Saturday, November 04, 2006

Blood Slaves of the Vampire Wolf – review

DVD title screen

Directed By: Conrad Brooks

Release Date: 1996

Contains spoilers

Conrad Brooks, the director of this movie, at the very least, deserves a footnote in B Movie history as he was someone who worked with Ed Wood, in fact he was in several of the infamous director’s films including “Glen or Glenda” (1953) and “Plan 9 From Outer Space” (1959) as well as playing a bit part in Tim Burton’s biopic “Ed Wood” (1994). Indeed this film has a dedication to the memory of Ed Wood at the head of the film.

Unfortunately, Conrad Brooks failed to learn any lessons from Wood, he might have looked at Wood’s techniques, scripts and dialogue and said I will do better, but in fact this movie has less within it than a Wood production.

The basic premise is okay – at least to a degree. (At this point I must apologise for not putting the majority of the ‘actor’s’ names in this review but it is unclear who most are.). We begin with probably the worst bat flying scene in movie history, essentially a rubber bat suspended before the hand held video camera as the camera man walks along. We cut to a rather large man, Antonio, leaving the film “Interview with the Vampire Professional”. He seems a jolly sort who likes everything and everyone. He goes to a movie store and buys some horror magazines for his buddies and goes to meet them in a bar. On his way there he is approached by a girl asking for his autograph, and he explains he is not a movie star.

The autograph hunter seems to be there for one reason and one reason only, she approaches another couple of men and at last gets an autograph. He states he is not a star, a real star is someone like Conrad Brooks! She plays no further part in the film.

Antonio goes to Mike’s bar and buys beers for his buddies, on his way to their table he says hello to a mysterious man (Conrad Brooks) and woman, who ignore him. Having had a beer he leaves for his car. The mystery woman (who we later discover is called Selena) tells the man to remain and follows. She approaches Antonio by his car and insinuates herself to his place for a night cap. His home is a cornucopia of horror and B Movie merchandise. As he freshens up she slips something into his glass. He drinks it and realises her glass is dry, queue a rendition of “I never drink… wine.”

Drugged, she stabs him repeatedly, his screams attracting neighbours, whom she calmly walks past, and then the police. antonio as a zombie vampire thingHe is taken to the morgue but Selena appears, makes an incantation and he rises as a sort of zombie/vampire hybrid. The changes must be seen to be believed. The dying process seems to have made thick black greasepaint appear below his eyes and caused his beard to grow! Selena is the vampire, she creates slaves by feeding them the powder (a mind altering drug from the 30’s, when she was a movie star, that saps the will and can cause vampirism – I know, I know) and then uses them to drain victims, the blood then drained from her slaves and fed to her. There are a couple of interesting points with this, the drug might be a silly premise but it did remind me of the concept of zombie powder and the filtering through their bodies, whilst not explained, was a unique idea. green faced vampire attacksUnfortunately, the powder has got into some cheap wine that the local wino’s have got and so, when Antonio drains a woman called Maisy she returns as an uncontrolled (green faced) vampire who manages to give the police their lead.

The effects are non-existent, even the credits are written on card and we see a finger at one point as one is held to camera. The locations are ridiculous at times, the warehouse they must have used for the morgue is clearly not a morgue - decrepit and so not sterile. The sound is recorded via the video camera’s in-built mike and thus the dialogue jumps in volume depending where the ‘actor’ is in relation to the camera.

DIY van helsing with candlesI keep putting ‘actor’ in inverted commas, there simply isn’t a good performance and the dialogue is clumsy. The film quality itself is poor, my partner walked in whilst I was watching and asked whether I had started watching vampire home movies now.

As a memorial piece to Wood, this probably works and at least there was an attempt to build a story line (incidentally there is no reason why it should refer in the title to a vampire wolf, except with a slim connection to the moon). For kitsch value only I will give this .5 of a mark, but I can find no reason to build anymore score for it, so it remains at a lowly .5 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.

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