Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Gothic Vampires From Hell – review


Directed by: Ford Austin & Rob Walker

Release Date: 2007

Contains spoilers

What’s in a name? Quite a lot actually. When you sit down to watch a film called Gothic Vampires From Hell you expect low level B movieness. It is that, but the name actually has a purpose rather than being a crap cheesy name. The film is set around the Goth music scene and the main band we focus on are called “Gothic Vampires From Hell”, which rescues the film title but not the band name.

The film opens with dancing animated skeletons and music by Rosetta Stone – this has nothing to do with the film and the computer animation is very dated. Herein lies one of our first problems, the animation – when used in film – looks awful. Anyhoo, we then cut to scenes of a Goth club, a band (Edgar’s Ravens) plays in the club and outside a young man named Poe (Agustin Brunel) awaits a phone call.

Poe's mate GerrardThe call is from Draven (Michael Anthony Panella) and Poe is worried as two of their friends (band mates presumably) are missing. He cuts the call as he hears something. He finds Gerrard bleeding profusely from the neck. Does he try to help or call an ambulance? No, he questions his friend who indicates that a mysterious woman, that Poe met, is responsible. Poe is then pulled into the air, thrown to the floor and attacked.

an example of messy eatingLet us talk blood for a moment. Blood, not realistic looking to be fair, seems to spew out of the injured in this. Later, when we see a vampire attack in full this makes the viewer question the film. Victims spew blood everywhere but that is what the vampires drink, why are they letting it go to waste? No answer is ever forthcoming.

The Gothic Vampires From HellCutting forward a year and the Gothic Vampires From Hell, consisting of Draven, his girlfriend Morgana (Jessica Remmers) and the fraternal twins Rayne (Mara Marini) and Rayvne (Rachel Wittman) are due to play in a battle of the bands. They go to the Goth club to watch rivals Edgar’s Ravens.

When there they meet Annastasia (Gina DeVettori) whom Draven seems to know. She is the owner of Gotham Records – a Goth label – and they are looking for new acts. She contacts Edgar’s Ravens and has them meet her and her assistants, Jasmine (Kristen Zaik) and Fawn (Sariah Bishop).

ready to eat a bandThe meeting is a ruse and they basically eat the band. This is a little silly. We discover that they are looking for a new master (male) vampire and Draven is the one and yet they also do run a record label. Why attack the bands? Why not just get fans and use the bands to improve their cover and make them money? Why go through the convoluted process of signing up Gothic Vampires From Hell when they could just take Draven? The simple answer is for plot, but it doesn’t work.

So Draven is going to be turned and it is up to the band to save him, but storywise we have given up.

computerised bloodThe effects are an area of concern also. I’ve mentioned blood, which looks fake and is copious but at least it is real fake blood. However later we get some computer generated blood and it looks so silly it is untrue. I don’t know why they added this in.

computerised flamesWe also get a flame effect as a vampire dies that looks so bad it hurts. Again I cannot understand why they did this. No other vampire burns when killed in the film and the effect is off-putting, better to have not done it at all.

The locations are few and it was jarring to see stills of recording equipment. It surely wouldn’t have cost much to actually use a recording studio for a quick shoot, especially as the film was in association with record label Cleopatra Records.

Acting seems competent with the main leads struggling to make the most out of a poorly plotted script.

strange veiny effectThe positive in this film is the music – if you are into Goth music, with an excellent soundtrack. Obviously, given the story, we get plenty of band type footage but then the filmmakers started putting in music video effects that were absolutely unnecessary as we were watching ‘live’ footage. A good soundtrack does not a good film make, however, and in some respects you feel like you are watching a long music video.

after feedLore wise we are in familiar territory. We see some hypnotic control and the vampires can become (poorly animated) bats, they can also vanish and reappear. Piercing the heart seems to be a killing method and sunlight isn’t mentioned either way. There is the idea that the drinking of innocent blood was necessary to complete the change to full vampire. And, as I mentioned earlier, these vampires are all sloppy drinkers. I found the story concept that they needed a new male master overly misogynistic as an idea.

There is a kernel of goodness here but it fell short of what it could be and only really deserves 2 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.


popgloss said...

haha...good review. I was in it and I fully agree. Three different directors had to try to come aboard to salvage it... But thanks for watching! LOL www.maramarini.com :)

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Thanks Mara, sounds like a case of too many cooks perhaps?