The Twins Effect (titled Vampire Effect for its US DVD release) had nineteen minutes deleted from it and some scenes shuffled around for its American release. I suppose that had I seen the movie in its original form, it might not have smelled about as bad as the sweat-stained coffin lining of the five hundred-year-old undead prince seeking to romance one half of the sensational Cantonese singing duo, Twins.
Perhaps the additional scenes could have fleshed out a few of the characters who were overshadowed by the movie’s obsession with promoting the producer’s singers. And maybe with the scenes put back in the correct order, Jackie Chan’s seemingly gratuitous cameo, wouldn’t have felt like a cheap publicity stunt designed solely so that his name and face could be shoehorned onto the DVD cover.
But I rather doubt it. I’m going to hazard a wild guess that all any of that would have done was make the movie nineteen minutes worse.
This was one of those movies that started out in fairly mediocre fashion and only got increasingly putrid as it went along. When I was watching the first fight between a vampire hunter (Reeve of the Anti-Vampire Federation) and some vampires, I thought that it was mildly entertaining in a “at least I’m not having to listen to Twins perform one of their signature Cantonese pop songs” kind of way.
Sure, a lot of the fighting was that ugly mix of Matrix-style slow motion and Hong Kong-style wire effects that succeeds more in looking incredibly fake than in anything else, but the important thing was that a lot of stuff was getting busted up. I never realized how much glass there could be in an underground train station until I saw all the really poorly computer generated glass go flying in all directions.
Those of us who aren’t necessarily Twins fans are probably wondering why we shouldn’t just skip this movie altogether (aside from the fact that it’s a really bad movie). Emperor Entertainment Group was thinking about you, too! In addition to Cantonese superstar singing duo Twins, you can also admire the acting of EEG’s obscure Hong Kong pop idol Edison Chen!
Okay, so EEG put a bunch of their pop stars in a movie featuring vampires, but without any of them singing so much as a theme song. Now, what exactly is this movie about then?
One of the Twins is a realtor who sells a church to Edison and his vampire groupies. For some vaguely explained reason, Edison and company are going to be living in the church, though if you’re a bunch of vampires trying to blend in, I’m not sure why you’d be living in a house of God, but maybe some if it will rub off on them and if they aren’t exactly Strong Christians, they can maybe be Weaker Vampires.
Edison and his crew though aren’t the real bad guys. That role falls to some Eurotrash bloodsucker intent on killing off all the members of the vampire royal family so that he can collect their something or other and use their essence or whatever to open up this ancient book that will give him the power to walk around during the daytime, thus making him master of the world somehow.
Helen (the Twins realtor) is the sister of Reeve, the vampire hunter. Reeve’s partner is killed at the beginning of the movie in the train station and his new partner is Gypsy. Gypsy turns out to the other half of Twins.
Gypsy and Helen don’t hit it off very well at first as they engage in a furious rooftop battle over a discarded stuffed animal. Um, wasn’t there a bunch of vampires running around trying to take over the world with a book of the undead or something? Couldn’t the fight over Teddy Ruxpin have waited?
Helen and Gypsy become close once Helen reveals to Gypsy that she has fallen in love with Edison even though Gypsy’s and Reeve’s job is to hunt down monster scum like Edison. She implores Gypsy to speak to Reeve on her behalf and Gypsy agrees.
I don’t recall that much ever came of this because by this time the Eurotrash guy was after Edison and Reeve ended up fighting Eurotrash instead of Edison. The whole movie is a bit like that. Things start up, go nowhere, and new things start up.
And none of it made anything approaching any sense at all. Why did we move into a church? Why did Helen and Edison crash a wedding on their first date? What’s the deal with all these vampires running around? Who thought it would make any sense for Helen and Edison to not only run into Jackie Chan at that wedding, but also to run into him at a hospital where he was employed as an EMT?
And having him help fight off some vampires by stuffing them full of antidepressants and then turn up the music so the vampires would be in a better mood and just dance around instead of trying to kill Helen, Edison, and Jackie? Not funny in any culture. Just like The Twins Effect.
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