Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I, Vampire: Trilogy of Blood – review

Directed by: Ted Nicoloau & Denise Duff

First released: 2004

Contains spoilers

This is a trilogy of short films individually entitled “Spawn of Hell”, “From the Grave” and “Undead Evil” and comes from the Full Moon stable… Wait one minute, let us be honest.

Remember when I reviewed Vampire Resurrection and I stated “I decided that I should dig it out for review for very specific reasons that should become apparent in the not too distant future”. Here is the reason…

This is an 85 minute short film compilation except the short films are just edits of full length films. “Spawn of Hell” is a 28 minute re-edit of Subspecies 4: Bloodstorm. “From the Grave” is a 30 minute re-edit of Vampire Resurrection and, finally, “Undead Evil” is a 27 minute re-edit of Vampire Journals.

Is any of it worthwhile? I had hoped that at least one would be but let us see.

Spawn of Hell is a waste of DVD time. It begins with Ana (Ioana Abur) finding a car crash and opening a body bag. The bag contains Michelle (Denice Duff) who reacts to the sun as she is a vampire. Thus Ana gets the body away and to a doctor – Ion Niculescu (Mihai Dinvale). He recognises Michelle for what she is and wants to rescue her from Radu (Anders Hove), her master.

The thing is we are missing three previous films’, and two thirds of this film’s, story and character development. Why was the car crashed? Why was Michelle running from Radu? We do not see the relationship between Radu and Michelle nor, when we discover that Ion is a vampire, do we discover why he can walk in the daylight as this film’s entire plot about a partial cure is cut out. We do hear about the Bloodstone but not enough to explain it to an uninitiated viewer.

It was with Vampire Resurrection’s curtailing into “From the Grave” that I hoped we might get some strengthening of what had gone before. I hoped that the entire cop sub-story had vanished – and it had. What also vanished was the entire of Jonathon’s (James Horan) rebirth from the grave scene and the modern day film really starts with Victoria (Denice Duff) waking from a nightmare and then kids finding a body (only a hand is seen) in a pipe. I knew it was Jonathon – a new viewer might not especially with radio chatter about murders.

The Marty (Frank Bruynbroek) story has no power, we know he was in prison for doing something to Victoria and that he kills her cat. The murders he commits on route to finding her are not shown. Neither is Aunt Zerelda (Marilyn O’Connor) finding Jonathon in a cave and failing to stake him, plus his subsequent mercy – though they mention it. Strangely the poorly shot scene with visible, jiggling boom mike is still included. The fact that Denice Duff is in both segments as different characters shouldn’t be confusing, but the fact that Jonathon Morris is in the first and third segment as the vampire Ash might make it so.

So we get to the third film, “Undead Evil” a re-edit of Vampire Journals. The first two segments were based around what were essentially below average films. I like the Subspecies series but the last film only received a score of 4 out of 10. Vampire Resurrection received 3 out of 10. Yes the films are spoiled but not as much as taking Vampire Journals – a film I scored at 7.5 out of 10 – and slicing it to pieces.

It begins with concert pianist Sophia (Kristen Cerre) being approached by mortal vampire’s servant Iris (Starr Andreeff) who apologises if her employer scared the girl the night before. What happened the night before? Oh, we don’t know because it has been edited out. So has the entire motivation for what anyone in the film might be doing from Ash to Zachery (David Gunn) – the vampire slaying vampire. It is all rather poor.

The bottom line is this was a cash-in. It hoped to get people to part with money because they were fans of, mainly, the Subspecies Series and Full Moon films – or that is my view. It doesn’t even have the good grace to reference the original films in the credits. Luckily I received this as a gift – though obviously the gift giver parted with money. Luckily I run this blog, thus the money spent was not completely wasted as I can perform a public service announcement. Do not buy this DVD. If you want to see the Subspecies films and Vampire Journals, and I recommend you do, buy them. If you want to see Vampire Resurrection buy it. This, my friends, gets 0 out of 10.

There is no imdb page at time of review and, quite frankly, it doesn’t deserve one.


Derek Tatum said...

Completely off subject, but "Blacula" is available for free, legal viewing at www.hulu.com. I watched the opening sequence, and while I knowit goes downhill and the vampire make-up is indeed atrocious...William Marshall rocks. It's a shame the guy was wasted in a movie called "Blacula," when he could have more than played in a serious vampire film.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Hi Derek

William Marshall did indeed rock and one wishes that the Blackula movies were worrthy of his talents. Many thanks for the heads up.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Heads up to anyone following this thread, unfortunately, Hulu.com can only be streamed within the US.