Thursday, February 28, 2013

So it's a Thursday afternoon and...

I'm finally, finally- yes, finally- home from my way too long visit at my mother's.  I was suppose to have been there three days, but ... my drama all you my dearies need to know is that the 365 Days posts are going to be back on track.
I added the uber quick post yesterday for Frankenweenie, which was a godsend on the local Demand channel.  And many people don't consider that the whole Frankenstein story to be classified as a vampire sub-genre.  But, trust me it is. I used to think otherwise, but after a very very very long coffee filled lecture from a former buddy back in college a million years ago, I could do nothing but agree that yes indeed it is.
I promised last week that I would have a few days of mini-marathons.  Which I will start tomorrow. 
My original plan for this week was to cover all four of the Twilight movies that are on DVD leading up to the release this weekend of the final chapter on DVD.  But, I will put that off till after the weekend, as I am not sure when I'll be getting my hands on a copy of Twilight 5 BDp2. Sometime in the next few days I'm sure.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

365 Days- Day 38

movie: Frankenweenie
starring: Martin Short, Charlie Tahan
genre: cartoon
format: Shaw Video On Demand

plot: Victor sees his dog and only real friend die when the dog chases a ball into the road, then decides to use science to bring the pet back to life after watching his teacher show the class that electric currents can reanimate muscle and flesh

This is a version of the classic Frankenstein story.  It's done in black and white, it ends with the lead characters at a windmill and on fire.  And yes, it's a vampire story.

One of the most common definitions of a vampire is a reanimated corpse, which is what the Frankenstein creature is.  And the electricity, is the lifeforce replacement.

I have been wanting to see this for months, very excited about it given it's a Tim Burton film and is like I said, a retelling of Frankenstein, the characters are even named Frankenstein and Van Helsing,(and you can't miss the Vincent Price looking character)  but I was in the disappointed. It just really fell short for me, specially given this is a remake of an Tim Burton based film ( 1984 short with the same title)

what do i think I learned from this film?
Be careful what you wish for

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Feb 21st

Just a short note.  I realize I missed both Tuesday and Wednesday this week on the 365 Days challenge. (and tonight as well) And the reason is I'm not home this week (spending a week with mother)  and do  not have access to my vampire collection. 
I thought that maybe I'd have access to episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer at lest, but it doesn't look like it.   I'll be back home in a few days and back to the challenge (most likely Monday)  and will have a couple of days of "marathons"  next week.

In the meantime, I took over my mother's kitchen yesterday and did a post on my movie blog that is connected to Lost Boys.  

Monday, February 18, 2013

365 Days- Day 37

movie: Innocent Blood
starring: Anne Parillaud, Robert Loggia
genre: Crime, Comedy
year: 1992
format: VHS

plot: A female vampire feeds off of a few members of the mob, but fails to kill one of her victims, mob boss Sal.  Sal then goes on a killing spree turning many of his crew into vampires, while an undercover cop tries to stop him along with the female vampire.

I think the metaphor of crime life (is that a real term?) as a vampire (once you're in -you're in for life) is brilliant.  This film sort of balanced on the edge of organized crime stories just before they became their own genre.

I almost want to class this in food movies too, just for the fact that at some point, every character is eating.  (from Mussels in red wine sauce with garlic, to deli sandwiches, to pizza and cold Chinese) It's a running theme throughout the film. (a few scenes take place inside of a restaurant and many outside of an Oyster house) 

The cast in this is jammed with actors who have been in other vampire movies as well, Kim Coates (Red Blooded American Girl, Dracula the Series, The Club) Angela Bassett (Vampire in Brooklyn) Tom Savini (Lost Boys 2 Tribe, From Dusk till Dawn, Martin)

what do i think i learned from this film?
Trust is more then just something you earn, it's something you have to feel. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

365 Days- Day 36

The Vampire Diaries - Season 1 Episode 2 Night of the Comet

We open with a young teenaged couple making out in the woods, the guy going to the car to get something. The woman hears what she thinks is rain, but it ends up being blood from her now dead boyfriend.  She starts running in the woods, only to get caught and bitten.

We then see both Elena and Stefan each in their homes writing in their diaries about each other. We then see Elena's aunt getting ready for a teacher meeting.  And Jeremy visiting his girlfriend in the hospital. 
The history teacher starts talking about a comet, which has some mystical element to it.   We then see Bonnie and Caroline talking about how Bonnie is a witch, while Tyler and Jeremy have a bit of a fight over a girl.
Stefan overhears Elena and Matt talking about Matt's sister being in the hospital and having said that a vampire attacked her. Stefan then goes to the hospital to make her forget what she saw.
We see Elena go to Stefan's house, and bumps into Damon. 
Back in the hospital, Vickie starts to realize something is wrong since she was attacked, and shows the first signs of turning into a vampire.

