Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Wickeds

Director: John Poague

Release date: 2005

Contains spoilers

I came across this over at Scare Sarah and so many thanks to her for highlighting a vampire film I didn’t have – and had never heard of. I am always happy to hear about vampire movies – even if they are rubbish ones!

This does mash up the vampire and zombie genres in a way that might have been lore satisfying had it not been for them changing their mind in respect of lore as they went along. They also throw in ghosts and spirit possession… and Ron Jeremy (I am Virgin, Blood Moon Rising and Death Factory). In this, however, he plays a full role, rather than a cameo appearance.

The film starts with a group of youths driving through the country. They are Alyssa (Kelly Sue Roth) and Bailey (Bradford Sikes) – who are making out on the backseat of the SUV – Julie (Anna Bridgforth), Dylan (J. Matthew Miller), Kate (Gabrielle Dennis), Jake (Justin Alvarez) and the driver Richard (Danny Darder). It is Halloween and they are going to party at an abandoned house that is currently being used to shoot a cheesy straight to video horror flick – at least the script was aware of what it itself was. What the girls don’t know is that they are to make their own party and assume it is a big, organised event.

So, we have the 7 kids going to the abandoned house, made to look ever so cheesy inside (as we see) due to the decorating by a horror film crew who have the weekend off. Suddenly they notice another car and Richard (probably because he can shorten his name to Dick) decides to play chicken with it. They are nearly run off the road and Dylan notes it is going to the graveyard and wants to pound the driver, but is stopped. Hey, that’s chicken for you. Anyhoo they get to the house, break in and Alyssa and Bailey head upstairs for a protracted (cut through the first part of the film), mainly clothed, dry hump.

taking the amulet
Over at the cemetery we have Gus (Ron Jeremy) and Billy (Bryan Donoghue) – grave robbing, in broad daylight. Gus is stood at the mouth of the hole Billy is digging and is clearly after something in particular. Billy uncovers the coffin and opens it to find a rather well preserved corpse, we later find out is called Teufel (Michael T Schnieder). He is reaching for the amulet when the eyes open. Gus tells him he is imagining things and to get the amulet. As he touches it the eyes open again and Teufel bites Billy’s hand.

zombies rising
They get out of there, with the amulet, but all across the graveyard the dead are rising. These are standard Romero type zombies; the shamble and eat your flesh variety. Gus and Billy abandon their truck and fight their way through the dead – for some reason leaving the obvious means of escape behind in favour of and heading towards the possible shelter of the nearby abandoned house. Teufel rises and manages to find and grab Billy. Gus puts his shovel through him and tosses him aside, which seems to make all the zombies fall over.

Richard is zombie chow
Gus and Billy make it to the house, find the back door locked (the kids do not respond to their calls as they think they are busted, of course our couple still at it upstairs hear nothing at all), don’t bother looking for the front door and get in via the cellar door. Having discovered the kids they go straight to wanting to board up the house. Richard walks outside and is grabbed by a zombie, becoming chow. From here on in we should have a fairly straight Night of the Living Dead set-up, but the filmmakers throw the kitchen sink in and some of what they add is incongruous.

Teufel in the graveyard
Let us take Alyssa and Bailey, she is topless, they are still dry humping when Bailey is tossed to one side and Teufel comes up between her legs. First question, how’d he get in? Second, how come she was topless, then had a top on and then became topless again? She runs downstairs in a panic, wearing a bra… ok, so she had time and presence of mind to put that on... and says that something was in the room, Bailey checked it out and she saw it and ran – a story different to what we witnessed. Dylan and Jake go to check on Bailey and become trapped in a room with Bailey as the door handle is now electrified and an invisible presence deflects a vase thrown at the window. They smash the window by hand and get outside (and then back in after some zombie baiting) but the incident is never mentioned again and Teufel is seen still in the graveyard!

painting blood crosses
When it comes to the plain old zombies things are odd as well. They are your atypical shambling types but when Richard returns, at the end of the film, he is much lither than any of the others… now we could argue that rigor mortis has not yet set in but he can also speak and think. Bad zombie, stop being sentient... Then again another one had the presence of mind to steal the grave robbers' keys to their truck. I mentioned the filmmakers tossing in the kitchen sink and we get to see a ghost, as the house was the scene of not one but two murder suicides, and a spirit possession to boot. References come thick and fast, a faux Transylvanian “I vant to suck your blood” is uttered at one point, plus Night of the Living Dead (through “they’re coming to get you Barbara”), Bruce Campbell, Blade and Buffy all get a name check. There is some painting blood crosses on faces and necks that has zero effect later!

Billy turned
Lore wise we discover that Teufel was a black magician who drank human blood to gain immortality. The amulet was cursed and it was said that should it be removed he (and those around him) would rise and take revenge on the wickeds who disturbed his peace. There is some cock and bull about them all being wickeds due to their breaking and entering, but it seemed a stretch to explain why the kids were being got also. He bit Billy and, when Gus put the spade through the vampire, Billy swallowed some of his blood. Thus Billy eventually turns though he has standard fangs. Dylan surmises that Teufel isn’t really a vampire but some sort of special one like Blade as he can go out during the day – no, he was a vampire and lets leave it at that.

Ron Jeremy is Gus
The film is poor, make no mistake, the acting is rank poor – only Ron Jeremy making a passable stab at it. Though the kids were annoying, perhaps that was acted. The stage set of the house looked crap – this is the only straight to DVD film likely to dress a house like that. The lighting was below par, hell the whole thing was poor but I have seen worse. For a moment I thought we might get a similar type of plot device as Graveyard Disturbance, alas it was not so. Then again, perhaps if they hadn’t thrown in the kitchen sink they might have been able to tighten this up. As it is we are tripping over ideas that go nowhere. 2 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.

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