Monday, November 01, 2010

Lord of the Vampires – review

Director: Brad Sykes

Release date: 2002

Contains spoilers

Brad Sykes’ films have appeared on the blog a couple of times in the form of the low budget but interesting Death Factory and the blooming awful Bloody Tease.

This was done the same year as Death Factory and is more traditionally vampiric. Better than bloody tease (though that says very little), it does some things well but then makes massive mistakes. I’ll mention at the head of the review the soundtrack. All songs are by Abney Park and that should be really cool but they rarely fitted and the incidental music grated against them.

Dude, you must realise...
The film begins with a couple of nearly naked chicks, Ravenna (Liana Loggins) and Mercy (Vanessa Sweatte) writhing over Viktor (Jack Wareing)... The film starts proper and Gus (Joe Myles) is driving along, it is night and the camera struggles to pick out details. Mercy is hitching as ‘her car has broken down’. Dude, blonde chick in stripper clothes with pasty white face – don’t do it… of course he does. Alarm bells should be blaring when she says that she hasn’t had a cigarette for thirty years and a line about compliments will get you killed.

blood soaked
Anyway, the alarm bells have clearly been silenced by the stirring in his trousers and he goes in the house with her. A glass of wine and some heavy petting and Ravenna comes in… threesome time. Let me just mention the sex scenes, copious and ultimately boring. Okay, the ones with plot purpose (disarming dinner, as it were) I can live with but then there was scene after scene with one or the other or both with Viktor and they felt like time fillers... Anyway bite and blood.

Viktoe looks like a bad mime
And a whole lot of blood too. One thing this does do well is gore. Clearly they are sloppy eaters but the gore is generally very well done for the budget used. Viktor comes in and girls go to him. Let us talk about white face paint. Mercy is sometimes painted white, Ravenna never and Viktor always – get it straight amongst your vampires, please! Worse, Viktor is painted up white but his neck and arms are still tan. White face paint rarely makes a vampire look dead, rather it makes them look like a bad mime. By the way, there is no super strength here, Ravenna complains about the weight of Gus’ corpse.

Steve with Amanda
Larry (Tom McCafferty), Denise (Tracy Dillon) and Steve (Corey Manuel) are in a mini-van and are looking to rob a highway store. They need $5000 dollars for reasons never clearly given. Steve is driver, Denise distraction and Larry gunman. It goes wrong when innocent passerby Amanda (Kristen Lueck) enters the store, then legs it. Steve catches her but the clerk takes the opportunity to shoot and manages to wound Larry; and is subsequently killed for his trouble. They kidnap Amanda.

who is coming to dinner
Larry wants to kill her but Steve doesn’t and actually seems to fall for her. In her turn she quickly develops Steve orientated Stockholm Syndrome. They break down just near a house… just a note on the house, it looks grand in the front-on establishing shots but the backdoor area appears to be a different, lower grade of, building – not good continuity. Neither is the fact that Larry miraculously gets the use of his leg, despite shotgun injury, and seems unmarked bar blood on the rip in his jeans. The house belongs to… well you can guess the rest…

No… I bet you can... Steve, Larry and Denise are going to be vampire chow and Viktor wants to turn Amanda, making her the third vampire bride. Add in a little Ravenna jealousy and that’s about it. Onto lore…

Fire bad
Fire is bad. A drunken Mercy pushes her finger into a candle flame and her hand bursts into flame. Another problem with the film, of course… if fire is so damn dangerous then you wouldn’t have naked flames all over the place, surely. It makes no real sense. The film never strays into religious areas so we know nothing of that.

To turn a person into a vampire… well this seemed confused at first. Larry is bitten and not killed, managing to escape. Don’t worry, if he is bitten he’ll soon be dead, suggests Ravenna. Not true, or not exactly. He turns. All well and good but those actually killed do not turn (or at least not with the same rapidity). Further Viktor suggests that a ritual is needed in order to turn a victim, but actually the ritual is more used due to the fact that drinking the blood of the one who turned you makes you subservient to that vampire.

stake aftermath
Killing a vampire can be achieved via a stake through the heart (and their heads kind of melt, which was B grade fun). Viktor states that sunlight is their destruction and so you already know the finale and thus I can spoil it, in order to reveal the logic error. Amanda is turned and forced to drink Viktor’s blood, so is subservient to him. Steve breaks this by getting her to remember the robbery (the fact that she has rapid onset Stockholm Syndrome must help). They run outside, Viktor follows, it is daylight and he melts… Why does nothing happen to her, she was in the sun before him, she is now a vampire and the newly turned Larry’s face melted when staked. It made no sense.

This film could have been fun, were it not for the logic lapses all the way through. 3 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.


Tom Clark said...

I had a lot of fun with this one, pancake makeup aside. Considering the circumstances it could have turned out FAR worse. Jack Wareing is a badass.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Hi Tom - it was really the logic lapses that killed me off this one but glad you had fun with it :)