Everyone is gathered for the viewing of the comet, in the town square. Meanwhile, Elena has to deal with her brother and Vickie doing drugs. Stefan then finds out that Damon grabbed Vickie and took her to a roof, trying to get her to remember what it was that attacked her.  Damon convinces her that it was Stefan who turned her, the whole time trying to make Stefan feed off her. Bonnie then has a vision when she talks to Stefan a little while later.

Caroline meets Damon and goes home with him, while Elena and Stefan get closer.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

365 Days-Day 35

Dracula the Series- Episode 6 Black Sheep

We open with a man standing at a grave, talking to it. He mentions Klaus and how he's going to stop him. Klaus then appears, taunting the man. He then disappears in a cloud of fog and bats.

We then see the house, where Max is complaining about not able to watch tv or listen to the radio.  Gustav hands him a radio from the 1950's and tells him if he can fix it, it's his.  Gustav then looks at the calendar and realizes it's the full moon.  A knock at the door reveals the man who had been standing at the grave the night before.
Inviting him in, they talk about Klaus and how he killed the man's wife, turning her into a vampire, unaware that Gustav already knows about Klaus.
We see Max working on the radio, while the man and Gustav continue to talk about killing the vampires, and offers him anything he wants.  Gustav turns him down and the man leaves.
We are then at the office of Lucard Industries where Dracula yells at Klaus for being late. Ends up that Klaus has been killing without covering up the vampire attacks.  They struggle, Dracula getting angrier by the second, punishing Klaus.   They then continue talking about government business.
Back at the house, it's the next day and Max picks up a telephone call between Klaus and Dracula on the old radio.  The man shows up again, begging Gustav to kill Klaus, showing that Klaus has been on a patterned attack spree.
No one understands yet why Gustav is unwilling to kill Klaus.

Nightfall, and we see a meeting between Gustav and Klaus, where Gustav warns him to cancel whatever it is he's up to.
Back at the house, the kids are playing around with the radio again and pick another telephone call on it. The man is then back at the house, screaming at Gustav about having messed up the surprise attack he had planned on Klaus.
Gustav then goes out to the graveyard to the Van Helsing family tomb, while the kids go to a park hunting for Dracula's hidden treasure.
We learn that this is St. George's Eve, and that vampires must return to the place they were first buried, which is why Gustav is waiting around the family tomb.  We learn that Klaus is Gustav's son. The old man shows up ready to kill them both. But as he fires the crossbow, Dracula appears and breaks the stake.  Dracula then tells Gustav to finish Klaus, saying that he's too much of a child.
Dracula then tells Gustav that he knew the kids were listening in, and that the park is a distraction to keep them busy for the evening before flying off.  Gustav then grabs the old man and locks Klaus in the tomb.

Gustav then meets up with the kids, and lets them know he was aware they were on a wild goose chase. And as they all leave the park, three blue flames spring up marking where there is actual vampire treasure.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

365 Days- Day 34

Dracula the Series- Episode 5 The Vampire Solution

We open with Gustav and a former student of his working on potion.  Sophie comes in and they start talking to her about the missing ingredient for the potion, which is suppose to be able to turn a vampire back into a human, curing them.
As Arthur, is leaving the house, he is kidnapped by a guy in dark glasses. Gustav hears a noise and goes to look out the window. 
Next scene is a detective checking the house, not believing that Arthur was kidnapped.  Gustav tries to tell the detective that Lucard is behind the kidnapping, and that the reason was because they were trying to destroy Lucard's business.
We then see Max and Chris coming out of the store, and Max saying he's going to jog home.  Next is Gustav at the office of Lucard Industries, planting a computer virus, and is caught by the same strange man who kidnapped his former student Arthur.
Back at the house, we see Max working out and Chris mocking him. Sophie then talks Max into doing Yoga.
Back at the castle, Dracula and the stranger have Gustav and start having a verbal battle over plays. We learn that there is a history between Gustav and the stranger, Klaus. Dracula has to play ref between the two, reminding Klaus that he's acting like a child.
Back at the house, we see Sophie and Max trying a few moves of Tai-Chi, in an attempt to have Max learn to balance himself.   Then we see Gustav back at the castle locked up in the basement with Arthur, both having been bitten.  Gustav has the potion with him, drinking it.  Then we learn it wasn't the potion, but in fact one of Max's protein drinks.
Back at the house, the kids realize Gustav has gone to the castle. All three show up and break into the place. Max stumbles across Dracula and Klaus, who are checking a copy of Henry V. Max goes to defend himself, and accidentally shoots lighting bolts out of his fingers, which ends up being a result of having drank the anti-vampire potion by mistake.
They find Gustav and Arthur, but they are turning quickly into vampires.  As they are leaving the castle, both Dracula and Klaus trap them again. Max ends up having just enough of the potion in his system for one more bolt of lightening which holds them off for everyone to run.
Back at the house, the kids are making a new batch of the potion. Gustav drinks the potion and turns back to a human, but Arthur refuses, staying a vampire.
Too bad for him he was standing beside the cross that hung in the living room, which burned him to ash.
We then see Dracula and Klaus back at the castle, talking about the computer virus being a fake, and how they knew about the potion.   Dracula then starts to quote Romeo and Juliet; which they argue about the scene.

