At this point, about twenty seconds into the movie, the director must have said "Screw this! The Addams Family is not huge and lucrative, as my stupid producer thinks. I'm going to make my own movie!" So, after less than a minute into the film, the director tore up the script and threw out the premise. The movie struck off entirely on its own...
What follows is an amazing collection of delightfully unconnected nonsense, which finally gels into a semi-coherent Hopping Vampire movie about half way through.
|Yeah, let's not do that.|
So in the first part of the movie, there's scenes of bandits, and army officers with battalions escorting condemned prisoners, and fortune telling, and some guy who eats cigarettes. Forget about those people and scenarios. They won't show up later in the movie at all.
We also learn that the family collects hopping vampires, for no apparent reason except that they think hopping vampires are "valuable" somehow. OK. And they amuse themselves by doing things like kung fu nose picking with the vampires:
|That looks like . . . fun?|
|I wish I had a machine that looks like this. Even if it's just a toaster.|
I don't need a reason why! I'M DOING SCIENCE!!!
But Spooky Family moves on quickly, before this random brain swap becomes any kind of problem.
Eventually, the family learns of a very valuable "Copper Vampire" from East China, so the bumbling father and son team head off into the woods to find it. They find it immediately, "East China" being quite small, and subdue it after a long protracted nonsensical fight, involving lots of magical post-it notes and "cock blood" and such:
|Gary Busey, you've really let yourself go!|
|"My buttocks get itchy, can't you see?"|
Imagine auditioning with this line.
And here's the biggest payoff, at least from the Gweilo's perspective.
You might think a director storming around screaming "You can't tell me how to make a movie! I'm gonna do what I want!" would be a bad thing for a movie. Usually, this is probably so.
But there's something really delightful about the sheer freedom of crazy, drunken, entirely unsupervised movie making. Sometimes the disconnected silliness strikes a note you've never heard before, and you get brilliant disconnected silliness.
The evil magician is a perfect example of this. Tons of movies (especially tons of Chinese movies) have evil magicians. But because this is a "copper" vampire, something clicked together in the director's mind and he decided that the evil magician in this movie should therefore be . . . David Copperfield!
The upshot is, while the "Spooky Family" uses tons of the goofy kung fu magic typical of a Hopping Vampire movie--and this goofy kung fu magic is extremely amusing from the Gweilo's perspective all by itself--the "evil magician" uses a bunch of corny stage-magic tricks, involving scarves and big handkerchiefs and such. He launches rabbits and pigeons out of his magician's hat at enemies, and conjures goofy looking "magic boxes" straight out of a Vegas magic act to trap his enemies.
Bottom Line of this Chinese Movie Review: This kind of brilliant, delightful randomness is one of the main reasons I love Hong Kong movies. Enthusiastically recommended!