Monday, January 10, 2011

Silver Night – review

Director: Glenn Andreiev

Release date: 2005

Contains spoilers

This was clearly a low budget film, it screamed shoestring and yet it almost pulled off what it was trying to do. Almost…

That was, until you started to think about the film with any degree of logic. Then the gaping plot holes became apparent and, worse still, so did the missed opportunities.

Andrea Bertola as Cora
It starts with a couple of guys searching the streets for a girl. When we see a taxi pull up and a rather inebriated girl, Cora (Andrea Bertola), stagger out then we assume it is her for whom they search. The cab driver directs her to a door. On the stairs inside the drunk act ends, for a moment, and dissipates altogether when she gets in her flat. She has a bloody and ripped t-shirt and retrieves a crossbow. Then she phones David (Greg Dashkin) and says she got one of them.

Frank Franconeri as Anthony Garring
He is scared for her and tells her to meet him at grand central station and that she should bring the list. We see the crossbow being moved out of her reach and then she is grabbed from behind by a vampire, Anthony Garring (Frank Franconeri, Nikos the Impaler). The timeline moves on and we are shown 'evidence' that her death is one of many attributed to a serial killer gang (!) terrorising New York.

Shawna Bermender as Margot
Meet Margot (Shawna Bermender) she breaks into a disused building that had been a speakeasy. A juke box (or record player, more like) starts off on its own and we see Garring lurking. Margot is arrested for breaking and entering by a handy cop. Her sister, Veronica (Amethyst Valentino), bails her out but is unhappy with her and her vampire hunting friends. She gets a call from another of the vampire hunters, Donlevy (Vernon Gravdal).

Cora returns
Cora has visited David and passed on part of her password to her computer, this will allow the hunters to get a list. Donlevy wants David to realise that Cora is now an evil vampire and I wondered at why she would offer her password if she were now a vampire? Actually at this point she seems more like a ghost with Tinkerbelle lighting effects than a vampire, but later she’ll eat David, so hey, my original question stands.

first vampiric encounter
Cutting back in time we see that Margot got involved in the vampires hunting business when she and Veronica went on a night out. She interupted Garring and stopped him from eating her drunkenly passed out sister, and was attacked for her trouble, narrowly avoiding being bitten herself when another patron tried to enter the bathroom area. Donlevy has managed to get them weapons (crossbows with silver tipped bolts) and she aims to begin Silver Night – kind of a Knight of the Long Knives against vampires. For that they need the list.

Trouble is, the list only gets them names and burial places of the vampires and one wonders how that was meant to help – their plan is called into question in film and the character driven cynicism about it held water with the viewer. Bizarrely it will prove effective.

Monica and Margot are identical
Also in the gang, as it were, is Douglas –a Garring expert. Who was Garring? He was a bootlegger and mobster back in the day who, when the cops closed in, committed suicide along with his wife Monica (also Shawna Bermender). Ahh… I know what you are thinking, Monica and Margot are one and the same. No, Monica is now a vampire but one in an ambulatory but comatose state. Why then have them look identical? It is commented on, in passing, but not acted upon and is pointless to be honest. A big miss as it might have been that Monica came back but her vital spark had been reincarnated (hence the vampire version's comatose state). Perhaps the sacrifice of Margot might bring her senses back… I’m coming up with more in-depth ideas than the film did, to be honest.

bolt in the eye
The vampires fry in the sun and silver kills them (though a silver-tipped crossbow bolt through the heart isn’t necessary it seems, one in the eye will do). Garring, apparently, is unusual in that he has retained his senses. The others are allegedly animalistic – and yet they failed to catch them without the list. Crosses burn and Garring has a hacking cough that isn’t explored as a plot device. Garring also has a mortal son (aged 2 when he died) who might have proved a plot device but didn’t and failed to be capitalised upon as a character builder for Garring. Garring now supplies crack rather than booze. There is a traitor amongst the hunters, but that isn’t the most exciting sub-plot.

eye effects
The film kept my attention, despite the problems with it. The plot was woefully underdeveloped, the acting barely passable for the most part and the vampirism could have been better played upon. There is precious little in the way of effects and that probably was for the best because, as I mentioned, at least one vampire displayed Tinkerbelle effects when floating disembodied in or out of shot. Nothing seemed grounded in anything approximating reality (not that vampires are real, but some reality would have been nice, like the list containing addresses rather than graveyards) and I didn’t buy the characters or plot points.

2.5 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.


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