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  • Writer's pictureRob Freese

Robo Vampire (1988)

Some movies you really don't watch, you look at them. They still entertain, but when they are over, if you try to tell someone else about it, it sounds like you are trying to describe a weird dream you had.

Robo Vampire is such a movie. I found it amazingly entertaining, but when it was over, I was at a loss to understand what it was about. I grasped the components that made up the film, but like a piece of modern tech, I was lost to describe how it worked.

There is a plot. Maybe. I think. Sure, there's a plot. If not a plot, then at least sort of a story for the characters to exist within. In fact, there are two stories, as this seems to be a mashed together production of different Thai and Chinese productions.

This is what I think it is about, or at the very least, here is a list of things that happen in the movie:

Drug smugglers are moving heroin across boarders hidden inside hopping vampires' coffins. When the vampires become agitated because someone changed out the heroin for rice powder, they hop around like bunny rabbits until someone slaps an ancient text written on a Post It on their forehead. This puts them back to sleep.

There are drug agents trying to infiltrate the bad guys. They send in their best people. One agent, Tom Wilde, is killed and beautiful Agent Sophie is kidnapped.

When Wilde's partner casually asks the chief if he can use Tom's body for an experiment he's thinking about, his boss is like, "Yeah, sure. Good idea. Let's go ahead and do that."

He brings Wilde back as an android (because that's what they did in Robocop!) and Robo Vampire is sent in to infiltrate the hopping vampires (maybe) and save Sophie.

Robo Vampire looks like a guy in a silver track suit that is made to appear muscular, like those superhero Halloween costumes kids wear these days. You can decide how successful it is, but Robo Vampire is easily identifiable whenever he's on screen.

We also have spastic shoot outs, ridiculous chases, reckless explosions, an ample bosomed white ghost who wears a see through gown, and her main beau- a demon with a gorilla mask face.

It may not make a whole lot of sense, but it is never boring. (It is also said to be an unrelated sequel to the previous years Devil's Dynamite.)

Director Godfrey Ho was some kind of one-man Hong Kong action movie-making factory. It doesn't look like he's directed anything in about twenty years. Between 1973 and 2002 he directed over 157 movies. (That's five and a half movies a year.)

He directed under various names, including Joe Livingstone, Bruce Lambert, Victor Sears, Tommy Cheung, Henry Lee, Philip Fraser, Burt Peterson, Raymond Woo, Bob Chan, Tim Ashby, Anthony Pa, Larry Huton, Edgar Jere and Oliver Limper. There are more, but you get the point. If you ever watched Hong Kong action movies, chances are good you have seen a Ho movie or ten.

According to online sources (and we know how reliable those can be), Ho is credited with directing forty-one (41!) flicks in 1988 alone! I don't know how that is humanly possible. That's roughly a new flick every nine days. (Although, '88 was a Leap Year, so he had a whole extra day...)

I imagine Ho was filming scenes every day, and caffeinated editors worked feverishly around the clock assembling those scenes into movies. I bet Ho was just as surprised by the movies released under one of his many names as any of his audience.

Based on the enjoyment and sweet hysteria I experienced by watching Robo Vampire, I am on a mission to find more Godfrey Ho cinema.

Robo Vampire drops by to see Harold and Kumar at their favorite dive.

Curious about where it all started? Drive-In of the Damned magazine is still available from Magcloud. Full color drive-in goodness from Mcvay and Freese!

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Greg Goodsell
Greg Goodsell
Mar 20, 2023

Do check out Godfrey Ho's THUNDERBOLT SCORPION. Hysterical!

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