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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

(aka "Mr. Vampire" or "Geung si sin sang" or"Jiang shi xian sheng" or "Mr. Stiff Corpse" )

directed by Ricky Lau
Hong Kong 1985

An Eastern response to Ghostbusters (which spawned many imitations and parodies), Mr. Vampire uses Oriental culture as the springboard for a unique, creepily amusing vampire mythos. Here, the vampires can be controlled by Taoist incantations, administered on an enchanted written parchment affixed to the creature's forehead. Unfortunately, if the spell falls off, the vampire immediately begins to hop and search for blood. In a clever twist reminiscent of the Spanish Blind Dead series, the vampires can also be thwarted from detecting a human's presence if the potential victims hold their breath. Kou (Lam Ching Ying), a priest and expert vampire wrangler with the most memorable case of unibrow in cinema history, tries to teach his two bumbling apprentices, Chou (Chin Siu-Ho) and Man-Chor (Ricky Hui), the ins and outs of vampire control, but several comedic (and horrific) mishaps along the way to derail their education. The bulk of the story concerns an elder, now converted to vampirism, whose son recruits the trio for help; however, the narrative also tosses in a variety of marginally related supernatural hijinks, including a bewitching female ghost whose flying head participates in a memorable acrobatic attack scene.

Posters

Theatrical Release: 1985

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Comparison:

Intercontinental Video Ltd. (Digitally Remastered) - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Mega Star - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Fox - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Hong Kong Legends - Region 2,4 - PAL vs. Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Ole Kofoed and Chris Gould for the DVD Screen Caps!

Box Covers

 

 

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution

Intercontinental Video Ltd.

Region 0 - NTSC

Mega Star

Region 0 - NTSC

Fox
Region 1 - NTSC
Hong Kong Legends
Region 2,4 - PAL
Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:37:13 1:33:37 (4% PAL speedup) 1:37:18 1:33:43 (4% PAL speedup) 1:37:59.331
Video

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.58 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.70:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.0 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.78:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.34 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.78:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.22 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 39,233,859,158 bytes

Feature: 32,186,109,504 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.94 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Mega Star

Intercontinental Video Ltd.

 

Bitrate:

Mega Star

 

Bitrate:

Fox

 

Bitrate:

Hong Kong Legends

 

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

 

Audio Cantonese Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono, Cantonese Dolby Digital 5.1, Cantonese DTS 5.1, Mandarin Dolby Digital 5.1 Cantonese and Mandarin Dolby Digital 5.1

English Dub Dolby Digital 5.1 + DTS 5.1, Cantonese Dolby Digital 5.1 + 2.0 mono + DTS 5.1

English Dub Dolby Digital 5.1, Cantonese Dolby Digital 5.1

LPCM Audio Chinese 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1839 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1839 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified) Chinese, English, Thai, Vietnamese, Spanish or none. English or none. English, Dutch, None English or none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Intercontinental Video Ltd.

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Interview with Ricky Lau
• Still Galleries
• Theatrical and Promotional Trailers
• Bonus Trailers

DVD Release Date: 26th June 2005
Amaray Case

Chapters 17

Release Information:
Studio: Mega Star

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.70:1

Edition Details:
• Small Lam Ching-ying, Chin Siu-ho and Ricky Lau biographies.
• Trailers.

DVD Release Date: 2001
Keep Case

Chapters 9
 

Release Information:
Studio: Fox

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Trailers.

 

DVD Release Date: September 7, 2004
Keep Case

Chapters 28

Release Information:
Studio: Hong Kong Legends

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary by Bey Logan.
• A Tribute to Lam Ching-ying (10:21).
• Lam Ching-ying biography.
• Chin Siu-ho interview (42:17).
• Moon Lee interview (17:40).
• Trailers.

 

DVD Release Date: April 22, 2002
Keep Case

Chapters 28

Release Information:
Studio:
Eureka

 

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 39,233,859,158 bytes

Feature: 32,186,109,504 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.94 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Brand new and exclusive feature length audio commentary by Asian film expert Frank Djeng (NY Asian Film Festival)
Alternate end credits
Archival interview with Chin Siu-hou (42:17)
Archival interview with Moon Lee (17:40)
Archival interview with Ricky Lau (12:44)
Original Hong Kong Trailer (4:08 in HD)
Textless End Credits (1:24)

Limited Edition O-CARD Slipcase with new artwork by Darren Wheeling [2000 units]
PLUS: A Collector s Booklet featuring new writing on the film [2000 units]


Blu-ray Release Date:
July 20, 2020
Transparent Blu-ray Case
inside slipcase (see below)

Chapters 12

 

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Criterion Blu-ray (July 2020): Eureka have transferred Mr. Vampire to Blu-ray. It's on a dual-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate taken from "a brand new 2K restoration". You can see a rise in the image quality over the DVDs. Colors gain some boldness, grain textures are both present and consistent and there is a slight uptick in detail. It's not a dynamic upgrade but it is definitely an improvement over SD. Colors finally have a consistent, and realistic appearance. No damage, clean and no digitization. There are some impressively sharp close-ups and a generally pleasing 1080P presentation.

