Sunday, November 12, 2006

Vamp or Not? The Cave

This 2005 movie, directed by Bruce Hunt, was lent to me by zombiepunk who suggested that there were enough overtones to warrant a ‘Vamp or Not?’ feature.

The film begins in Romania, 30 years before the date of the main feature, and a group of men are searching for an old church and the entrance to a cave – for reasons unexplored. In the bowls of the church they discover carvings of bat like creatures across the walls and mosaics illustrating the same.

carved creatureThis rang vaguely vampiric bells to begin with, Romania is obvious – Transylvania being a region of the country and the setting for Dracula - add to that a church set as a sentinel, for want of a better word, against the evil within and bat type creatures and I can see why a ‘Vamp or Not?’ was suggested.

The entrance to the cave was in the floor of the vault so they blow the entrance and end up falling through the shattered floor and then half the mountain falls onto the church sealing them in.

mosaicThirty years on and an expedition, led by Dr Nicolai (Marcel Iures), has uncovered the cave. Most of the expansive tunnel system is flooded and he calls in a cave diving team to help chart it. Before they go in he explains that the church was a Templar church and the legend states that they battled, and were defeated by, demons.

severed clawIn the cave they find a unique eco-system, with creatures that seem to have a common parasite within them. Of course they become trapped and they are now part of the food chain. Dive leader Jack (Cole Hauser) is attacked by a giant creature but survives bringing back a claw that seems to be still alive, the tendrils from its severed end resembling the microscopic parasite.

freaky eyesJack begins to act strangely as the survivors begin to die and his eyes develop a strange star shaped pupil. His hearing becomes keener as does his sense of smell. When we see the skin of one of the creatures it seems to be tattooed and the tattoo is like one that one of the men, trapped 30 years before, had.

Biologist Kathryn (Lena Headey) realises that Jack has been infected by the parasite and it is altering his DNA so that he can survive in the cave environment. The creatures we see are the men who were trapped previously, all vestiges of humanity gone.

the creature flyThe faces are skull like, they can fly and they use sonar. They are somewhat like giant bat creatures with, it becomes apparent, an intelligence below their animalistic need to hunt. The bat creature simile again ties into the vampire myth, but is it enough?

I can see the reason for investigating whether this had a vampiric side, especially with the vampirism being a virus films that have appeared over the years (although in this case it is a DNA altering parasite). However this is not, in my opinion, a vampire movie. They are some form of mutated monster, eating humans – but blood is not the first order of the day – though I recognise that they are replicating through infection. Never are vampires mentioned (and it would have been easy for a line to have been introduced that stated that they were the source of the myth) but I can see that elements of the general vampire myth have been taken and moulded into a movie that is essentially an underground version of Alien (1979). So Not Vamp, but using familiar story elements.

The imdb page is here.


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Taliesin_ttlg said...

There was a comment left on this post, by premiere props, for an auction - allegedly a charity auction - which I deleted.

Foloowing deletion a second identical comment was left. This has also been deleted.

I will not accept advertising of any type - be it commercial or charity - without first being contacted and with me giving my permission. If it is for a charity I would expect evidence that the charity was legitimate as well as the goals of the charity - as to whether it is something I would care to support.

I will ask that no further attempt to advertise through the comment section of this blog is made, unless contact is first made as described. All such posts will be deleted.