Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Vamp or Not? Evils of the Night


This was a 1985 flick directed by Mardi Rustam and, candidly, I really don’t know if the filmmakers actually knew what they were making, or actually cared for that matter. This film does not know whether it is a softcore porn flick, a slasher movie or an alien/alien vampire movie. It has elements of them all in bizarre, unequal measures.

What it does have is a collection of stars (in more like cameo roles) that rolled in from yesteryear and all played alien doctors. Alien DoctorsI am talking genre staple John Carradine as Dr Kozmar, the one true catwoman Julie Newmar as Dr Zarma and from Gilligan’s Island we have Tina Louise as Cora (whether she was a doctor, a nurse or what was never clear). With the three you’d think you’d get some cult level camp action… no such luck.

alien nursesOkay the aliens have landed near a college and taken over a hospital. Their purpose, to extract platelets from teens in order to make a longevity serum for their people. There are some vague rules about not letting them die during the extraction process and we hear not a lot more about this other than it can extend life by 200 years.

kindnapped teensThey have a wee bit of a problem, however. They had, when choosing the town, never heard of summer vacation and most of the students are away. They have a limited time there and have to get on with it. This means kidnapping young people (they optimally must be between 18 and 24) who are camping near a lake and getting up to teenage shenanigans.

Neville Brand as KurtOf course they do not kidnap the teens themselves. They have hired a couple of local yokels, Fred (Aldo Ray) and Kurt (Neville Brand), to do the deeds. Chosen for their low IQs these mechanics don balaclavas and sneak off after the teens and are then paid in gold coins which they can’t use until the aliens leave.

So, low grade, softcore porn in the form of teenage shenanigans makes up part of the film and Fred and Kurt the slashers make up the vast majority of the film. But what about our aliens and are they vampires?

spaceshipWell, they are aliens, they have a craft that is born of original Battlestar Galatica stock footage and, for some reason, looks more like a traditional UFO when it lands (Oh yeah, different stock footage). They have rings that double as communicators and laser blasters (which much be tricky - imagine if you want to call in to work hung over and accidentally slice your own nose off!). But are they vampires…

alien expungedWell aside from making a longevity formula out of blood we have little evidence. There is an odd moment when one is brained by an escaping teen. The body is found in green ooze and the comment is made that she has been expunged… but that could just be alien speak for 'bled to death' (with green blood rather than red). The alien story almost seems like either an after thought or a fore thought that they couldn’t advance. The mention of vampirism is no more than a marketing piece for the poster as the aliens are stealing blood.

John Carradine  as Dr KozmarThis is not a good film, this is not a vampire film and Tina Louise, John Carradine and Julie Newmar are absolutely wasted in this film. The imdb page is here.


Bill said...

Neville Brand was a B-movie institution himself and famous for his tough cowboy roles in particular. I believe he and L.Q. Jones played grungy, gay cow pokes in Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch.

I have not heard of most of the films you review and that is wy I love this site. And your reviews are of a narrative style that is readable. Short and to the point. I have seen sites that retell the entire film scene by scene... it is too much to read really even if the writing is good.

Sorry I have not had time to drop by much. As you know I am rebuilding the site, all my old posts one by one and some of the transition has been fraught with trouble and bumps. But I am only about 20 old posts away from being caught up.

I hope my new "gravatar" appears on this mail, I am struggling to get it to work.

See ya

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Cheers Bill,

I have been keeping an eye on your re-build mate and it seems to be getting there.

Unfortunately your gravatar doesn't seemed to have appeared.