Thursday, January 09, 2020

Honourable Mention: Guardians

Guardians was a Drew Maxwell directed 2009 low-budget creature feature with a cgi creature (that looked a little like the Geiger alien with a multi-eyed demonic head). Steeped with a paranormal, come inter-dimensional background (Hell, the main character, and the only character we’ll mention in this article, was called Alex Lovecraft (Shannon Watson)), this creature feature is not the most obvious film to appear on Taliesin Meets the Vampires.

The film itself was a story of near misses. A series of establishing shots at the head of the film in a mist covered (or perhaps over-exposed) small US town were nearly clever but just smelt of not enough budget to quite pull it off. A sequence of folk trying to escape the doomed town (it turns out to be a localised phenomenon and not, as I thought at first, an all-out apocalypse) showcased the ambition of the filmmakers but the cgi creature was just to darn cgi, without any feeling of actual mass. To be fair, however, they actually managed to engage these things in fights a darned sight better than some high budget movies with judicious fast cuts.

None of that is actually why I’m writing this. Rather, this article comes about because when we first meet Alex Lovecraft he is descending a stairwell in a church, stake in one hand and torch in the other. I actually mused, as I watched this, that more than garlic or fangs – the stake really is the ubiquitous trope of the vampire movie. It just struck me that we see fangs and we think… could it be vampire (after all so many humanoid monsters do have fangs) but see a man holding a stake and we know (or, in fairness, assume) he’s on the trail of a vampire.

And in this case we would be absolutely correct to assume that. Alex reaches the crypt, ignores the stone sarcophagus and goes straight for the wooden crate whilst musing to himself (and the vampire) that they are making this too easy. Before he gets there he finds bodies on the floor – he can’t find bite marks and so the vampire that killed them is 'just' a class one bloodsucker. This was just babble (and made little sense when one stops to consider just how the vampire was getting to the blood). He flips the crate lid…

becoming textured
There is a woman’s corpse inside, her chest veiny and fang marks in the neck. He waxes lyrical for a moment (ultimately promising to get the monster who did this to her) and prepare to lunge when she lashes out and grabs him. He twists her arm around and stakes her – the visceral side of which was actually a nicely done sfx. She then becomes textured as she dies. And that is that… a fleeting visitation, an introduction to Alex Lovecraft before he goes on his mission proper.

The imdb page is here.

On Demand @ Amazon US

On Demand @ Amazon UK

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