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Vampire Effect

Review by: 
Suspiriorum
AKA: 
Twins Effect
Release Date: 
2003
Studio: 
Columbia Tri-Star
Genre: 
Vampire
Format: 
DVD
Region: 
1 NTSC
Aspect Ratio: 
1.85:1
Directed by: 
Dante Lam
Cast: 
Charlene Choi
Gillian Chung
Ekin Cheng
Edison Chen
Anthony Wong Chau-Sang
Movie: 
2
Extras: 
1
Bottom Line: 
2

 As far as movie vehicles for pop stars go, Hong Kong pop stars Twins (Choi and Chung) have probably made the least offensive. When one considers such tripe as Spice World, Crossroads, and virtually anything Madonna appears in, Vampire Effect (billed in Asian markets as Twins Effect) is positively Shakespearian. However, as a horror/comedy, it suffers from a nearly fatal case of "cute".
 
Reeve (Cheng) is a vampire hunter whose partner is killed by an uber-strong European Vampire Duke. His new charge, Gypsy (Chung) is a feisty rookie who instantly falls for the legendary Reeve, but also buts heads with his neurotic sister, Helen (Choi). Helen has recently caught the eye of a young and charming vampire prince named Kazaf (Chen), and their relationship blossoms even though Helen is well aware that her brother won't approve, despite the fact that Kazaf is something of a vampire pacifist. You see, Kazaf is a prince of the new generation, and believes that for his kind to continue to exist, they must live in harmony with humans, and feed only on bottled blood. In the meantime, the Vampire Duke is seeking to open an ancient vampire text that requires a special key; the blood of the five vampire princes. While Reeve and Gypsy pursue the Duke, Kazaf and Helen's love blossoms, unaware that Kazaf is next on the Duke's list.
 
Vampire Effect starts off promisingly, with a fantastic fight sequence, and a story that is equal parts BLADE and BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. However, toward the middle of the film, things take an alarming turn into cuteness, highlighted by a completely unecessarry cameo by Jackie Chan. The film seems to lose all sense of focus before putting itself back together for it's final act, but, by then, I'd already lost any investment I'd had in these characters. Still, the Twins are cute and funny, and the movie is very well made, it's just a shame that it veered off into near-parody halfway through.
 
The DVD from Columbia/Tri-Star features only a few trailers, subtitle and audio options, and, of course, a very nice widescreen anamorphic trailer. It's odd that there's no music video or documentary footage featuring the pop stars, but, then again, I imagine that there aren't a whole lot of Twins fans on these shores.
 
Vampire Effect is a film that starts off great, but completely loses itself in the second act. While it does feature spectacular production values and fight choreography, it's ultimately just a silly, mildly entertaining diversion.
 

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