Vampire Cleanup Department – EIFF 2017 Review

Vampire Cleanup Department is a fun, coming of age, horror comedy from directors Yan Pak-wing and Chiu Sin-hang. Set in Hong Kong and making use of the Chinese hopping vampire legends to provide the source of both the horror and many of the laughs.

The story follows Tim who, after being bitten by a vampire and found to be immune is recruited to join the Vampire Cleanup Department, the vampire hunting subsection of the Hong Kong government’s food and hygiene department. We follow him through his training and his discovery of what happened to his parents and that he actually comes from a long line of vampire hunters, all while keeping his love for a rare human type vampire, Summer, a secret. What follows is silly and gentle tale of him finding love and his place in the world, whilst training to defeat the vampire who created Summer.

It is not without it’s problems, I felt that the middle section of the film dragged somewhat and there were a few iffy subtitling choices, either a poorly chosen or misspelled word. The plot itself is mostly predictable and often a bit cliched but the warmth and heart of the rest of the film makes these complaints less of an issue. Vampire Cleanup Department has a soundtrack that appears to have been influenced by the likes of Harry Potter and an intro credit sequence that wouldn’t feel out of place on the Sherlock Holmes movies, it is well shot and slick piece of movie making. For me the film missed the mark somewhat whilst i’m unable to point to much wrong with the film it not something that is particularly memorable. It is however a fun and enjoyable use of an hour and a half of your time.

★★★

Euan Tennant