Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Indemnity: Rage of a jealous Vampire – review

Director: David Dietz

Release date: 2010

Contains spoilers

I came across this as a concept and made contact with the film, as it were, through its Facebook Page. I was directed to Maddy GTV, where the film could be found to watch for free. Normally that would lead to the film getting an “honourable Mention” but, as the film is due to be available to buy soon and removed from Maddy at that time, we are into review territory.

The first thing to note is that this is a short film, some 50 or so minutes, and as such it doesn’t outstay its welcome. It is just the sort of film that I can imagine being hitched together with a couple of others to form an anthology flick, and whilst it is clearly of a low budget itself it would certainly beat some vampire orientated anthology sections we have seen on the blog before now. Not to say that it is perfect but it is certainly better than some.

William at night in the woods
It begins with a man, William (David Dietz), running through the trees and here we get our first issue with the film. It is very difficult to see within the night shots. I am sure lighting can be difficult to nail for night scenes and there is a bonus to not using day for night shots, but it is annoying for most viewers when they have to squint at the screen (and it still doesn’t clear up). All that said, I was watching a free, relatively small download. One hopes the DVD has cleared this up, or at least improved it. If not then the other thing to note is that the outside scenes are relatively few.

Joe and William
William is clearly being pursued and we see that it is a woman, Angela (Crystalann). A car comes along and he flags it down. He shouts for the driver to get moving. Luckily, despite this initial shouting and his subsequent refusal to answer a single question, the driver doesn’t just pull over and boot him out. We see Angela march on down the road after him. William is dropped at a bar – the Rinky Drinks Road House. He wanders through the smoky bar – the barman Joe (Daniel I. Radakovich) puts on an extractor – and orders a brandy.

first meeting
Much of the film is built on the dialogue between William and Joe. The dialogue itself isn’t too badly written and, at the peaks, the performances seem natural enough. However there are also some dialogue and delivery troughs. I mention this only to be scrupulous about the quality as, for a low budget indie, performances and dialogue aren’t too bad at all. Radakovich hams it a bit, but it fits the character. Joe eventually opens up and tells him about Angela, a woman he met in a bar. They fell in love at first sight but now she wants to kill him – literally.

catching a break
She has attacked him several times, he describes a violent harridan, but he can’t bring himself to kill her (even in self-defence) something 'inside' stays his hand. When a couple of rednecks come in and cause trouble, William fights with the ringleader, Bubba (Seth James). He seems to be losing but, after a while (and out of sight of everyone else), he catches Bubbas fist in his hand and then breaks his arm.

Alison with fangs
Now, if the slightly inaccurate title didn’t give the game away, we do establish that Angela is a vampire. If the off-screen kill of the “Gas, Grass or Ass” demanding driver, Leroy (Nicky J. Allison), didn’t give the game away, then her glowing red eyes (seen in the first minutes) and her subsequent sprouting of fangs to eat the deputy sheriff (Henry Tjernlund) certainly does give the game away. By the way, I say the title is inaccurate as she is not really jealous… Nevertheless, if William’s comments about something inside preventing him from killing her and his feat of melee strength haven’t given the long term story twist away nothing will.

Cushing'd cross
The twist doesn’t twist that much, therefore, but the construction of the film and the path to it is pleasant enough so that it doesn’t matter. The actual story doesn’t bring too much new to the vampire genre table but it, again, is a pleasant enough tale to watch. We do get some additional bits of lore – two bits of pool cue Cushing’d into a cross wards a vampire, but it relies on faith to maintain the ward. Sunlight would seem to be a problem and a stake in the heart kills (but we won’t mention the fact that the stake vanishes in between shot angles).

red eyes
Okay, despite a soundtrack that really did fit nicely, there are some problems with this. Not so much a problem on a freebie, more problematic when purchasing. However it wasn’t too bad in the grand scheme of things. Some of the dialogue was nicely written and delivered. The story wasn’t spectacular but did what it had to. It speaks of better things to come from David Dietz (and stakes that will remain in shot, one hopes) and it deserves 4 out of 10 overall.

The imdb page is here and the homepage is here.

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