Monday, January 5, 2015

He Likes To Bite (or Bite Of Love)

He Likes to Bite Directed by Stephen Shin, Starring George Lam Chi-Cheung (1990). 

This Dickson Poon production (Haw Haw, very difficult not to snicker at that name) was entitled "He Likes to Bite" in the Deep Red catalog. I sent the feelers out into Facebook land and Jack Jensen (of Backyard Asia blog fame) and a few others in the Monster! zine crew helped me track down this HK vampire Darkman clone. It's nothing like the Sam Raimi pre-Spiderman superhero film at all however, let's clear that up right away. 

warning: this film causes explosive diarrhea

A vampire named Duke Lee has a wild mane of grey hair and a mustache, he is woken up from his coffin by his Renfield type servant, who also has strange grey hair, which looks like Donald Trump. Duke who's played by George Lam Chi-Cheung appeared in Banana Cop and also composed the music for this and something called Disco Bumpkins (man what a great title)! The servant brings his master a giant dinner tray containing a dead white girl. He rejects the cannibal feast, remarking that he doesn't bite humans. This Dracula is not like Bela Lugosi and drinks wine, he rides around in style with a horse and carriage. A girl named Anna is at her brother's party, which has dancing girls doing the "Can Can". He just got out of the hospital and wants to live it up. I know Rosmund Kwan Chi-Lam, the actress who plays Anna from Armour Of God, she's pretty good at playing a clueless idiot in this film. 

Bite is very cutesy for a Deep Red pick, but watchable. Duke is captivated by Anna and they waltz around the dance floor, only her reflection registers in the mirror, since he's one of the undead. This Dracula clone looks more like a cheese ball magician and has a silly hair style. Anna's brother who's in a wheel chair attached to a plasma bag, does some dangerous knife tricks. One example involves a kid holding a plumb in his mouth as he tosses a sharp blade at the tyke's face (Duke interferes just in the nick of time, thankfully). The brother is played by Shaw Brothers veteran actor Norman Chu Sui-Keung, he's appeared in some of the best of that studios output, like Seeding of a Ghost and Black Magic. Sometimes English dialogue is spoken in the background by a bevy of British blondes.
A SWAT team busts in and threatens to beat on the vampire, he retaliates with some ridiculous stop motion flying effects. The little boy gets caught in the scuffle, accidentally flying out the window and lands on the ground (even though the vampire does try to help him). Duke is the most courteous and friendly vampire, he seems to care about these people--man, what a sell-out! Anna even calls him a magician and I wonder if she's so dopey that she doesn't notice he's an immortal bloodsucker. She gets even stupider because Anna wants him to bring her asshole brother back to life after he dies in an accident.

They show the Duke's array of yarn barn wigs, even though he has hair, he feels the need to wear an assortment of cheesy ones.
He then requests a bloody mary (I guess that's a subtle joke,not very funny). 
When she flashes a cross at him, he says "Why don't you believe in Buddhism instead?" This is some gentle comedy folks, not the typical raunchy and delightfully offensive, seen in most HK flicks from the catalog. Anna's brother is a serious fuckhead and has his henchmen grab the plumb eating kid  from the beginning played by Cheng Pak-Lam, in order to steal his blood for a transplant.

Don't fuck with THE WONGS!

Duke is a kind vampire and flies away with the poor drained kid (who's getting paler by the minute). The premise of twenty douchebags on motorcycles gunning for a 5 year old kid's blood is far fetched even for a weirdo hong kong film; at least to me, but that's what happens here! Anna is just as brainless as her brother and after noticing that he is a heroin trafficker she goes "Hey I'm going to the police" and is quickly apprehended by more hentchmen (who all wear white suits for some reason). 

Duke apparently is a broke assed count and doesn't have a castle, his coffin is down in Anna's brothers basement. I like the vampire and the kid's relationship, that's the most heartwarming aspect of the film. 
I need more polygrip, my dentures are slipping!

The vampire folklore is all over the place in this film, when they hit him with a bunch of floodlights to replicate the sun, it weakens him, which makes no sense!
The Duke bites the kid in order to save his life but majorly fucks up by also biting the evil brother character. He's totally irresponsible with his fangs and should have them revoked (if there were such a thing)! 

There's some maudlin Chinese pop, during a scene with Anna and Duke, this montage, attempts to give them some shared chemistry but it comes off like terrible karaoke and doesn't succeed in giving them any kind of bond.
The brother even chains up the Reinfield character with an ankle ball and forces him to cook them dinner. Anna watches a scene from Fright Night in a videostore window, where they only seem to have laserdiscs, pretty rad!

Tell Indy not to pick the fancy cup, that's the wrong grail!

Bite Of Love is pretty clunky and not that great, if you're a Hong Kong vampire completist than you probably need to see it. Other than that obligation, just skip it and see something with more bite (Ahem excuse the pun)! I can't figure out why this one is featured in the catalog, but there are a couple of questionable titles like a Dutch drama called Abwarts (or Out of Order) with Rene Soutendijk, who Chas calls an international sex goddess.

Don't watch it this sucks worse than Bite of Love!

Nuke baby!


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