Monday, November 05, 2007

The Ironbound Vampire – review

Director: Karl Petry

Release Date: 1997

Contains spoilers

Some times IMDB astounds me. I opened the page for this film, for cast list purposes, and decided to check the average score and saw 5 out of 10, wow… either all the voters were involved in the film (or related to those in it) or this has to be an example of the most unreflective score ever. You see this approximately 1 hour film really does not deserve anywhere near a mark like that, in fact it doesn’t truly deserve a mark.

First of all let us tackle the title. It sounds kind of cool – vampire bound in iron (even the cover gives that impression) but no… Ironbound is a region of Newark. You see Tom Lane (Richard Matyskiel) was a soldier from Newark during World War 1 and was seriously injured (away from the trenches it seems). He was rescued by a vampire and turned, put his dog tags on a mutilated corpse and snuck back to Newark. From there we get the story… if you can find it.

This is more a montage of scenes through the ages (with no period pointer reference provided in the look of the sections) with an overarching concept of a story that is hardly touched upon. We see Tom accuse his girl of being a slut and then forgive and turn her (whilst they wear clothing that doesn’t really fit the period). We see them get married. We see him ghosting around different ages. Oh, just because his love is a vampire doesn’t stop him turning over twenty other women to create a harem – that he seems less than pleased with most of the time.

In the modern day we see blood harvesting conducted by paying junkies and the unemployed for their blood, looking for a factory to live in and the investigation into unexplained vampire type murders by a retired cop, Eric Steele (Dennis Drenth), whose investigation involves talking to, mostly uncooperative, people who worked for Tom and sitting in a bar. Tom, who at this point has a really bad mullet, does very little to deal with said cop – despite us hearing about just how blood thirsty he is.

Eventually Steele teams up with one Doctor Williams (Suzanne Lenore) and they manage to capture said vampire. There is a media circus (that we don’t see) and so Williams kills Tom. Wow… that is it story wise folks, from beginning to end and I think I’ve put more detail in than the filmmakers did.

I didn’t mention the gratuitous lesbian scene placed in the film, it seems, simply to pad out its very short length. I also haven’t mentioned Ambrose (Conrad Brooks) and John (John Link), his daytime servants. Obviously they cast Brooks for his camp value, being an Ed Wood refuge (Dolores Fuller is also in the film), but they were both just awful – as were most of the actors.

As for Tom, well I couldn’t really tell you what he was played like because I was distracted by what is potentially the worst mullet in vampire movie history – oh it is really that bad. Somewhere, under the distraction, I noticed an accent twisting into Irish occasionally but that is about all I can tell you.

Effects… The special effects were anything but special. After finding the coffins, a ridiculously easy task given some random guy dressed as a punk and overacting as though his life depended it gave them the address where the coffins were hidden, one is dropped. The resultant crispy corpse in the sun looks bad.

Worse was Tom’s transformation at the end when he became puppet Tom, looking evil (and cheap Halloween surplus) but wanting to die. Death, in this, can only be delivered by decapitation – in this case by a mystical blade that Williams was given in Philadelphia.

No real story, crappy effects and bad acting were all compounded by poor sound recording, bad directing and absolutely zero cinematography ability. This doesn’t have a redeeming feature folks, there isn’t a saving grace at any given point and so we get stuck with a big fat 0 out of 10. Avoid.

The imdb page is here.


nfilak10 said...

Well judging by the pictures it looks like you at least saw the colored version. The one I saw was in B&W and while I have no problem with B&W, it's the same level of what you'd get from Windows Movie Maker another attempt to look "artistic" to get away with the fact it's really bad. I respect making something low budget, but when it's a home movie style film sold as a real one to trick you, it's insulting.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

hi nfilak10, the DVD I have was, indeed, in colour - never come across a B&W version but I can't imagine it would add anything.

Low budget is, of course, fine. Thre are some low budget films I adore. This was just rubbish though.

Cheers for commenting