Director: Steve Cheng
Stars: Stephen Fung, Sam Lee, Chan Wai Ming, Alice Chan, Lai Chun, Hui Siu-Hung, Frankie Ng, Chin Kar-Lok
While Bio-Zombie (which is this movie's spiritual forefather) took its' inspiration from Day of the Dead, Bio-Cops comes across as a bit of a mix between Night of the Living Dead 3 and Assault on Precinct 13. A Hong Kong doctor working for the US military to develop a virus, which will allow the army to use undead soldiers, unwittingly brings it back to his native land. Landing up in an isolated police station after a fight with some local Triads, the virus takes hold and turns the doctor into a zombie. Unlike most zombie movies, the ones in Bio-Cops can walk, talk and think for themselves -- at least the actors paid for speaking roles; I guess zombie extras will always be "Shemps," as Evil Dead director Sam Raimi called them. After slaughtering everyone around him, the doctor hatches upon a plan to create a "zombie world order." The trouble is that he's still locked in the police station, along with a few survivors, such as a cop (Stephen Fung), a hooligan (Sam Lee) and the doctor's ex-girlfriend (Alice Chan).
Bio-Zombie is one of my favorite Hong Kong movies; it was a great mix of comedy and horror (as well as a bit of social satire) -- so I had pretty high expectations for this pseudo-sequel. Sadly, Bio-Cops didn't meet them. The main problem is that it takes itself too seriously. Whereas Bio-Zombie moved along at a fast pace, Bio-Cops plods along, with zombies delivering speeches about lost love and the like. This might have been acceptable if the movie could carry this dark tone visually, but it doesn't. I know Hong Kong special effects aren't up to the standards of Hollywood, but gore effects are some of the easiest and cheapest to produce (just look at the aforementioned Evil Dead) and Bio-Cops' effects just look horrible. I'm sorry, but cheap prosthetics, green slime and rudimentary CGI just don't cut it for me. I was still willing to forgive these differences, but then about midway through the movie, the filmmakers decide to start ripping off gags from other horror movies and video games, most notably Resident Evil. While Bio-Zombie did this, it did it in very small doses (such as the House of the Dead bit) -- not as the basis for an entire sequence.
This is still a fairly entertaining movie, mostly carried by the chemistry Stephen Fung and Sam Lee have together. It's just that Bio-Zombie was so good -- it's one of the few horror movies that have come out over the past few years that I actually liked -- that an average sequel comes off as a major disappointment.
A review of the DVD for this movie can be found here
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