This is the episode where we are introduced to Klaus who will become a major character in the rest of the series, and is played by Geraint Wyn Davies, who would go on to play the lead in the tv show Forever Knight  a year later. Ironically,  Geordie Johnson who plays Dracula/Lucard would do an episode of Forever Knight as a talk show host, and Bernard Behrens who plays Gustav would also do an episode of Forever Knight.

Monday, February 11, 2013

365 Days- Day 33

movie: Vampire in Brooklyn
starring: Eddie Murphy, Angela Bassett
genre: Comedy
year: 1995
format: DVD

plot: A female cop starts having nightmares, just as a mysterious ship crashes into the docks in Brooklyn. Her and her partner then find themselves in the middle of a strange case that starts with the entire crew of the boat having been slaughtered. Within hours, they meet Maximillian, who ends up being the last vampire of his tribe. He's there to find a half vampire female who just happens to be the cop trailing his murder case. Max has less then a week to get her to fall in love with him before a curse kills him

I think I'm the only person on the planet who likes this movie. It's actually my all time favourite Eddie Murphy movie.   I've seen articles from the cast and crew of this film saying how even they ended up not caring for the final product, but personally I think it's one of the better vampire films to come out of the mid 1990's.

And considering it is a movie of the 90's, it's flavour is more of that from the 1970's. It's very much inline with the two  Blacula films, only funny.
Eddie Murphy plays three characters in one, as he plays a vampire who can change his appearance.

I still have a small inch of hope that there will at some point be a part two. (sssshhh let me have my delusions)

what do i think i learned from this film?
Never sit on a vampire's coffin.   You have to have faith in something, even if it seems like the most out there idea anyone has ever heard.  All myths have roots in reality.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

365 Days- Day 32

movie:The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
starring; Sean Connery, Stuart Townsend
genre: Adventure,
year: 2003
format: DVD

plot: in 1899 the threat of a world war brings together a strange match of characters, one of which is Mina Harker, a vampire scientist and the immortal Dorian Grey.  The group soon learn that there is a traitor within them, and that the mission is not what it first appeared to be

You know, for all the young heroes in this film, I still get a big kick out of seeing Sean Connery do the fight scenes. 
This is based on a comic with is in turned based on a bunch of different books.  I wish my knowledge of comic/graphic novels was better but sadly I lean more towards cartoons based on comics then actual comics. So I can't compare this film to the original graphic novel.

The first time I saw this film back when it first came out, I hated it.  But it's grown on me over the years.  When you look at the characters and realize that almost all were originally in other works from the turn of the 19th century, you can't help but be in awe over their longevity. Just the fact that the characters are still finding a home in modern stories speaks volumes about the authors.

There is in fact, so many characters, you have to wonder if too much was jammed in for the short time frame.  I would have loved to have seen more interaction between Mina and Hyde.

what do i think i learned from this film?
I really need to read more

Saturday, February 9, 2013

365 Days- Day 31

movie: The Forsaken  aka   Desert Vampires
starring: Kerr Smith, Brendan Fehr
 genre:  Thriller,
year: 2001
format: DVD

plot: A young man who is driving cross country in order to get to his sister's, picks up a hitchhiker  who ends up being a vampire hunter. They then come across another vampire victim and the vampires that bit her.  Soon, the three are in a personal war with the group of vampires.

