8 p.m. showtime, with discounts on craft beer and organic wine during the film. Tickets: $7.
The Psychotronic Film Society’s 14-year-long weekly series of underappreciated and/or marginalized feature films from around the world continues with an incredibly rare public showing of the infamous “so-bad-it’s-great” 1988 Hong Kong-made action-adventure-horror flick “Robo Vampire.”
“Written” and “directed” by the legendary Z-grade filmmaker Godfrey Ho (under the pseudonym Joe Livingstone), this is one of the most unintentionally hilarious movies Ho has ever made — and that’s saying a great deal, as he is known worldwide for his inept and nonsensical style of moviemaking, which involves splicing (without permission) as much as 45 minutes worth of footage from unrelated, pre-existing films into his own 90-minute features to pad out their running time, and then re-dubbing the dialogue in an attempt to convince viewers that what they are seeing is one continuous, logical and coherent motion picture.
Sound like a ridiculous method that’s fraught with continuity problems? It is.
The “plot” of this bizarre celluloid mash-up has something to do with an American cop who is killed in the line of duty and brought back to life as a cyborg who looks like Robocop (if his outfit only cost $65), only to be sent to rescue a female Chinese drug enforcement agent who’s been kidnapped by an evil warlord. The only problem? The warlord has paid a corrupt Taoist to create an army of Chinese vampires and fill their lifeless bodies with heroin, so he can smuggle it in their coffins. You still with me on this? The vampires are under the Taoist’s control, and he uses them to defend and protect the kidnapped girl, which means they must battle the fake Robocop.
But here’s the best part: These “vampires” don’t appear to bite anyone or suck blood, as one might imagine. Rather, they shoot fireballs from their arms (which look suspiciously like bottle rockets from the fireworks stores across the Talmadge Bridge in South Carolina) and hop around like giant bunny rabbits. Seriously.
“Robo Vampire” must be seen to be believed and is a truly bizarre and highly entertaining mess of a film, which has never been released theatrically in the U.S. (for good reason), but has earned a devoted international cult fanbase. Director Ho is considered the Ed Wood of China, and that’s gotta be worth a look, right?