ASIAN FILM - Review
09:00 - 14th July 2013, by Calum Waddell

The Vineyard

If you like your film so bad that they become strangely entertaining, then this VHS-era relic might just be up your street. This is the oddity that was co-directed, written and stars the great James Hong - one of cult cinema's most beloved Chinese actors. Hong is perhaps best known for playing the villainous Lo-pan in the classic Big Trouble in Little China (1986) and for his directorial bow, he throws in plenty of Oriental atmospherics - with a misty, malevolent tone and thematic that is borrowed straight from A Chinese Ghost Story. Hell, there is even a kung-fu showdown thrown in!

The plot itself makes very little sense: Hong has found that draining people of their blood, and chanting an ancient spell or two, gives the gift of eternal life. He uses the leftover crimson for his award-winning wine. However, the buried bodies in his vineyard are all zombies - waiting to rise up and destroy him. As mentioned, A Chinese Ghost Story has been pilfered of some plot points for this idiocy - but nothing actually fits together with any sort of cohesion. Nevertheless, with plenty of brain-dead action, and Playboy Playmate Karen Witter running around in a negligee, it is obvious that this is aimed at a predominantly male, late night, beer and pizza audience. The Vineyard is certainly not a good movie, but fans of Hong - whose presence is always welcome - should find the onscreen esotericism strangely likeable.

Daft and dumb, The Vineyard is an empty-headed obscurity that blends Hollywood zombies with an Oriental influence.
SCORE: 2.5/5
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