Monday, December 19, 2011

Scream Blacula Scream (1973)

Plot: After a voodoo priestess fails to chose her heir, the coven decide to vote for Lisa, her adopted daughter.  This makes Willis, her son jealous causing him to seek revenge.  He does a ritual for power which ends up bringing Blacula back from the grave.  Soon, after half the town is turned into vampires, Blacula realizes that Lisa being a very powerful priestess herself might be able to cure him.

This is the second movie to come out in the 1970's in the Blacula series.

I have to give credit to the fact its story is stronger and tighter then the original, and it definitely plays as a stand alone film.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Fright Night and stuff

The remake of Fright Night was released this week on DVD.

So I thought I would do a few days worth of vampire movies for my 1 movie a day for 1 year blog
starting with Fright Night 2 {Day 15}
Yes, I'm watching one different movie a day for a year and blogging about it.

Also, just a small reminder that Underworld 4 Awakening  is set to hit the cinema in January 2012, as well as Dark Shadows in May 2012.

Monday, October 31, 2011

CSI:Miami 2011 October

Every year one of the top television dramas do a vampire episode for Hallowe'en, this year CSI:Miami did theirs.

The plot runs around a murder in the house of a famous vampire writer, which at first looks like it was committed by a crazied fan.  As the course of the show progresses, we learn that it was done by the author's staff who are blackmailing her.

One of the better takes on vampire drama I've seen in a few year, and bonus points for having both Orlando Jones{From Dusk till Dawn 3 Hangman's Daughter, Vampire Assistant} and Johnathon Schaech{Forsaken, Masters of Horror} in it.

It's easy to understand why such a popular show would tackle such a popular topic as vampire authors given that they are the new breed of creature.  Some would even say the business of writing about vampires is a vampire in itself.  It's even created a subgenre of fans that would make the great Renfield run screaming for the hills... or laughing as he was known to do.

Happy Hallowe'en.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Witchcraft 13 Blood of the Choosen-2008

Plot: A lawyer/detective is following a series of ritualistic murders. The victims all have two things in common,  they're all men who's had their hearts removed.  He soon learns that it's the work of a powerful coven of witches who's behind the killings, as well as the fact all the men are warlocks.  Can he solve the case before it's too late?

Yes, this part of the famed Witchcraft series that started in the late 80's early 90's.  I seem to remember part 3 {The Kiss of Death}  having a bit of a vampire/incubus feel to it. Not too mention being just plan old bad; this however was nearly painful to sit through.  I do hope this is the last of the series.
It is out as part of an 8pack horror fest.

For an indie film, this had plot holes ontop of plot holes.  It keeps referring back to past films in the series, and if you are like me, you might have caught one or two of the really early episodes back twenty years or so ago, but other then that, most likely have not heard of the others in the series.
Being that it is part 13 in the series, it should have either given some back history for anyone not familiar with it's myths or it should have removed itself from the thinning thread of the mythology all other to be a stand alone.

For such a low-budget/no-budget indie film, the effects which were minimal were used to their extreme advantage, but the money should have gone into improving the sound of the film.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fist of the Vampire -2007

Plot: A brutal murder happens in 1977, by a group of vampires as they attack a family.  30 years later, a cop goes undercover to bust up an underground fight ring, only the managers are the same vampires from 1977.  Can he defeat them or will he end up dead?

Let me say right off,  it was a bonus for me as one of the main characters is played by wrestler the Blue Meanie.

This was part of a 4pack {which I will get to the others at a later date} and when I saw the first few minutes of the film, wasn't too sure I was getting my money's worth {I paid $8 Canadian for the dvd pack}  as it is a low budget-indie film, but I was quickly surprised.

The vampire scenes are bloodsoaked, but the rest of the fights are kept to a minimum, which gets it's point across without being over cocky.  And the writing is witty enough to keep you laughing through some of the lesser scenes.
It does take about a half hour before it starts to gel, but it's a film to add to your watch list simply because it is a different take on the subject of vampires.

It's shot as a cross between the 'ploitation films of the 70's and a music video, giving itself just the right amount of grittiness for a vampire homegrown. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Element Encyclopedia of Vampires by Cheung

For a book that is roughly 3 pounds and claims to be the A-Z book on the topic of vampires, it really doesn't have anything new going for it at all.

