Monday, January 02, 2012

Vampire’s Call 2 – review

Director: Kabat Esosa Egbon

Release date: 2005

Contains spoilers

Not a sequel to Vampire’s Call but a continuation (so do read the first review), the first film had the redeeming feature of showing us some Nigerian culture as well as some fine music. This does neither – indeed I’ll get to the soundtrack later.

After 1.5 hours of the first film, where very little happened, you might be forgiven for expecting this part to be a rollercoaster of vampiric action. You’d be wrong though. Long stretched out pointless moments are the order of the day… again.

Chioma beaten
So, as we left off, Lisa (Stephanie Okereke) is over in Nigeria having been plagued by nightmares of a fanged man we know, via the credits, is called Max (Muna Obiekwe). Her grandfather is telling her a story about the love of a warrior called Chioke (also played by Muna Obiekwe) for an outcast woman called Chioma (also played by Stephanie Okereke). This film starts with the last five minutes of the previous film. Anyway we then discover that the jealous priestess had a very pregnant Chioma beaten. She manages to give birth and extract a promise of everlasting love before dying. Chioke went to get revenge and died (off screen) and the baby was orphaned but the priestess sold herself to witches in order to curse the baby anyway (indeed all past the beating and birth is off-screen).

Lisa and Richard
As night falls Lisa goes off with a torch and feels Max following her. She calls to him to show himself. He offers to walk her home and says that he would never hurt her. The next day a man arrives. He is Richard (Collins Onnochei) and Lisa had been in a relationship with him in England before up and running off to Nigeria without a by-your-leave. The question could be, is the man who followed her a beacon of love or a creepy stalker… it doesn’t get answered but we get an interminable section of film with the two holding hands and wandering around the Nigerian countryside.

Lisa and Max
However Lisa is still sneaking off to meet Max, though at first their relationship is touch and go – especially when he hears a noise and vamps out and then tries to convince her that he won’t eat her. The dialogue is uniformly risible but there is a moment here that works despite itself. After a load of flannel about fate and destiny (and it was only surprising that oceans of time weren’t mentioned) Lisa looks at him and says “Stop sounding so melodramatic and stop talking rubbish.” Perhaps if more vampire media heroines said that we wouldn’t get quite so many doomed romance stories!

vamp out
Anyway, Lisa is torn between the love she feels for a vampire and the love she feels for a mortal man. When she discovers the prophecy of a chosen one (her) who will lift the curse from the vampire and make him mortal, with her blood, she naturally freaks… But can someone outrun their destiny… Or, given the pacing of the movie, slow plod ahead of their destiny, flicking two fingers at it because it is unlikely to catch up!

blood at mouth
Not a lot of lore. Max is not the child, he is a descendant of the child and Chioke reborn – how he became a vampire is never revealed. We know he has fangs, only goes out at night and drinks blood. He is also a bit of a wimp vampire, easily beaten up it seems. There isn’t a lot of lore and I’d have liked to have seen a traditional Nigerian myth figure with vampire like traits rather than a paper-thin Western rip-off complete with Dan Curtis’ reincarnated love trope.

I mentioned music. There is a moment with not one but two, absolutely awful ballads – one immediately following the other. They are cheese incarnate and during one Lisa eats fruit served by max and during the other they dance. These songs make Strange Love from Lust For a Vampire seem like a contender for both the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame and an Oscar for best soundtrack and these two don’t have some lovin’ going on, on screen, to at least distract the viewer a little.

There is so little story that these two films could have been squeezed into one of around 60 minutes (max). It still wouldn’t have been a good film but the pace surely would have been better. Bad, bad, bad. 1 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.


Bill D. Courtney said...

HAPPY NEW YEAR ANDY! Look forward to more blood sucking and blogging from you in 2012 (if the world does not end)


Taliesin_ttlg said...

Ah... those pesky Mayans eh Bill ;) - none of the conspiracies/theories seem to have taken account of occam's razor and the idea that the guy making the calender just got bored!

All the best to you and Ivy this coming year