This is one of my favourites.  It's inline with Lost Boys and Near Dark, but still manages to have an identity all it's own.
It's also one of the few "modern" vampire movies that manages to make good use of a Renfield type character.  Which has been lacking in recent years.

I love the fact that this film creates a new vampire mythology and legend for itself as well, going beyond the typical Vlad Dracula storyline, and into a history more akin to Vlakyrie myths. (I know that this movie uses Greek and Hebrew mythos with the mention of Abaddon) Where in this film, the origin of the vampires starts with 8 knights who make a deal for immortality, slaying the 9th member as a sacrifice to Abaddon,  then run and hide from self loathing.  It also pulls from some of the vampire role playing games about covens and clans.

This film uses the vampire as a metaphor for blood disorders and virus.  The main way in the film to keep control over it, is to ingest a mix of drugs that were originally designed to battle AIDS.

I'm actually surprised this film has not been given a sequel, given the cult status it's gained in the last 12 years.

what do i think i learned from this film?
You should be careful who you party with. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

365 Days- Day 30

movie: Rise Blood Hunter
starring: Lucy Liu, James D'Arcy
genre: Crime, Thriller
year: 2007
format: DVD

plot: A reporter finds herself in the middle of a series of crimes that have been committed by a cult of vampires. She ends up getting turned herself, and partners up with the cop who's daughter was killed the same way.

When I first heard about this film few years ago, I thought it was going to be just another low B-movie, but after the first few minutes, you realize how top of the line this is. The star power in this is jammed, including Michael Chiklis, and Marilyn Manson.

This is another vampire turned slayer story. It's about pure revenge after having you're life stolen from you, your identity stripped away.
The lead character is made a vampire against her will, and has to learn to survive. You're taken through a series of flashbacks learning what happened to her and why she's out for revenge.

I love that this film uses silver instead of wood for the stakes and crossbow tips.  So few movies pull that element from folklore. 

There is also this sub-plot about how cults manage to draw people, specially teens in.

what do i think i learned from this film?
Revenge can be painful

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

365 Days- Day 29

Dracula the Series- Episode 4  The Boffin

We open with Max being followed by some guy down the street. He grabs the necklace of garlic from Max throwing it away.
We then see Chris and Sophie back at the house playing video games. The two are talking about rejection and dating, as the romance between them has started.
We then see Max running into the house with the man behind him. We learn that the guy is a Professor of Vampirology, and he claims the garlic is useless. He accuses Gustav of just being a hobbiest when it comes to vampires, not knowing that Gustav is a Van Helsing.
The Professor ends up being a mess, as he shows them his radar remote, and invites Max to his lab.

The next scene is Dracula in his office talking to another scientist about a new type of sunscreen and a new type of mirror. He then turns him into a vampire.

It's the next morning, and Chris and Sophie go on their first non-date-date. Both afraid to out right ask each other on an official date.
We then see the lab of the Professor, and Max in total awe of the whole thing.  What the Professor is working on is an anti-vampire gun, which is a laser gun that shoots a form of sunlight. He tests it on a model made from a vampire's coffin. He then tells Max that he's about to go to a meeting about a grant.  Which of course is with Lucard Industries.

We then see Dracula and the Professor talking about the  project, and Dracula learns that Max is aware of the project. Dracula then sets up another appointment and tells the Professor to bring Max along, but not to tell him that he-Dracula- will be there.
Back on the date we see Chris and Sophie talking about what would happen if they were seen by Max, and Max walks by causing them to hide under the table.
We then are back in the lab where Max and the Professor are talking about the laser gun. The Professor freaking out over loosing something. He sends Max back to the house to see if he dropped the missing piece when he had visited.  Max walks past the cafe again sending Chris and Sophie under the table once again.
Back at the lab Dracula shows up before Max can get back with the missing piece for the gun. Max then shows up just before Dracula can turn the Professor into a vampire. Max figures out how to use the laser gun but it doesn't work.  We then see Gustav who's been pretending to be working in the lab as a janitor, and he uses a cross to stop Dracula then escapes with the Professor and Max.

Back at the house, Max tells them that he saw them on their date and that Gustav knew about the Professor for weeks.
The final scene is of the castle and learn that the laser gun really works so Dracula tosses it into the fireplace.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

365 Days- Day 28

movie: Highlander
starring: Christopher Lambert, Clancy Brown
genre: Sci-fi
year: 1986
format: VHS

plot: Immortal beings have been fighting each other for centuries, always taking the lifeforce of each other in order to stay alive and gain strength. We see the final few as they battle in modern day New York in what they have called the Gathering, for the ultimate prize.

