Monday, September 20, 2010

Cryptz – review

Director: Danny Draven

Release date: 2002

Contains spoilers

It was only as this film started to roll that I realised this was a Full Moon picture. Now that can sometimes be a good thing and sometimes a bad thing but the company have managed to pull out some exquisite little vampire movies on occasion.

Not so much this time but, for what it was, I didn’t overly mind the movie and I have certainly seen a lot worse.

Choice Skinner as Tymez Skwair
Pre-credits we see a guy running on to a roof and being ripped apart. Post-credits we see Randall… I’m sorry, Tymez Skwair (Choice Skinner)… waking up. It is midday and his mother (Fylicia Renee King) is not impressed. She wants him to go out and get a job. He wants to rap. He goes out and meets his rapper mates Fuzzy Down (Rick Irvin) and Likrish (Dennis Waller).

Lunden De'Leon as Stesha
They are heading out when they see a woman, Stesha (Lunden De’Leon), strutting her stuff and start commenting towards her. She talks to TS (I can’t be arsed typing it in full each time) and grabs his cheek before walking off. She has told them she works in Cryptz but not where it is. They look in a phonebook, despite her saying that the place was not listed, and then Fuzzy suggests TS phones Truck (Chyna).

Chyna as Trunk
TS is not sure, Truck has the reputation of being a creepy voodoo guy. Eventually he does phone him and, when he asks for the location of Cryptz, Truck suggests that he doesn’t want to go there. TS explains that he wants to track Stesha down and Truck then asks whether he has been touched by her. He mentions the cheek and Truck tells him to have the others duck tape him to the bed before nightfall and to call him back later.

in Cryptz
Clearly that isn’t happening, after all Fuzzy fears that stories of him taping TS to the bed might get out, and suddenly TS’s cheek is on fire where it was pinched. He rushes out of the house and directs his fellows to Cryptz, which is in an unmarked location with the imposing Buffalo (Archie Howard) on the door. Once there the pain stops. Yup, it is a vampire strip joint but the method of recruitment of victims (the literally burning need to get there) belies the tawdry décor and allows us to forgive this.

an attack
TS phones Truck who tells him not to get a private dance…Well, you know what is going to happen... Whilst the club goes into lockdown (ala a low budget, under-populated From Dusk till Dawn) Stesha, who is giving him the private dance, sees TS’s tattoo and brings her mistress Kulada (Ty Badger). The tattoo is a design he saw on something from his grandma (who came from Haiti) and they cut it off his chest as it being tattoo’d on the skin of a human will give her vampires dominion of day as well as night. Can Truck rescue them?

Stesha turned
Lore wise we have all the stuff around Kaluda, who has cut her own tongue out and talks through Familiars. Stesha was a familiar but, as she has done well, she is turned to vampire through the film. Kaluda uses a skull goblet and I mention it because, come on guys it was an atypical cheesy, plastic goblet that can be purchased in supermarkets every Halloween and looked crass in film.

Oh look, vampires...
Truck has some voodoo powder that will burn the face of the undead. Breaking the neck or a stake through the heart will kill vampires. The whole thing around the tattoo seemed silly. As they all (Stesha, Kaluda and Truck) recognised the symbol why not just turn or make a familiar of a tattooist, have him put it in his shop as a design and take it from the first person to have it done – assuming it has to be tattooed in innocence!

I kind of liked the banter between the three friends, it seemed natural however they were absolute morons, all three of them, and at least the film had the good grace to make that point itself. That said their bickering even continued when locked up in a vampire lair and at times grew wearisome. So, all told dialogue-wise, perhaps a little less would have been more. The film sets itself for a sequel but that has not been forthcoming.

I didn’t mind this but it wasn’t a great film. 3.5 out of 10. The imdb page is here.

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