I've been collecting these types of encyclopedias for the few decades, and honestly, have seen better.

This one is edited by Theresa Cheung, and is part of the Element Encyclopedia  series (others in the series include witchcraft, secret societies, mystical creatures etc)  and has limited drawings and most entries have only a short paragraph, compared to other books on the topic which give things their own page.

The only real plus this has for it are the quotes that start each new chapter.

The book is fine if you are thumbing through it at the library, but don't waste your time buying it.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fright Night 2011

Plot: Charlie Brewster discovers that his next door neighbour is a vampire after people in the suburbian area where he lives keep disappearing.  After breaking into Gerry's house, he finds many of the missing people.  Now, with only the help of his girlfriend and a stage magician, he needs to destroy the vampire before sunrise.

This is without a doubt the only time I've seen a remake and thought it was worthy of having been done.
From the subtle changes in the characters, to the costumes, to the modern locations, this version of Fright Night not only held up it's promise to be a great horror film, it held up it's promise to be one of the best films in the last few years.

The vampire genre has been bleed dry as of late by the meek and watered down offering that we've been getting to the extreme other end of the spectrum with the overly sexual ones.   This finally has a balance to fill any fang-fan up to the brim.

Chris Sarandon has a few moments cameo midway through the film.  Which I thought was a brilliant nod to the original {he played the vampire Gerry in the 1985 version }  As well as the inclusion of the iconic dress worn by the character Amy after she's been bitten, and the club scene.
Keeping the monster teeth {which looks very much at times like the teeth of a parasitic leech} was also a great touch as it let you know you were watching a horror film.

The biggest changes beside the location of the story, were Charlie's mother having a larger part in this one, and making Peter Vincent {fearless vampire killer} into a stage magician instead of a horror host. And mixing together both of Gerry and his renfield {played by Johnathan Stark in the original} was an interesting touch.

I await what the film's crew/producers have in store for us next, as a remake of Fright Night 2, I hope is in the works.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What's in a name

One of the key quotes for the remake of Fright Night is the line "That's a terrible vampire name Gerry"
which is being used in the commercials constantly.   It got me thinking about some of the classic vampire character names.  Names you won't be able to think of without thinking about the movies they are connected to.

4- Vlad
3- Radu (the Subspecies series)
2- Armand (Anne Rices Vampire Chronicles)
1- Lestat

Okay, so Lestat is the most obvious and a bit of a cheat as Anne Rice created the name when she originally wrote Interview with the Vampire back in 1976.

I think the vamp name game quote though has to go to 1992's original film version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer  with the line "Pike isn't a name it's a fish". 

Just classic.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Movies this week-Aug 14-19 2011

There are two vampire movies this week being released that I am currently aware of. 
Priest gets it's DVD/Blu-Ray release  on Aug 16th  and the remake of Fright Night is released in cinemas on Aug 19th

These are release dates for Canada and the US

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

BloodRayne 3 (2011)

Plot: Rayne teams up with a group of freedom fighters during World War 2.  She accidentally turns one of Hitler's solders into a vampire who just happens to have the same daywalking powers as herself.  Now she needs to stop him before he can turn Hitler.

This movie even with the unrated director's cut only runs at 78 minutes.  Which is still about 30 minutes too long if you ask me.

I hesitated when I saw this on the movie shelf to begin with as I did not care for the first two.  What ended up being the deciding factor in my renting this was the fact Brendan Fletcher was in it. Who by the by was also in BloodRayne 2 Deliverance.  (As was Michael Pare who I think was the only actor to be in all three of the BloodRayne films. )

I get that the series can play out much like the Crow movies creating new storylines and characters given it is a vampire series, but this one fell really short.

The production of it rang like many made for tv Canadian shows, just a notch above an indie film. And I'm usually all for anything with a vampire or Canadian, but this one left a bad taste in my mouth.
There was little plot, bad dialogue and just felt like a waste of $7

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Stake Land (2011)

Plot: Mister picks up Martin after his family have all been killed by vampires.  Together they travel through the United States trying to make their way to Canada, which is now called New Eden. The vampire plague has spread through out the rest of the world, mostly in the South.  Just trying to stay alive, they learn how to kill the vampires, and on the way save a nun from being raped.  Little do they know they have to now deal with the Brotherhood as they make their way to Canada.  The Brotherhood want revenge for them having killed two of their men. Things then heat up when a pregnant woman joins their pack of survivors.