So we have here, immortal creatures that get stronger by destroying each other and absorbing their life energy, and the only way to destroy them is to decapitate them with silver.   Classic vampire.
They get the knowledge, skills, memories and strengths of the other Immortals after they've feed off of their energies. And they are unable to reproduce.
You almost have to wonder if the original idea was taken from pieces of folklore or what?

Add to it, Clancy's character looking like Frankenstein and the quickening being a lightening, and you really can not help but see the resemblance to classic horror stories.
Dead but unable to die, as they don't get "activated" until they have first died (as long as they are not beheaded) much like the idea that a vampire isn't activated till after it's died. 
I liked the little nod to the vampire mythology when Connor is standing in the doorway of  Brenda waiting for her to invite him in. We then see a shot of him staring at himself smirking in the mirror, showing that he has a reflection. (folklore has many myths about vampires actually having a reflection but which seem to move onto themselves)

what do i think i learned from this film?
Clancy Brown can be truly frightening.

Monday, February 4, 2013

365 Days-Day 27

Dracula the Series- Episode 3 Get A Job

We open with Chris riding his bike into a store, trying to get a job as a bike messenger. He ends up with a crush on his boss. We then see Dracula drive up just as he leaves.

Back at the house, Gustav and Max are doing research about the company Lucard. Here we are given some of the mythos for the show- the three ways a vampire can affect you by killing you, mind control leaving you a zombie, or turning you into a vampire-
Back at the store, we then see Chris's new boss trying to sell a painting to Dracula, and we learn just how wealthy he is. And Chris sees Dracula and hides in the closet. When he tells his boss that Lucard is really Dracula, she figures it's just where he's got a crush on her.
Back at the house, they discuss the fact Dracula was out in the day.  It's the next day and Max decides to dress up as a reporter and follow Dracula trying to get proof he's a vampire.
We then learn that Chris's new boss is really a thief and con artist.  Chris and Sophie then break in to the shop and get arrested.

Back at the house, the kids talk about telling the cops about Dracula. Next scene is Dracula on the phone talking about the painting. We then see Max at the police telling them what he learned from watching Dracula the day before. Which of course no one believes him.
Back at the shop, Chris starts looking around again trying to understand what's really going on and uncovers copies of all the paintings.
At sundown, Gustav and the kids go to Dracula's castle and use holy water to un-magick the doors to break in.  We see Dracula having dinner with Chris's boss. Gustav then pulls a cross on Dracula threatening him. Dracula then turns into a dog to get away.
The police then arrive to arrest her, and we learn that Dracula was actually working with the police to find the art thief.

We then learn that the police captain is a vampire, and he's turned Chris's boss into one.

Friday, February 1, 2013

365 Days- Day 26

Dracula the Series- Episode 2 Double Cross

We open with the bedroom of Chris and Max, the window is open and Max is having a nightmare.  Dracula is at the window and comes into the room fangs bared.  His brother wakes him, and their uncle Gustav runs in. He then explains about the cross that protects the house.

The next morning we see Max acting like a normal teenager annoying his uncle.  He then decides to read a large volume on the folklore about vampires.   Their uncle gets a call from an old buddy who invites himself over.  This distracts Gustav and allows Max to remove the protective cross which he takes to be re-blessed. Which ends up being a massive mistake.
We then see Dracula working out in his office reading into a recorder about firing people.
We then are back at the house with Gustav and his old friends chatting about when they were younger.  Gustav then hurts himself dancing.
Back to Dracula still working out and doing business, he learns that Max has removed the cross from the house.  Max then arrives to pick up his cross but no one is around. 

Back at the house, Gustav's friends are commenting on how nice the house is.  The kids are then left alone in the house as the sun goes down. Chris and Sophie realize that Max's removing the cross from the house has now put them all in danger.
Back at Dracula's office, and we learn from a phone call that one of Gustav's friends has told him about the cross being removed. The kids then learn that all the holy water and crosses are gone as are all the stakes and they are left without any way to defend themselves from Dracula.
Dracula then arrives in a storm and fog, flying through the window.   He has the kids trapped in the house, just as Gustav comes home.   We then learn which of Gustav's old friends sold them out.
Then the man who worked at the church as the gardener comes in with the newly blessed cross scaring Dracula.  Who then runs off into the night.   Gustav then tries to save his friend from turning into a vampire.

It's the next morning, and Gustav's friends don't remember anything. We then learn that the cross never needed to be re-blessed as it was made centuries ago by a saint.