Undying Love For Audiences Everywhere

The vampire movie genre isn’t done yet. Even with Twilight nearing it’s long run come December, it seems that studios execs are under the impression that audiences want more vampire cow bell. Alexandre Aja of Piranha 3D is currently in talks to direct an action packed vampire adaptation of Undying Love according to Deadline.

Undying Love is a graphic novel series from Image Comics, written and illustrated by Tomm Coker and Daniel Freedman.

The story is officially described as follows:

 A horror-action tale, equal parts vampire mythology and Chinese folklore, set in modern day Hong Kong. Ex-soldier John Sargent has fallen for a beautiful Chinese woman named Mei. The only thing keeping the star-crossed lovers apart: Mei’s a vampire. To free Mei from the curse, Sargent sets out to destroy the vampire that made her. The only problem: Mei was turned by one of the most powerful vampires in history…

Keeping with the times and being able to adapt, Coker and Freedman have written the script. This is refreshing to hear because it means the story will be more close to the authors vision than any re-write hack can come up with. It also means that if the story becomes corrupted, they have no one to blame than themselves. Chris Bender, Stephen L’Heureux and J.C. Spink will produce this movie. It is unclear whether or not Warner Bros. Is still attached to the property as they were last year.

First lets get into the story. “Boy meets girl. Falls in love. But can’t take vampire home to meet mom. So what does he do? He loads his guns and fills the gas tank.” – Tong, the chain smoking, ancient Chinese healer in the body of a ten year old. Tong, a character in the Undying Love story sums it up nicely.

Aside from the simple love story, there are so many layers from the four comics. There are the politics that come from meddlesome Chinese spirits, criminal activities in Hong Kong, and plain old racism.

One of the more interesting lies that Sargent is told is that the ancient vampires are being industrious. Picture beautiful Asian slave girls that never age and are instantly indentured with a few drops of blood. That’s actually believable and smart. With that kind of power and corruption, why wouldn’t you market it?

I can’t be sure if it was Coker or if it was Freedman, but one of them watched a lot of Chinese gangster movies. In one scene where Sargent crashes a vampire club, he finds three Chinese vampires doing their thing in a karaoke room. One singing next to a pile of cocaine. Second one drinking booze and playing with pai gow domino tiles, and the third just chilling and reading porn mags; which is weird becomes there are two semi-naked girls next to him. The best part of the image were the crazy spiral straws sticking out of the bloody chests of the girls. That is what I call class.  If they wanted to get more cliched as to the lives of Chinese gangsters, they would have had one guy eating noodles while chain smoking and playing Chinese poker.

While the scenes are interesting, it takes a lot of understanding to know some of the finer things happening in the comic book. For example, there is a spirit in the form of an older lady who switches her appearance to that of a fox back and forth. It’s later that you realize that while they speak with one voice to Sergeant, they are distinctly different entities that argue with one another.

Then there’s the Chinese chi spells; called hex spells in the comic. It’s not explained yet how John Sagent not only understands the use of written symbols, but how to activate them. To barricade a door from an onslaught of shapes shifters, Sargent flips a Chinese calendar and searches for a symbol to activate; settling for the Chinese symbol of strength. When did he learn Chinese? Chinese girlfriends don’t teach you the good stuff that quickly.

The comic which is brilliantly drawn merges realism and high packed action. The writing though reminds me a lot of the Firefly television series as the writing lapses a lot into Mandarin. Thank goodness not everyone knows Mandarin, their racist terms and swearing slang.

Currently Undying Love is comprised on one volume containing four issues. The story isn’t even done yet, so either the movie will be a condensed story; that loses a lot of cool scenes; or chopped up and lead into a new saga of vampire movies. If they do make a movie,

If the movie does go to production, they won’t have to white wash the lead role for once; as the noble white guy saves the Chinese slave girl and all.  I do hope however that they cast James Hong as one of the bad guys. I will never forget his villain role in Big Trouble in Little China. You know, the 80’s movie about the white guy with guns fighting a bunch of Chinese spirits. Bai ren kan bu dong.

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