Thursday, November 28, 2019

Vamp or Not? Fang

This is a 2018 film by Adam R. Steigert and is brave in the first instance as it is a budget werewolf movie. There was also a question, as I watched it, as to whether one of the main characters is actually a vampire, rather than a werewolf.

However, as the film starts, we get to see that one of the things it does well is gore as we see a man (Christopher Burns Jr.) chained to a chair covered in gore and vomiting. It’s a startling opening and the blood effects are really well done. This then moves into images of medical diagrams as credits roll, until we get into the film proper.

opening gore
Joe (Theo Kemp) is rifling through a purse and then wakes girlfriend Chloe (Melodie Roehrig). They are junkies and are out of drugs. Joe has a gun and a plan – he will rob someone and Chloe has to distract them, when she asks how he suggests by opening her legs. She acts as a prostitute and ends up in the car with a man who also has a gun. Joe shoots him in the head but the murder makes them a measly $50.

Chloe and Joe
They go to see dealer Christmas (Sean C. Sanders) who, despite misgivings, hands over some junk. They go home, Chloe shows her regrets first and in the morning Joe is down too, wondering how his life has hit rock bottom. Chloe mentions an Aunt and Uncle (Doris (Melantha Blackthorne) and Roy Crowley (Patrick Mallette)) that they could visit – she hasn’t seen them since she was a kid and Joe’s ears are pricked when she mentions they are rich.

family home
So, we see them travelling (and scoring) and eventually they come across a broken down car and driver Chris (Jason John Beebe) and his girlfriend Shelly ( Jennie Russo, Hi-8 (Horror Independent 8)). There is no cell reception and Joe suggests they go with them to Chloe’s Aunt’s house, which isn’t far. They get there and meet creepy grounds/housekeeper Harold (Gregory Blair).

dinner party
The Aunt and Uncle are away to lunch but he lets the visitors in, locking the door. Apparently, they like all the doors to be locked (and mention has to be made of the miming of doors being locked without keyholes, using one of the keys from his large bunch). Anyway, soon Aunt and Uncle appear and they are weird and the guests feel trapped. Meanwhile, a local Sheriff (Steve Losey), has found the ID that Chloe (unbeknownst to herself) has dropped at the scene of the murder and gets dying (of cancer) ex-officer William Sanders (Michael O'Hear, Dry Bones, Red Scream Nosferatu & Mostly Dead) to go with him over the county line to look for her.

wolf form
Of course, Aunt and Uncle are monsters and things get weirder and weirder until blood begins to flow. Now they never mention what they actually are, except referring to themselves as monsters, but Aunty is definitely a werewolf. Uncle Roy, however, is perhaps not as easily classified. He suggests that they have been around for some time, the Crowley’s found them in tombs and they took their forms – whether they stole their faces, shape-shifted into their forms or possessed them is not actually answered.

eyes carved out
“Uncle” Roy wears dark glasses and when they are removed, we see his eyes are carved out, the wounds raw looking. Both hide away during the day and both eat raw looking meat. He does produce fangs (top and bottom) but we do not see him turn hairy like Doris and, when he bites Sanders, he says his blood is poisonous due to the cancer. Later they discover Sanders' blood is actively debilitating and beheading kills, that said, all the house residents get up after bullets and so, later, silver bullets are suggested. They don’t actually seem to work on Roy, though he implies this is due to his longevity. However, a face full of holy water burns Roy and that is not normal werewolf behaviour/reaction.

holy water
It is the holy water and the not turning hairy (that we see) that makes me question whether Roy is actually a vampire. He is from the tomb (but so is Doris and, actually, so is Paul Naschy's werewolf in at least one of his classic films), avoids the sun (though we don’t know if he needs to) and is killed by beheading. This makes him feel vampiric to me and I’m going down that line – though it could just be an adoption of tropes thing. The imdb page is here.

On Demand @ Amazon US

On Demand @ Amazon UK

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