Sunday, September 19, 2010

Bloodz Vs Wolvez – review

Director: John Bacchus

Release date: 1996

Contains spoilers

This movie is from the same people who brought us Vampiyaz. At this point I could probably end the review as Vampiyaz was awful (and it wasn’t until I watched this that I realised that they are also the people behind the blooming awful Seduction branded films). But… well, sometimes, even the worst films have a great film waiting to burst out and that can make them all the more frustrating.

This film doesn’t so much as hide its light under a bushel but rather doesn’t even know it has a light and then stomps said bushel flat with a litany of badness that starts with the DVD illustration showing a vampire, wearing gear that the wolvez of the film wear and a werewolf in a higher state of transformation than will happen in the movie.

a member of the wolvez
The film clearly owes a debt to Underworld, not only in the vampires fighting werewolves premise but… In Underworld we were given a definitive distinction of the vampires as the bourgeoisie and the werewolves as the proletariat. In this the wolvez are a street gang with no income (and an embarrassing habit of barking at cars) and the bloodz are property developers with sharp suits.

the holy water effects are bad
The two species have been at war for centuries and so we get the scenes of a realtor taking a man through a building and subsequently being attacked by wolvez who throw holy water on him. Can I just pause there to comment on the sheer badness of the effect. The computer generated purple blob that represents the corrosive effects of holy water makes a viewer want to cringe.

vampire pro
We further get scenes of a wolf going into vampire territory looking for a little action and following a prostitute who punches him out – with another bad, black blurring effect and Lawd only knows what that was meant to be. He is then leashed,
and surrounded by vampires who subsequently shoot him dead (presumably with silver bullets).

Malik Burke as Loup Garou
However, leader of the Bloodz – or at least this clan as there are several vampire clans – Asiman (Richard Carroll Jr., Vampiyaz) wants peace and arranges a meet with the wolvez leader Loup Garou (Malik Burke, also Vampiyaz). However, neither the bloodz or the wolvez are going to behave that well. Asiman’s wife, Jamila (Kandiss Marie) has had all the furniture removed before the meeting because of the 'dirty' wolvez coming… observation, this was probably more an example of the script being based on the available locations. One suspects they got into an empty building for shooting – hence the no furniture. Indeed, for a multi-millionaire who has a butler the house seemed… pokey and cheap.

truce breaking
No matter what the two leaders do they cannot keep their troops under control. Jamila was a princess and sees Asiman as the slave he was. She is having a lesbian affair with Dhampira (Jenicia Garces, also Vampiyaz) who, herself, is trying to get clan control. Thus they keep arranging attacks/attacking wolvez, which puts the truce into constant jeopardy. As for the wolvez, the desire to put paper down in the middle of a room and crap on it doesn’t go well in impolite society, never mind polite society.

the limit of wolves transformation
When everything goes to Hell in a handbasket we notice some of the more inherent problems with the film. Firstly, lack of numbers – this is less a war than it is a quiet skirmish between (at most) ten to fifteen people. Next, lack of effects. The wolvez transformation goes as far as long nails, red eyes and fangs. Okay the filmmakers know their limitations in this respect but never do werewolves on a budget!

This budget constraint is also seen in a blood bank location with a large building in the establishing shot and then one worker and a single fridge (shot in a disused warehouse, probably). The idea that they could then get bulbs of garlic and put it into the blood packs and that the vampires would drink glasses of the stuff without noticing was probably one of the lamest script ideas I have ever come across.

Richard Carroll Jr. as Asiman
I did say there was a great film waiting to burst out and that could be seen in a single scene. Loup and Asiman meet (in the smallest, most tawdry looking upper class golf club ever). Asiman tell Loup the wolvez are better than the vampires as they can walk in daylight and Loup admitted he tried assimilation, had a wife and child and tore them up on a full moon. The actual interaction between the two and the acting worked really well.

bloodied mouth
Further, a white guy comes over to Asiman – who owns half the club – and asks him to caddy for him. The underlying social commentary regarding black America and the inherent racism that survives – especially within the American elite – combined with the juxtaposition of black gangs with affluent black Americans might have been genius… If they had actually done anything with it. Plus the awfulness of most of the film didn’t help.

This is a damn shame. 1.5 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.

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