I have to say, I loved this.  Normally I don't care for end of the world films, but this one has a quality to it that makes it dare I say believable.
The vampires in this film look more like the classic ghouls of the Night of the Living Dead films, and the kill count is so that we have one right off the start gate.  No prancing around the topic, you're watching a down and dirty film about the things and people who will pray upon you for no other reason then they can.

After watching this, you can't help but wonder if the creators were sticking their forks into other territory then the undead, which just proves something I've said over and over in the past; the vampire is the best metaphor for everything else we need to talk about.  See the movie, you'll get what I'm saying.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Insatiable (2007)

Plot: Harry is a shy sales man who likes to help people.  While buying a hot dog for a homeless man, he witnesses the guy being killed by a vampire.  After one of his friends also becomes victim to the female vampire, he captures her but is unable to kill her. Soon he's left with the task of either destroying her or letting her destroy him.

I stumbled upon this film literally in the store. I'd never heard of it before.  I picked it up for two reasons, it's a vampire film I'd never heard of before and it starred Sean Patrick Flanery.

It could be called a remake of To Sleep with a Vampire, it has the same undertone to it. It also had a made for tv feel.
As you watch Flanery's performance, it's easy to get lost in his character and to overlook the sometimes poor sound production.  You believe he's this down on his luck out of touch hero. 

The introduction of the succubus mythology could have been expanded on but otherwise, it's a subtle movie.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Vampire Break- July 2011

Originally posted on my main blog on July 28th 2011

I was reading the latest issue of Cineplex Magazine, and they decided to do a small article on vampires with the coming remake of Fright Night just around the corner.
The magazine counted down their 9 top vamp things, which they listed as their Vampire Film Awards.

9 yes 9. Not 10 but 9.   Seems an odd number but whatever right.
They gave Best Vampire Hair  to Lost Boys (1987)
Best Vampire Fangs  to  Grace Jones in Vamp (1986)
Best Vampire Couple to The Hunger's David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve (1983)
Best Vampire Seduction to Interview with the Vampire for the Cruise/Pitt bite (1994)
Most Unbelievable Vampire Hobby   to Twilight for the vampire baseball. (2007)
Most Gruesome Vampires   30 Days of Night  (2007)
Best Dressed Female Vampire  to Underworld for Kate Beckinsale  (whole series of films)
Best Dressed Male Vampire to Gary Oldman in Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)
Hall of Fame Golden Cape Award to Christopher Lee for all the Hammer films

I'm with them for about 75% of these choices.  I agree that Lost Boys gets the best vamp hair hands down.  Gary Oldman getting best male dressed- agree.  I do agree that Twilight deserves the worst most unbelievable vamp hobby cause that's just... Best couple to the Hunger - yes, Best seduction to Interview with the Vampire, and I do not care for either of those actors Crusie or Pitt, watching their films is like torture for me. The hall of fame golden cape award hands down belongs to Sir Christopher Lee.
But best dressed female, best fangs, and most gruesome... those I have to disagree on.

With the hundreds of vampire movies I've seen over the years, those three categories are tough ones actually.  I think I would have given best fangs to the original Fright Night. 

All this is making me little hyper waiting for the re-make of Fright Night that comes out next month.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

My Best Friend is a Vampire (1987)

Plot: Jeremy is a high school kid who just wants a girlfriend.  Roger is his best friend.  While at work one afternoon, Jeremy meets Nora, a sexy older woman who just happens to be a vampire. Soon Jeremy finds himself dealing with more then just keeping up his grades, he's got a vampire hunter on his tail.

This is one of those lost in the shuffle teen movies from the 80's, when teen movies meant something.
It was finally put on DVD just a couple of years ago, but has made it to cult status over the years from being on almost every late night television station movie marathons.

This movie is sweet, funny, and shows that no matter what you're going through, your real friends will always be there for you.   And it has the best line from any vampire film in the last 30 years   "This Blood's For You."

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Let Me In (2010)

This is a remake of a Swedish film Let The Right One In (2008).
Originally based on a book as well.

