Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Killer Barbys Vs Dracula – review

Director: Jess Franco

Release date: 2002

Contains spoilers

So, a second outing for the Killer Barbies (remembering their name was changed for the film titles due to issues with Mattel) – as though the first hadn’t been enough. Now, I do like their soft pop punk musical stylings combined with a horrorpunk image and could see myself happily having a couple of pints whilst sat in a seedy bar watching them play away. The films, however…

Well, the first one had something, a bit of Franco’s impudent magic mixed in with the music. This one has more music but is a much worse film. Sylvia Superstar, the vocalist, is back as is Billy King. The rest of the band members are actually nameless in film.

an actor, playing an actor, playing Dracula
They are playing the most deserted theme park on the Costa del Sol, or so it would appear. One of the owners, Pepe Morgan (Aldo Sambrell, in a different role to the first Killer Barbies film), apparently has a thing for Sylvia as well as fantasising about being on stage singing songs about being Pirate Morgan. Never mind… to be honest the film has no cohesive plot and thus all this is ultimately unimportant.

bringing in Dracula's coffin
Also hanging around are a film crew either making a documentary or a news report about the park. There are a couple of dancers with the Barbies, a descendant of Dracula who co-sings a song with the Barbies and an actor playing Dracula (Pietro Martellanza). An ultra-Communist Romanian called Irina Von Karnstein (Lina Romay) turns up in a hearse, with a Hawaiian-shirt-wearing guard called Ivan (Viktor Seastrom). She has brought a coffin, containing the ‘mummy’ of Dracula (Enrique Sarasola), as an exhibit.

staked... but not for long
It is actually the real Dracula, perfectly preserved with a stake through the heart (it appears). Anyway, as the Barbies play their track “Wake Up” he starts ‘head dancing’ in the coffin and then the stake works its way out. Dracula is reborn – though Irina doesn’t seem that shocked and seems to be actually working with the Count (until he eats her!)

Dan Van Husen as Seward
There isn’t really much story – other than the fact that he is in love with Sylvia and wants to bite her intestines! Dr Seward (Dan Van Husen; House of Blood, Forest of the Damned, Cold and Dark, Nosferatu and Dracula Blows his Cool) turns up to slay the vampire – trouble is he is blind (he is also the sort of vampire hunter that consults books, though his are in Braille, which was a nice touch). However, all in all – along with a couple of nice bits of dialogue – moments like the Braille book cannot save the film nor explain why a veteran actor like Van Husen would sully his resume with the movie.

a snack
The movie feels like it is meant to be a comedy – despite not being funny. The two decent lines of dialogue are, firstly, a comment about prices going up because of the Euro and, secondly, Dracula being asked why he is such a bastard and blaming his poor upbringing and childhood. Then again, a stopped clock is right twice a day! Over all I wondered why I watch pap like this… and then the clouds lift for a moment…

the Barbies perform
That lifting of the clouds is provided by another Killer Barbies tune (and they offer more in this than the last film) and for a moment the film doesn’t seem too bad – this only works, of course, if you like the music. Then the film flows rapidly back into, what is best described as, abject boredom. Yes, that is the best description, the film is ultimately boring. I’m giving this 1 out of 10 – and that’s only because I like what I've heard of the Barbies' music.

The imdb page is here.

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