The Vampire Effect (2003) / Action-Horror
aka The Twins Effect
aka Chin gei bin

MPAA Rated: R for violence (I would rate it PG-13)
Running Time: 90 min.

Cast: Charlene Choi, Gillian Chung, Ekin Cheng, Edison Chen, Anthony Wong, Jackie Chan, Mickey Hardt    
Director: Dante Lam

Screenplay: Jack Ng
Review published February 26, 2004

The Vampire Effect (aka The Twins Effect in its initial theatrical release, due to the starring bill of the Hong Kong superpop duo, The Twins) fills the niche created by Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  That is to say one should expect to be scared so much as to see some kooky fun characters put into cheesy situations, using tongue-in-cheek humor and an overall goofiness thatís infectious.  While it may not necessarily please the vampire aficionados, this film is primarily geared toward a younger, female crowd, or to put it in more accurate terms, the ones who like The Twins music (in Asia) or Buffy (everywhere else.)

The main plot revolves around Duke Dekotes (Hardt), an evil vampire who is killing off some vampire princes to absorb their blood essence, allowing him to be able to walk around in the sun, which would essentially make him unstoppable.  In this movie, vampires are only really vulnerable to sunlight.  He has one more prince to kill, the young and thoughtful Kazaf (Edison Chen, (Dance of a Dream), to make his quest complete, and on his trail are a skilful vampire hunter, Reeve (Cheng, Second Time Around), and his young girl sidekick, Gypsy (Chung).  Reese finds the situation complicated when his baby sister (Choi) becomes the main squeeze of Kazaf, leading to inner conflict for a man sworn to the eradication of all vampires.

The Vampire Effect is a pure bubblegum vampire flick, meant more to serve up some charm and fun, but never really wanting you to take it seriously.  In addition to the campy romp, itís also a pretty good action film, with some excellent fight scenes choreographed and directed by kung fu veteran, Donnie Yen (Iron Monkey).  The special effects fill up much of the running length, and while they aren't exactly the best you'll see, for a non-Hollywood production, they are still very good.  Everything exists on a surface level, but if you just want a little action, a little humor, a little romance, and lots of visual stimulation, you'll probably find this to be a worthwhile diversion.   

-- Followed by an in-name-only sequel, The Twins Effect II.

Qwipster's rating:

©2004 Vince Leo