A Chinese drug lord employs a Wizard who is in control of a small army of Jiangshi, or hopping vampires.  The vampires are used along with a bunch of henchmen to control the drug industry and to combat narcotics agents that are sent to stop them.  One of the vampire’s, Peter, was transformed into a vampire gorilla.  Peter had been in love with a woman named Christine who died and became a ghost.  Now that Peter is a vampire, they can never be together in the afterlife.  The ghost wants revenge on the wizard.  The wizard manages to get the ghost on his side when he agrees to marry the ghost and the gorilla hopping vampire so they can be together.

One agent, Sophie, is captured and tortured by the drug lord.  The agents vow to find Sophie and free her. During a raid, Agent Tom Wilde is shot by the drug gang and dies from his injuries.  The drug agency uses Tom’s body to create an android robot to help them fight the drug lord.  Tom is sent to stop crime while a small body of agents is also sent to help save Sophie.

“Robo Vampire” was released in 1988 and was directed by Godfrey Ho.  It is a Chinese science fiction, action horror ninja exploitation film.  You could say that it is the Chinese version of Robocop and a hopping vampire movie.  It is one of a trilogy of films directed by Godfrey Ho that deals with hopping vampires.  It was the second film in the series.  The first was “Devil’s Dynamite” 1987 and the third was “The Vampire is Still Alive” 1989.  Godfrey Ho is the Chinese equivalent to Roger Corman in that he is also a cut and paste director.  The movie is thin on plot but vast when it comes to characters.  There are dozens of them. 

Just about half of the film is stock footage stolen from a Thai action movie called “Paa Lohgan” AKA “Against the World” 1984.  This makes the movie very difficult to understand.  Trying to come up with a synopsis for it was hard.  There are so many plot threads, many of which wander off into nothing.  The film is one of those conundrums that can only be described as random visuals.  It’s not the worst movie I’ve ever seen, but it is probably one of the most confusing.  There are a bunch of arbitrary scenes tossed in that adds more padding to the film in addition to the chunks of the Thai film that were cannibalized. 

The special effects are weak but there are lots of explosions, lots of fire and lots of sparklers.  The title is a bit of a misnomer.  There are Chinese vampires, but the robot is not one of them.  The movie is a mess, but the action doesn’t stop, and it ends up being one of those so bad it has a cult following films.

A Jiangshi is a hopping vampire or reanimated corpse from Chinese lore.  They are usually depicted dressed in official garments from the Qing dynasty.  They cannot bend their knees so the move by hopping around with their arms outstretched to keep their balance.  They kill people to absorb their lifeforce.  A Fulu, or written Taoist talisman, is placed on the forehead to immobilize the vampire.  If the Fulu is removed from the forehead, the vampire will become animated. 

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