I know that when I first saw this the original version back in 2009, I had mixed feelings on it.  Sitting down and watching the English version, I still have mixed feelings.  (maybe I need to read the book?)

Plot:  12 year old Owen is being bullied at school. Abby moves in next door with her dad.  Soon the bodies start to pile up and we learn that Abby is a vampire and her dad is not really her dad, he's her familiar.  Once Owen and Abby realize they have a budding romance, Abby does everything possible to keep Owen safe.

The questions here are what are we willing to do for dignity and desire?  There is a scene where Abby climbs into bed naked with Owen after having killed her familiar.
As a straight up vampire film, it's brilliant.  The subplots of pre-teen self awareness and unconditional love are something you don't see done honestly in any genre.

This film is as brutal as it is honest, which at times can be very disturbing to sit through. 

If you have seen the original version, there isn't much difference in the English one.  From what I can tell, it was shot scene for scene. 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Bleeding (2009)

Plot: Black witnesses his parents being murdered and he ends up in the hospital. He's awakened from a coma to find out he's been chosen to kill the new King of the vampires, Cain.  Ends up his dead brother has been turned into the vampire king.  He's joined by a priest and a cemetery groundskeeper. Can the three of them save mankind before dawn?

You know what, I hate to tell you all this, but we've seen this one before.  In different vampire films.
  • There is a rave where the vampires are draining people (Lost Boys Thirst  did this plotline already)
  • There is a rebel priest who is set to fight the vampires (John Carpenters Vampires, Dracula II Ascension and III Legacy, Live Evil)
  • There is a desert chase at night (Forsaken, Near Dark)
I was disappointed by this offering.  The only bright spot was Micheal Madson. (who has made a name for himself in the vampire genre)

Priest (2011) Rant and Review

Originally posted on my main blog on May 14th 2011 (so if you read my main blog you most likely have read this post already... just saying)

Yesterday the latest vampire movie opened up.   I went to see it today.  Been really hyper about this one ever since I saw the trailer last summer.

I was like "finally, we are returning to what a vampire film is suppose to be.  Brutal"

Only one problem.   THE FREALING THING WAS 3D
I wish our local cinema had said that on the damned website. Needless to say, if I had known before hand I would not have bothered.  The last thing you want to do is cause dren in a busy line up of movie goers so I picked up my pre-ordered ticket and trudged into the screening room.

Next weird thing.  I was the only WOMAN in the room.  Dude! normally I would love that;  I mean me alone with about 45 males and vampires.  Sounds toasty.    Only we're talking a bunch of teenaged boys, and dads with their kids. (okay so there might have been a few five year old girls in the screening room with their daddies but they don't count)

So there's me, five minutes into a vomit worthy 3D movie trying not to let the migraine headache that was starting actually turn into a vomitting sitch.  I was actually thinking of walking out after five minutes but ended up just removing the 3D glasses and watching it that way.  In a very blurry 2D.
So this is one I will be getting on DVD the second it comes out in the fall or whatever so I can sit and watch it properly in proper vision being 2D.
Also did not realize it was based on a comic/graphic novel. 

The movie was very much geared to the males, because even the previews were all for shoot em action movies.  I suppose trying to make a bit of a balance with the vamps after all the Twilight dren in the last few years, which was all geared for teenaged girls.

REVIEW:  The vampires and humans have been at war for centuries. Now, in a remote out-skirt a nest of vampires have upped the game.  They kidnap a family member of one of the more well known Priests who have been ordered to protect humans.  This leads to a renegade band lead by the Priest, the kidnapped girl's lover, and the Priestess-Warrior traveling to the area to stop them. What they learn is that Lucy is being held by a former priest who's been turned into the only living half-breed. This gives him the advantage of being able to be out in the daylight. Meanwhile, back in the city, which is run by the church, a cover-up is happening withing the rankings of the church.  Everything comes to a finale on a train in the middle of the desert.