NOTE: We have added 48 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE.

On their Blu-ray, Eureka use a linear PCM mono track (24-bit) in the original Cantonese language plus it offers two English DUBs: one produced for the film's original European home video release (LPCM 2.0 channel) and a second for the film's original American home video release (DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround.) Effects are typically high-end-strong with crisp 'cracks' and some spooky effects. The score is credited to a 'Melody Bank (The Millionaires' Express, The Spooky Bunch) and it sounds pretty generic. The Eureka offers newly translated optional English subtitles on their Region 'B'-locked Blu-ray.

The Eureka Blu-ray includes a new audio commentary by Asian film expert Frank Djeng (NY Asian Film Festival) which I intend to indulge in later. I really liked his commentary on the BD of Johnnie To's Throw Down. There are archival interviews with Chin Siu-hou (Chou Sheng in Mr. Vampire) for over 40-minutes, cute Moon Lee for almost 18-minutes and director Ricky Lau for over a dozen minutes. There is the original Hong Kong trailer in HD, textless end credits and the package has a limited edition O-card slipcase with new artwork by Darren Wheeling plus a collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film - both limited to 2,000 units. .

With the best visual presentation the Blu-ray also benefits with multiple audio options, a new commentary, booklet and some interviews... plus a great cover! If you are in the mood for 'spooky' fun this is certainly a wild + wacky way to indulge. Mr. Vampire is drenched in Chinese culture and is a decent-to-strong film in its own right - better than you might anticipate. Give this a spin and you will see - recommended!    

Gary Tooze

***

ADDITION: IVL July 2005 - The subtitles on this release appear to be more accurate than the HKL disc, which occasionally slip into 'dubtitles'. However, the names of several characters are 'Westernised' (Man Choi becomes Dan and Sheng becomes Harry). This is possibly because they are taken from the English dub on the Fox release. Even so, the subtitles are more accurate/complete than the HKL disc, which fails to translate the song that plays when Shiu Yu first encounters Sheng in the forest. While similar to the Fox transfer, this effort seems more naturally balanced and reveals finer detail. Aspect ratio is actually closer to 1.82:1, but this is a negligible difference as aspect ratios are approximate.

 - Chris Gould

I am going with the Hong Kong Legends as the best transfer. All three editions have flaws but the HKL seems to have the least. The Fox has manipulated colors (skin tones too red). The Mega Star is out of contention (damage, contrast boosting etc.). There is minor side cropping on the HKL, but it is inconsistent (zooming on Fox I presume). Both Fox and HKL are cropped on top compared to the Mega Star. I like the HKL subtitles the best. Its hard to say positively, but I think the Fox was no encoded progressive scan on individual frames. Bottom line Fox looks saturated and manipulated to me. BTW, Fox is the only release with the original mono track. Extras and menus go to HKL. We say go with the HKL PAL transfer -audio weakness aside. 

- Gary Tooze

 

DVD Menus 

(Intercontinental Video Ltd. (Digitally Remastered) - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT vs. Mega Star - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)

 


(Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Hong Kong Legends - Region 2,4 - PAL -
RIGHT)

 

 Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample

 

1) Intercontinental Video Ltd. (Digitally Remastered) - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Mega Star - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND 

3) Fox - Region 1 - NTSC THIRD

4) Hong Kong Legends - Region 2,4 - PAL FOURTH

5) Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Intercontinental Video Ltd. (Digitally Remastered) - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Mega Star - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND 

3) Fox - Region 1 - NTSC THIRD

4) Hong Kong Legends - Region 2,4 - PAL FOURTH

5) Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Intercontinental Video Ltd. (Digitally Remastered) - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Mega Star - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND 

3) Fox - Region 1 - NTSC THIRD

4) Hong Kong Legends - Region 2,4 - PAL FOURTH

5) Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Intercontinental Video Ltd. (Digitally Remastered) - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Mega Star - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND 

3) Fox - Region 1 - NTSC THIRD

4) Hong Kong Legends - Region 2,4 - PAL FOURTH

5) Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Intercontinental Video Ltd. (Digitally Remastered) - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Mega Star - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND 

3) Fox - Region 1 - NTSC THIRD

4) Hong Kong Legends - Region 2,4 - PAL FOURTH

5) Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Intercontinental Video Ltd. (Digitally Remastered) - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Mega Star - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND 

3) Fox - Region 1 - NTSC THIRD

4) Hong Kong Legends - Region 2,4 - PAL FOURTH

5) Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

More full resolution (1920 X 1080) Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE

 

 


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Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Blu-ray

 


Recommended Reading for Martial Arts/Samurai Genre Fans (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

 

Check out more in "The Library"


Box Covers

 

 

Thinking of buying from YesAsia? CLICK HERE and use THIS UPDATED BEAVER PAGE to source their very best...

 

 

 

 

 

Bonus Captures:

Distribution

Intercontinental Video Ltd.

Region 0 - NTSC

Mega Star

Region 0 - NTSC

Fox
Region 1 - NTSC
Hong Kong Legends
Region 2,4 - PAL
Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray





 

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