Thursday, January 13, 2011

Artifacts of Time – review

Director: Gio Sugranes

Release date: 2004

Contains spoilers

Sometimes it is oh so very hard; hard to write the review, hard to watch the movie in the first place. The watching… well, let me put it this way… I was no more than 20 minutes into the film when I caught myself falling asleep. I switched off and had to force myself to put it on again the next day. The writing of the review is hard because I have no desire to critically eviscerate the movie but can find little positive to say. Part of me would rather just forget I ever saw it, not write the review and claim the film never existed. Then I’d be letting you down, oh gentle blog reader, and reneging on my mission to bring you all the vampire films I come across (except Geek Maggot Bingo… that film is dead to me).

Gio Sugranes as Sebastian
At least by writing the reflective statement above I have broken my block with the review and unwittingly highlighted the biggest problem with the film – it is like a long and boring reflective statement. Worse than that, our vampire – Sebastian (Gio Sugranes) – is virtually the only character and thus it is mainly him, being reflective into a Dictaphone. In fact the first ten minutes is voice-over… barely audible, languid, emotionless voice-over.

So we get the idea that god created vampires – why, well that Sebastian does not know – after Christ was crucified. Neither Christ nor God speak to him but an enigmatic voice does… hearing voices Sebastian, not a good sign. There is no religious icon issue, indeed Sebastian prays often to a crucifix with a crown of thorns over it. The vampires can also go out during the day. They are known as Artifacts of Time, hence the title.

calling card
There is a serial killer, the imaginatively named slasher, on the loose and he is attacking people that mean something to Sebastian and leaving Sebastian little calling cards. Sebastian seems at a loss to work out who it could be – this serial killer who knows his name and kills anyone associated with him. Did I mention he hears voices…

crossbow attack
A mad vampire perhaps, the slasher actually speaks to him (telepathically) and has his voice but there is a fly in that ointment – he also has managed to shoot Sebastian with a crossbow, barely missing the heart. In truth, not likely done by himself. So if not Sebastian, then who?

vision of an evil twin
Here I spoil it for you, but with luck you’ll never watch the film. It is Sebastian’s evil twin that knew about him but he didn’t know about. It seems that God split his soul in two and he can only be whole again if one part kills the other (and yet remain as the individual they had become). Was it worth the revelation… hold on, I’m just going to check the progress of the paint I set to drying.

turning Vincent
Really, it is that poor. Bad sound, video shot, self-indulgent rubbish. I try to be positive, I try to say I couldn’t have done it myself but, in honesty, I could and I like to think it would have been better – that doesn’t mean I’m going to make a film, just that this was so poor. I had better cover the rest of the lore… despite the thought that God made the vampires, Sebastian can make them himself, bit of a cut with a finger sheath (no fangs please, we’re on a budget) and a quick feed of the dying guy and Bob’s your Uncle (or should that be Drac’s your vampire). There is some old cowled cursed vampire who piffles on about a prophecy for a couple of minutes…

Sorry, I’ve had enough… 0.5 out of 10 (half a point because it isn’t actively offensive, just boring and self indulgent). The imdb page is here.


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