Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Necropolis – review

Director: Bruce Hickey

Release date: 1986

Contains spoilers

Bad 1980s horror movies. They are almost as much a niche as euro-horror but with much fewer redeeming features. Necropolis is one such film but, before we begin, let me explain that this nearly became a ‘Vamp or Not?’

As we will see it has undead – that are much more zombie than vampire – but it also has a witch. The line between witch and vampire is one that sometimes become blurred, as we know, and in this case she is, most definitely, a psychic vampire… and something much more, that we will get to at the appropriate time.

disco was invented in 1686
The film starts off in 1686, New Amsterdam… now, as far as I know (and stand to be corrected) New Amsterdam was renamed New York in 1664, became New Orange in 1673 and was reverted back to New York 1674. Never mind. Anyway, two figures skulk through misty woods; a young woman with a shock of white hair (LeeAnne Baker) and a man (William K. Reed) who follows her. Meanwhile we see the wedding of a young couple.

tasting blood
The woman with white hair is a Satanist and starts a ritual that involves some late seventeenth century disco-dancing. She then voodoo’s a doll and sticks a pin in the neck which injures the bride (Jacquie Fitz) who then goes to the witch to be sacrificed. It is through her virginal blood that the coven will gain eternal life and she slits the bride's throat, drinking the blood. Just then the groom (Michael Conte) and earlier man burst in and the Satanist is stabbed with a crucifix. She claims that they can never kill her.

William K. Reed as Henry
Modern day (or at least contemporary to the film) and the woman still has white hair, but it is now cut short and she is a biker chick. Is she reincarnated or the same woman? Who knows? We discover the other players are reincarnated but it is just as plausible that the woman, credited as Eva, was ghosting around somewhere. “Waiting for?” You might ask. To gain possession of a ring, I’d reply. She goes to an occult store that has advertised it for sale (as a devil ring) but it has been sold to a Rev Henry James (William K. Reed). She uses magic to kill the shop owner and goes after the reverend.

LeeAnne Baker as Eva
Her first overtures to him, in a men’s toilet, go unheeded; he simply wants to help someone who sees as being a street punk. The next night the Reverend is being interviewed by Dawn Phillips (Jacquie Fitz). Eva uses her magic to make it look like one of the street kids is in withdrawal. When the Rev and Dawn take him to hospital, Eva tries to get a guy called Tony (Andrew Bausili) to open the Rev’s safe and, when he won’t, makes him kill himself – taking the key to the safe for herself (and getting her ring back).

zombie-like coven members
Of course the cops go to the suicide, in the form of a detective called Billy (Michael Conte), and the Rev insists that Tony did not commit suicide. Dawn and Tony are drawn together and the game, as they say, is afoot. So… psychic vampirism? As well as wanting to finish the ritual, from all those centuries ago, with the virginal Dawn, Eva reclaims her coven. The original coven members are still there but look somewhat worse for wear, indeed rather zombie like.

power of the cross
Eva goes around sucking the life force from people, which causes them to exude ectoplasm. She then feeds her coven by developing six breasts that leak ectoplasm and suckling the undead coven members. The other vampire like traits we see is a fear of the cross, as well as two crossed sticks being able to burn the undead and kill them if stabbed by one. Power residing in a ring, as seems to be the case with the devil ring, is also a trope sometimes used in vampire films.

Eva with ectoplasm
Overall, however, this is a bloomin’ poor film. Badly acted, badly scripted and containing poor FX. However it does have a vampiric witch suckling the undead with ectoplasm oozed from 6 breasts – and very few films (if any) can say the same.

3 out of 10. The imdb page is here.

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