sure of finding some reviews of those here too.
I’ll get this out of the way early, there is NOT a Robo Vampire in this film.
Not even mentioned.
Section 1: Traditional Chinese vampire action meaning they can only hop/jump around which looks as preposterous as it sounds.
In this film they can also shoot fireworks from their sleeves and sometimes acid.....
For some reason a gang of drug dealers are resurrecting dead people as vampires to ship their product without being hassled by the authorities(?!).
They also create a Vampire Beast which is the same thing but wears a gorilla mask.
The Beast’s dead wife turns up, as a ghost, and complains that because he is now a vampire they can never be together in the afterlife and fights for a bit.
More on her later.
Section 2: The other story is a rescue mission involving a blonde woman who is held hostage by a gang of some men who do that kind of thing but potentially are also drug dealers.
At one point the woman dives through a glass window revealing a superb slow motion shot of her stunt double being a middle-aged man in a dress.
Some guy called Tom, in the 1st section, is killed and is immediately made into a robot (see favourite quotes section below). For this incredible make-up effect, they spray painted some padded safety wear silver, added a pair of goggles and taped a car aerial to his helmet.
He looks fucking ridiculous.
He is then sent to fight the vampires.
Unfortunately, the majority of the film focuses on the other section which is a typical shoot ‘em up and blow shit up affair with some martial arts thrown in. The dubbing is still awful enough to make this worth watching but the real shitty delight is clearly the Robot v Vampires section.
‘RoboTom’ walks very slowly with added sound effects for each step (mostly out of sync) and is apparently immune to the acid/fireworks the vampires have up their sleeves.
He is not, however, immune to a massive fuck off bazooka that the drug dealers have and he explodes in a slo-mo tin foil dummy delight.
Though completely destroyed, ‘RoboTom’ is back to normal after a couple of minutes of literally just taping him back together.
The blonde woman is rescued and they all have a laugh along moment like in a cartoon to celebrate.
Back to the good shit for the finale.
The end chase through some City streets is a true delight. I have no idea how we get to a city but, by this time, I couldn't have cared less.
Vampire Beast hops along a bridge while RoboTom walks slowly behind him.
For fucking ages. Slowest chase ever.
Meanwhile, the dead wife turns up and fights the priest creating the vampires. Again. She needlessly exposes her own breasts during this fight but I guess that can be accepted as vital to whatever plot is left. With the priest dead, and then levitated and burned (on a visible rope), all of the other vampires just fall and die.
Vampire Beast is gone, his dead wife is too and RoboTom just walks off.
Fucking amazing. It's on Amazon Prime.
FAVOURITE CHARACTER: ROBO-TOM (never a vampire)
FAVOURITE MOMENT: Longest and slowest ever chase scene
Soldier #1: Now that Tom is dead, I want to use his body to create an android-like robot. I'd appreciate you approving my application.
Soldier #2: You're assured of success?
Soldier #1: Yes.
Soldier #2: Okay, it's approved.
FAVOURITE DEATH: Slow motion bazooka foil dummy explosion death