Sunday, 27 October 2013

I Miss The Jiang Shi

Halloween is right around the corner and I figured we could talk about one of my favourite hybrid zombie/vampire.

We seem to be in the age of the vampire and zombie right now. There is Robert Pattinson from "Twilight", Stephen Moyer off "True Blood" and the latest newcomer is Paul Wesley on "Vampire Diaries" (personally I don't understand why women find these guys attractive).

Mind you, not all vampire related films have always been successful; remember Eddie Murphy from "Vampire in Brooklyn"? Don't worry, many people don't remember either. But the vampire movies I enjoyed watching when I was much younger were the ones with the Chinese vampire a.k.a the Jiang Shi. Though I sometimes had to hide behind a pillow, I found the Jiang Shi quite entertaining because I had never seen anything quite like it before.

A little background information, the Jiang Shi were popularised in Hong Kong films in the 80's up to the early 90's. The Jiang Shi weren't strictly vampires like their Western counterparts; they were more like reanimated zombies with a thirst for human blood.

Like a typical blood sucker, the Jiang Shi were nocturnal creatures; they were however blind and the unique feature of a Jiang Shi is that they hopped rather than walk and had their arms permanently outstretched as if just about to hug someone. But this was due to the fact that they had rigor mortis (I don't think many people would want to hug a Jiang Shi anyway).

They weren't the most trendily dresses vampires around; their wardrobe consisted of robes like the ones that were worn by the Imperial Court officials; very vintage so don't expect to see anything by Ralph Lauren. Strangely, the clothes are in much better shape than the Jiang Shi themselves

Jiang Shi weren't the most attractive vampires either, what with their rigor mortis and decaying flesh. You can't exactly picture Anna Paquin or Kristen Stewart making out with one. Hmmm, is hat even politically correct any more? I don't think I can live in a world where a Jiang Shi can't have a relationship with a western woman.

Dammit Obama! You promised us change! I may have gone off topic a little bit and maybe I'm making a mountain out of a mole hill but that's just the way I feel. To be fair the Jiang Shi themselves doesn't really care since it's not really alive; it would rather take a bite out of a girl (or guy) instead of snogging her (or him).

Jiang Shi's aren't as tough as they are scary though. It's pretty easy to evade one, all you have to do is hold your breath and find the nearest exit. This is easier said than done though, if you're a heavy smoker than you probably won't last that long. I don't really know if you could kill a Jiang Shi; what I remember from the movies is that you had to stick a yellow piece of paper with a spell written on it onto their foreheads to disable one of them. 


Think of it as a very deadly game of pin the tail on the donkey. I remember one comical scene in one movie where soldiers armed with yellow baseball bats with the spell written on it had to swat it at a Jiang Shi's forehead. Unfortunately things didn't go according to plan and they ended up being a human slurpee.

Hopefully the film producers in Hong Kong will bring the Jiang Shi out of retirement soon because pale blonde vampires is like soooo yesterday. 

 A slightly inferior Western version of a Jiang Shi
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