“Vampires using mobile phones, with TV screens in their coffins? What is the world coming to…”
For something crafted largely as a vehicle for its two female, pop-singing stars (the titular Twins), this is much better than you’d expect – compare, say, any Mary-Kate and Ashley film. Sure, it’s dumb. Sure, it’s loaded with cheesy romance and totally unnecessary celebrity cameos. But it also has more fun with the vampire genre than any movie since the original Buffy, and the action, directed by the hugely under-rated Donnie Yen, is far superior.
Vampire-hunter Reeve (Cheng) loses his partner (an impressive Josie Ho) to a newly-arrived evil Euro-vampire after a brutal battle in a railway station. Her replacement is Gypsy (Chung), who has idolized Reeve for years. But meanwhile sister Helen (Choi) meets and falls in love with Kazaf (Chen – yep, all four leads’ names begin with Ch. You can add a Jackie Chan cameo too), a good vampire who won’t suck blood from unwilling victims. The evil vamp need Kazaf’s essence in order to walk in daylight, and it’s up to…oh, everyone else, to stop him.
The action movies in fits and starts; a great opening battle, an amusing Gypsy/Helen spat over a teddy-bear early on, which shows where this movie’s tongue is; and an extended final duel with the pair as our last hope, and which gained the film our seal of approval. It’s clear neither girl is an experienced martial artist, but 95% of the time, you can easily overlook this; the ever-wonderful Anthony Wong, as Kazaf’s butler Prada, helps keep the film grounded and outweighs the fact that Helen is an immensely irritating character. To quote Lars Von Trier, “Take the good, with the evil”, and here the balance is firmly for the former.
Dir: Dante Lam
Star: Ekin Cheng, Charlene Choi, Gillian Chung, Edison Chen
a.k.a. The Vampire Effect