Robo Vampire (1988)

It's the robo-warrior!
It’s a robo-warrior!
He's got as big gun!
He’s got as big gun!

Directed by Joe Livingstone, produced by Tomas Tang, starring Robin Mackay, Nian Watts and Harry Myles.

Japanese VHS cover
Japanese VHS cover

Tom, an anti-drug agent, is mortally wounded whilst taking on narcos, who are using Chinese hopping vampires as weapons and as a means to smuggle their heroin shipments. Tom dies on the operating table, but it is decided to transform him into an android… enter the robo-warrior! 

We can rebuild him! We have the technology!
We can rebuild him! We have the technology!
Narco villain
Narco villain
Dastardly priest
Dastardly priest

ROBO VAMPIRE, a cut-and-paste movie courtesy of producer Tomas Tang’s Filmark International, closely resembles the kind of productions made by director Godfrey Ho, the king of such chimeric flicks, which is why the film is very often falsely attributed to him. So who is ‘Joe Livingstone’, then? I don’t know the answer to that, but the owner of IFD Films & Arts Ltd, Toby Russell, assures me that it isn’t Mr Ho. So let’s move on…  

Hopping vampire
Hopping vampire
A scab-faced vampire with a mouthful of his victim's flesh!
A scab-faced vampire with a mouthful of his victim’s flesh!

Much of the footage in ROBO VAMPIRE, especially the hostage rescue mission sequences, is sourced from the Thai actioner PAA LOHGAN (1984). The new spliced-in material is all the hopping vampire and robo-dude stuff and, interestingly, these additional scenes are actually better lit than the original movie footage, which usually isn’t the case.

At one point robo-warrior levitates!
At one point robo-warrior levitates!

The main character, a stomping, low tech, silver-suited dude with a big gun, is not actually a vampire, as you might have expected considering the film’s title. He’s just a cut-price android, though he does skirmish with many scabby-faced, hopping bloodsuckers throughout the film’s running time.

Android versus vamps!
Android versus vamps!

In one action sequence, the robo-warrior battles armed bad guys on a beach, where they attempt to immolate him, but when this fails he is assailed by vampires that pop-up from the sand. This is a shoddily-shot, gloriously cheesy set piece that ends with a tin foil-covered dummy, representing the android protagonist, being blown-up by a rocket launcher! But don’t you worry, the tech guys weld robo-warrior back together again pretty quickly and easily.

Such amazing special effects!
Such amazing special effects!

Though the jungle-based rescue subplot is a mainly underwhelming series of shoot-outs, fights, some water torture and explosions, with far too many characters being introduced into the story, a lot of the other incidents in the movie are quite memorable, including drugs being hidden in a real dead cow’s slit-open belly, romantic interludes between a ghostly woman and her gorilla-faced super-vampire lover, a bloody eye-poking, fireworks being fired from the ape-mask-vampire’s sleeves, and a fight between the now-topless female ghost and a priest! Once the she-spirit defeats the evil holy man, our android hero then scorches the gorilla-vampire with his machine gun, which is now in flamethrower mode (cue burning dummy on a wire)!

The female ghost
The female ghost
A gorilla-faced vampire! Yes, you heard me right!
A gorilla-faced vampire! Yes, you heard me right: a gorilla-faced vampire!
Another shot of the girl ghost
Another shot of the girl ghost

Weird, cheap, trashy and cheerful nonsense. 

You don't mess with a flamethrower-wielding android!
You don’t mess with a flamethrower-wielding android!

Some artwork for ROBO VAMPIRE…

DVD cover
DVD cover
Poster
Poster
Also known as ROBOVAMP. VHS sleeve
Also known as ROBOVAMP. VHS sleeve

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