Saturday, May 20, 2006

Alien Blood - review

Director: Jon Sorenson

Release Date: 1999

Contains Spoilers

When I sit down to write these reviews I have a fairly shrewd idea of what I want to say. This time I must admit that I am somewhat stumped, this film is one of the most bizarre, psychedelic efforts I’ve ever seen and I really cannot work out whether that is a good or bad thing. As you will be able to tell by the DVD cover and the title, this film is not your normal run of the mill vampire movie.

Normally now I’d do a run through of the plot, but I’m a little stuck here. The first twenty or so minutes of the movie has virtually no dialogue. Essentially it appears that it is new years eve, 1999. Two women (both aliens), each with a child (again aliens) are wandering through the English countryside. They actually meet up at one point but then split again. We also see masked men. One of the alien mother and child groups are attacked, and after putting up a fight, are killed by the masked men who seem to be soldiers hunting them.

The other pair are Helene (Francesca Manning), who is pregnant, and the strange child Monique (Rebecca Stirling). Eventually they reach a house but it is clear that the hunters, led by Jouvet (Glyn Whiteside), are not going to give up.

The house is populated by vampires. Now I was tempted to write a Vamp or Not? rather than a review. Very poor vampiresThe vampires do not seem to be particularly vampire like, bar the fact that they have fangs. Indeed, although their leader is Dracula (Tony Hunt), he is also known as James and is, well in a vampire sense, pretty pathetic. There has been a suggestion that they were meant to be debutantes having a fancy dress party. The party bit is correct, that was mentioned, but I think that, despite the fact that bullets can kill them, they were meant to be vampires.

There is a scene later when one of the vampires is shooting a hunter, as well as shooting him she bears fangs and hisses. Now, to be honest, I don’t think that is the action of a debutante. No these were vampires, though weak and feeble, and thus this is the first movie that I am aware of in which a vampire, threatened with a gun, wets himself.

Anyway, Helene breaks into the house, kills James. Then the hunters come and the vampires team up with the alien to defend the house and little girl, who is the object of their search, against the soldiers. All that is, except Tom (Glyn Whiteside) – the vampire who wets himself - who escapes the house to be killed by Jouvet. Bizarrely Jouvet (obviously played by the same actor) says something along the lines of “Goodbye little brother.” Why? Is it just a reference to the same actor doubling up, is it artistic prentention or does it mean something plot-wise? Well we just don’t know.

That is one of the biggest problems with the film, we just don’t know. Okay it is low to no budget, the acting is never top rate, but it is passable, and the soundtrack can be down right haunting at times, but we never really know what is going on. The director creates an artistic landscape, oft-times pretentious – and yet doesn’t offer anything close to exposition.

The action sequences are a let down, and the special effects, especially the giant UFO that rides to the rescue at the end, are perhaps a little too ambitious for the budget. Yet, having said that, you have to respect Sorenson for creating something very unique. Unique, unfortunately, is not necessarily good cinema, nor does it make a good vampire genre film and I’m only giving this 1.5 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.

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