Friday, May 01, 2015

Teeth and Blood – review

Directors: Al Franklin & Pamela J. Richardson

Release date: 2015

Contains spoilers

There is a lot to say about premise. The premise of a set of a vampire movie being haunted by actual vampires is a good premise, or at least I think so. It has a potential for a post-modernist take on the vampire movie itself. Here at TMtV we approve of this premise.

That said, good execution is also a key requisite and so Teeth and Blood may well have a good premise but I knew from the very beginning of the film that the execution had left a lot to be desired. This is perhaps a tad unfair. I began to suspect, as I watched the film, that it was actually designed as a comedy – though there is no indication of that on the Homepage or the Facebook Page. The trouble was, I didn’t find it funny.

Chinatown attack
The film starts with a voiceover about vampires having always been amongst us… it was absolutely by the numbers – the sort of voiceover that has been on innumerate vampire films. Then we get a black and white sequence of an attack in Chinatown and subsequent staking that just looked off visually. Cut to the modern day and a person, face unseen but evidently Detective Mike Hung (Sean Hutchinson), goes to a Chinese shop and, after some poorly acted banter with Grandfather (Clint Jung, The Revenant), he is given a bag. He opens it out of shot and all we see is a golden glow.

priestly vampire
We cut to a scene where a priestly vampire (Greg Eagles, Billy and Mandy’s Big Boogey Adventure) is on about taking over the US with vampire hordes and drinking the blood of the virgin before them. The scene ends when the director, Vincent Augustine (Glenn Plummer, Vegas Vampires), calls cut. The victim is the film’s star Elizabeth Thornrich (Steffinnie Phrommany) and she really is a diva, throwing a hissy fit and literally stomping her feet. Later she is found dead with fang wounds in her neck.

Mike Hung and Sasha Colfax
This death is passed off as a suicide, for the consumption of the press, but the police believe it to be homicide – even though the body has vanished – and pair up Detective Sasha Colfax (Michelle Van Der Wate) and Mike Hung (who has been sent from Special Division) to go undercover. This includes getting jobs on the film – somehow she manages to get the starring role and he gets taken on as a grip, and suspension of disbelief has just taken a nose dive into the pavement. The Captain (Frantz Turner) was a friend of her father (this character titbit goes nowhere fast) but knows little of him – and later suggests he’s found out that most of Hung's cases were “x-files” type cases.

King Kedar as Tyrese
So, there is a sub-story about a blood bank crisis and philanthropist Augustine setting up a new blood bank for the city that will produce synthetic blood – and how he will use this to weaken the vampires of other clans (as he is a vampire). On set actors are going missing as they are eaten. Augustine falls for Colfax and Hung really doesn’t seem a very good vampire hunter. Whilst the plot and characters are mostly forgettable there is some amusement to be had in pimp-throwback vampire Tyrese – played with camp gusto by King Kedar.

Under lore we discover that there are daywalkers and nightwalkers – these can be made specifically by the vampire turning (one assumes a special skill to do this). Vampires can be taught to project a reflection into a mirror (this was a neat idea) and can move at great speed. Stakes kill and holy water disintegrates vampires (until it doesn’t, with no rhyme or reason).

breath mojo
Instead of eye mojo we get breath mojo – as Augustine breaths out a purple smoke that places the breather under his power. Hung has a gold coloured, metal stake that I assume was the glowing thing in the bag at the beginning... except it no longer seems to glow and there is no confirmation that it was the same thing. A bite turns and so we end up with a plague of vampires at the end – a concept that was fun (indeed more fun than the movie we got) but not carried forward.

This is a film of could have been/should have been. The concepts were there but the acting wasn’t, the playing for laughs seemed off (or maybe it just missed my funny bone), the plotting was loose and it needed something it just didn’t have. A shame.

3.5 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.


Unknown said...

The trailer for this was kinda fun, shame it's not up to scratch, is it on release in the UK?


Taliesin_ttlg said...

Hey Jafula - no, it hasn't had a release here yet as far as I know, but I bought it via Amazon UK (region 1 release)