Hopping Mad: The Mr Vampire Sequels

In DVD/Blu-ray by Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Bottom line: Stunning, blu-ray restorations of four classics of the Jiangshi genre.
Rating: 5/5.

Cast: Lam Ching-Ying, Yuen Biao, Wu Ma, Richard Ng, Yuen Wah, Pauline Yuk-Wan Wong.
Certificate: 15
Directors: Ricky Lau, Lam Ching-Ying.
Language: Cantonese with optional English subtitles/dubs.
Run time: 364 minutes.
Release date: 22nd May 2023.
RRP: £39.99.

A defining film in Hong Kong genre cinema, Mr Vampire blended kung fu, special effects, and Chinese folklore to invent a whole new sub-genre of Asian cinema: the Jiangshi film. In the process it kick-started an entire franchise—and this month Eureka are releases not one, but four sequels in stunning, blu-ray restorations.

Called—appropriately enough—Hopping Mad, this spectacular box set features definitive presentations of four absolute classics.

In Mr Vampire II (aka Vampire Family) an archaeologist and his students unwittingly set free a family of hopping vampires who wreak havoc in 1980s Hong Kong. Mr Vampire III returns to a period setting and sees Lam Ching-Ying’s Taoist priest battle an evil witch (a brilliant performance by veteran actress Pauline Yuk-Wan Wong). Mr Vampire IV (aka Uncle Vampire) two feuding neighbours (a Taoist priest and a Buddhist monk) must join forces when their village is overrun by vampires. And finally in Vampire vs Vampire, Lam Ching-ying’s Taoist priest finds his jiangshi-fighting knowledge is of little help when he goes up against a European vampire.

Featuring a bevy of Hong Kong legends including Lam Ching-Ying, Yuen Biao, Wu Ma, Richard Ng, Yuen Wah– this collection is exactly what fans have been waiting for. As ever, only the first 2000 copies will include the limited O-Card slipcase, with new art by Darren Wheeling, and a collectors’ booklet, so if you don’t want to miss out, you really need to hop to it!

Special features include: 

  • Mr Vampire II and Mr Vampire III presented in 1080p HD from brand new 2K restorations.
  • Mr Vampire IV and Vampire vs Vampire presented in 1080p HD from brand new HD restorations.
  • Cantonese audio (original mono presentations) on all films.
  • Alternate English dubbed audio track for Mr Vampire II.
  • Optional English Subtitles for all films, newly translated for this release.
  • Brand new feature length audio commentaries on Mr Vampire II and Vampire vs Vampire by Asian film expert Frank Djeng (NY Asian Film Festival). 
  • Brand new feature length audio commentaries on Mr Vampire III and Mr Vampire IV by action cinema experts Mike Leeder & Arne Venema.
  • Brand new feature length audio commentary on Mr Vampire III by Asian film expert Frank Djeng and film writer John Charles (The Hong Kong Filmography, 1977–1997). 
  • Brand new video piece on the history and resurgent popularity of the jiangshi genre, featuring an interview with a real Taoist priest.
  • Brand new video piece which examines the rituals portrayed in the Mr Vampire series and how some are still practiced in modern-day Hong Kong. Reversible sleeve featuring original poster art. 
  • Trailers.