Monday, September 12, 2011

Vamp or Not? The Deaths of Ian Stone

This was a 2007 film directed by Dario Piana and it had registered on the periphery, as it were, until Halek suggested it as a topic for a ‘Vamp or Not?’

At its heart it does owe much to several films that have gone before; Dark City springs to mind, as does the Matrix and Jacob’s Ladder either through aesthetics or plot aspects. It has its own story, however, and whilst the big twist was spotted a mile away (and will be spoiled later) there is definitely something vampire-like going on.

It begins with a hockey match and Ian Stone (Mike Vogel) is playing his little heart out. He smashes a shot in the last seconds but it is ruled as out of time by the ref (George Dillon). Stone points to the clock, which has two seconds left but the ref says it has stopped and indicates to a stopwatch (which also has 2 seconds left).

Christina Cole as Jen 
As the goal didn’t count Ian’s teammates are upset – assuming him to be a glory hunter. His girlfriend Jen (Christina Cole) is there for him, however. He drives her home – complaining that it has been a day where everything seems to go wrong and then drives back through the pouring rain. At a level crossing he sees a shape of a body in the road. He investigates and then runs back to his jeep to phone 999. His call fails and something smashes his windscreen, pulls him from the vehicle and puts him on the train tracks to die…

funky veins
He awakens in an office. Jen is there but, hearing their conversation, it is clear that they are not in a relationship. He has to work until late and is one of the last to leave the building. A frightened man (Bill Nash) gets in the lift and then runs from the building. Outside Ian sees the man has collapsed, the ref from the hockey game (now a business man) holds his hand but black veins seem to pulse under his skin. As Ian walks off the ref’s head seems to vibrate ala the demon effects in Jacob’s Ladder.

Jaime Murray as Medea
When Ian gets home he feels as though he is being watched. His girlfriend Medea (Jaime Murray) is there and, after sex, she gives him a present of a watch. As they talk he mentions seeing the man die and recognising the business man as a hockey ref. She didn’t know he played hockey so he finds his year book and shows her the team picture; to his shock he is not in the picture. He begins to think he is going mad and, during the night, thinks someone is in the flat but doesn't find anyone. On his way to work, the next morning, his watch stops and he sees two hockey players. He follows them but they vanish and a man, Gray (Michael Feast) approaches him.

Grey is grabbed
Gray knows Ian’s name and takes him to speak in an alley. He tells them that they are after him and when they come for him clocks will stop. Ian is fairly disbelieving until grey smoky arms grab Gray’s legs from under a building and drag him away. Ian runs, he can’t get a phone signal and the phone box connects to... well something unwholsome sounding. He runs, getting to his apartment. He tells Medea that they are after him and as he looks at the door her arm turns into a lance like weapon and she kills him.

being fed on
He awakens as a taxi driver with Jen his passenger. Yes it’s that Dark City multiple lives thing and Jen is his only constant. He eventually discovers that they are harvesters, creatures of another dimension who live alongside humans and feed on human fear. They can make a human see what they want them to see but they have become addicted to human pain and the fear released at the point of violent death. As it is put to Ian, the parasites have become predators. Ian asks if they are vampires and the question is not answered.

harvester dusted
Their human form can be injured – but feeding allows it to repair itself. However they cannot be killed and this is the crux of the film. Ian is a harvester, trapped as a human and placed in life after life as he killed another harvester and they want to find out how. Because he keeps remembering the previous lives they keep ‘killing’ him and placing him a new life. Of course I am sure you can work out how Ian quit feeding on fear, gained the power to kill his own kind and has a constant in each life…

run Ian, run
Is it vamp? I think it is. These creatures are wraith like in their natural form but they are also immortal and feed on energy in the form of fear. This type of feeding reminded me of the vampires in the Dan Simmons book “Carrion Comfort”. When they die they sort of dust. An unfortunate flip to Matrix type clothing for no reason and some plot holes mar the film but it is watchable and Vamp.

The imdb page is here


Anonymous said...

I agree about the Matrix clothes; kind of old hat even by '07.

I'm reminded of The Horla - but maybe that's a bit of a stretch. I ought to read Carrion Comfort. There are also similarities to the movie The Nines (which is not only non-vamp but non-horror).


Taliesin_ttlg said...

Personally I think the horla is a stretch as it kind of parasitically attached, where as these seem to kill quick... that said much more horla than the actual film based on it!

Taliesin_ttlg said...

I should have said, yes, you do need to read Carrion Comfort! A very different type of vampire to the normal. :)

MadeInScotland said...

I looked to see if you reviewed it, but I couldn't find it and it is not on your list.

One for tour vamp or not vamp. Watch The Disappeared a 2008 British film with one of the Treadaway twins.

A very creepy film!


Taliesin_ttlg said...

Hi MiS, good to hear from you. I'll certainly keep en eye out for it :)