Monday, November 24, 2008

Vamp or Not? Death Factory

dvdThis was a 2002 digi-cam release written and directed by Brad Sykes who would go in to direct 2004 stinker Bloody Tease. In essence it was a very simple slasher type film, with a supernatural central character, and a cameo by Ron Jeremy – yes that Ron Jeremy. Given it was released by Brain Damage I wasn’t expecting a whole lot. However the premise of the creature did interest me in a ‘Vamp or Not?’ sort of way.

It proved full of cliché, though it also had a twist that they managed to just about hide, though it wasn’t too shocking when it revealed as the clues had been there. Further I was kind of reminded, conceptually – rather than stylistically – of Jean Rollin, I’ll explain that later.

ooh look a factoryThe film begins with a scream. A woman runs but she is with her boyfriend and they’re just playing. They are Alyson (Allison Beal, who would be in aforementioned Bloody Tease) and John (Michael Okarma) and they fall to the floor and make out. All well and good but then she spots the abandoned factory and suggests they go inside.

Alyson injured and baitShe is quite taken by the derelict building but he is very nervous. Nevertheless they start getting down and dirty on an old sofa but a metal hand thing opens the door. He’s not sure what he’s seen but he freaks and she tells him to stay there whilst she has an angry cigarette out of the room. Alyson is got. Josh goes to find her and she is there, bleeding to death, when he is attacked and sharp metal nails start ripping his guts.

Rachel (Lisa Jay) has finished her first year of college. She is talking to her long time friend Louisa (Karla Zamudio) and is approached by Derek (Jeff Ryan), all round good guy who fancies Rachel and dislikes Louisa. Also nearby is rocker boy Troy (Jason Flowers) who seems to like Louisa though she is fonder of her knife – guess that’ll come into play later. Another friend Francis (David Kalamus) and his gal Leticia (Rhoda Jordan) stop by and invite them to a party at Francis’ house. Unfortunately the party plan falls apart when he discovers that his parents haven’t gone away but then Louisa suggests the old factory as an alternate venue.

oh look... Ron JeremyOver at the old factory a hobo named Glen (Ron Jeremy) is drunk and wanders in. Jeremy overacts for fun and it is a lovely camp performance for the whole 2 minutes he is in – it would have worn thin had it lasted longer. Alison is still alive and says they have to get out of there when the creature – clearly a woman – grabs him and bites his neck.

well lit given there is no electricity or natural lightAt a different entrance the kids arrive and get ready to party. Of course the factory is in darkness and, having explored with flashlights, Derek goes to find a breaker box – which he locates but finds that there is no juice. It seems strange therefore that there were rooms that seemed rather adequately lit – certainly not needing flashlights. Hmmm...

Tiffany Shepis is AlexaDuring their exploration, Troy finds papers and realises that the factory is the old Dyson Chemical plant. According to the press it shut down when there was a radioactive leak. However Troy’s uncle was a cop and he told him that the plant was working on experimental drugs to create bio-weapons and a female tech had been contaminated. There was then an attack and 24 workers were murdered. The police would have suspected the female tech but she had died a few days before the attacks.

Feeding on FrancisWhen we see the creature attack we realise that she has metal braces on her legs and arms, the arm ones ending in metal claws for her hands. She also has metal teeth that are likened to fangs. She does have a tendency to go for the neck and she often rubs the blood into her face (in an ecstatic way). She starts picking off the friends one by one.

left for dead but did not dieLater we hear that she was called Alexa (Tiffany Shepis) and was indeed the tech from the factory, she was contaminated and her mind went turning her into the creature we see. Whether she actually died or not is not answered but it is explicitly stated that she needs blood to survive. We also discover she is hardy, she is stabbed to death at the film’s climax but then we discover her body was not found and a realisation dawns on the survivor that Alexis is still alive.

So we have a possibly dead creature, certainly difficult to kill, who has talons and fangs albeit that they are made of metal (presumably man made). Most importantly we have a specific need for blood to survive and the consumption of blood is her primary goal. This makes me edge towards vamp.

Now I mentioned Jean Rollin and whilst the film had nowhere near the stylistic vision nor the pathos, Alexa reminded me, conceptually at least, of the Living Dead Girl. As for the film, well it wasn’t brilliant but it was a damn sight better than the later Bloody Tease. The imdb page is here.

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