THOUGHTS:  Well Spudguns, I did like this.  Despite the 3D bulldren,  I was right into the whole thing.  Part western, part gothic, part action this vampire movie was sleek and just brutal enough to make me quiet for the length of it.  It packed a few famous names in it too in the form of Christopher Plummer (Dracula 2000, Red Blooded American Girl, Vampire in Venice,  ) and Brad Dourif (Child's Play)   
Vampire fans know that when you see Christopher Plummer in a film, you know it's one you can sink your teeth into.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Playing catch up

There was a situation that I blogged about on my main blog last week.  (Ardeth the Vampire Detective)
That got me thinking about a few things.  Add to this that I just did a book review for work on my book blog, that was in my mind a vampire story. 

On the weekend, I had a coffee with a member of my book club, and we talked about vampire and zombie books.  The ever growing trends and what we have liked in the past vs what we've hated.

All this has me getting very nostalgic over my old ... way of life.  Put it bluntly,  I miss my vampires.

It was more then a hobby for me (collecting movies, books, posters, etc) , more then a job (studying the medical and psychological elements along with the folklore), more then a state of mind.  It was me. 

This morning I broke out the collection.  All three movies of Lost Boys and have been sitting down just absorbing.

I have long since stopped paying attention to the one thing in my life that used to be the core of it.  I keep promising myself, that I will return to it.   Bear with me as I try to maneuver through the next few stages of things.  My writing/book reviews + wrestling + food + vampires = chaos.   But a full expression of myself.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Lost Boys

In 1987 a movie came out that changed the whole framework of how a vampire was seen. It became a cult classic on so many levels.

Thanks in part of the popularity of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles  vampire fans had something fresh to sink their teeth into, and they wanted their movies to reflect that.

The Lost Boys  served up the vampire as a young, hip, journey of teenaged confusion masked in a wrap of peer pressure and rock n roll.
The catch phrase of that year was "sleep all day, party all night, never grow old, never die it's fun being a vampire"
Many films and books tried to copy the formula that made Edgar, Allan - the Frog Brothers- and their friend Sam so cool, but just could not hack it.

It would take 20 years for a sequel to show up.  With promises of bringing a new generation of fans to the edge of cultism.

Unfortunately, 20 years was just a bit long.  Even die hard fans were left with a bad taste in our mouths.

Even given the addition of Kiefer Sutherlands'  younger brother -Angus- as the lead vampire, it just did not do much for the fans who'd waited and waited and waited.

The 2008 offering was a nightmare not a dream come true.

Seeing the error of their mistake (total quote from the original Buffy movie here) the producers went back to the drawing board and came up with another offering.

This one picks up 20 years after the first one, with only a slight nod to few themes used in the second film, giving fans a more stable offering with the return of the Frog Brothers.

The only real thread that ties the three films together would be Corey Feldman, who starred in all three as head vampire hunter Edgar Frog.

Some would say the first and third offerings foreshadowed Feldman's career.   The first saw him paired off with Corey Haim, who would gone on to co-star in close to 80% of the movies Feldman put out over the years, and the third film sees Haim's character of Sam Emerson, as having died; which ironically was filmed around the same time as the death of the actor in real life.

There was a tease at the end of the LBThirst, giving a nod to a secluded quote in the first film about werewolves in office, that there might be a fourth LostBoys.  It would be interesting to see what they could do with another creature.

Plot: Two brothers, Sam and Michael, move with their mother to Santa Carla, to live with their grandfather.  While out one night, Michael meets Starr and forms a crush. Starr, to his disappointment is already seeing David, and part of his biker gang. Meanwhile, Sam heads to the comic book store where he meets Edgar and Allan Frog, who believe in the monsters they read about. Sam's mother gets a job working at a video store owned by Max, who no one ever sees in the day. Soon bodies are piling up, and the boys are finding themselves pit against each other brother against brother, vampire against hunter.  Will they be able to survive or will they all become one big happy blood sucking family? Twenty years later, Sam has fallen into the same fate his brother had, while Edgar is still hunting vampires. Sam's younger cousins move to the area and find themselves at the mercy of a vampire gang. The leader who happens to have been the best surfer in the last few years, and Chris Emerson's old surfing rival. Who's got the skill to stay on top, and who's going to end up deader then dead?
A year later, Edgar Frog gets hired by an author who writes vamp-pop-lit. She wants him to find her brother and kill the vampire who is holding him. Edgar having found himself alone and broke has no choice but to take the gig. What he finds underground is a rave of innocent victims and the Head Vampire, whom he's been hunting for years. Will he make it out and save the world?