Friday, August 18, 2017

Honourable mention: The Matrix Reloaded

The 1999 Wachowskis’ film The Matrix was a landmark in Sci-Fi cinema and it is of little surprise that the sequels (of which this is the first) were comparatively lacking. It was always going to be a struggle.

Now, I’m sure you are thinking… Matrix… vampires, come on! Some of you are going to be nodding sagely and assuming that I am going to liken the machines who have imprisoned humanity to harvest for energy as energy vampires. But you’d be wrong. There are vampires in this particular film but, despite a visual and dialogue clue, you likely missed them.

The two sequels, this and the Matrix Revolutions, were not released in isolation and were part of a multimedia suite – including a series of animated shorts (the Animatrix) and games (Enter the Matrix, The Matrix: Path of Neo and The Matrix Online) – and all the different mediums played part of the story.

Keanu Reeves as Neo
I assume you have seen the film(s) in the series; if not, essentially after humanity developed AI there came a point where the humans and machines were at war. In a desperate bid to win, humanity used weapons of mass destruction to blacken the skies – cutting the machines off from their solar energy. The machines enslaved humanity, using their bodies as power sources and keeping their minds entranced in a computer simulation called the Matrix. Free humans continue to fight the machines and try to free their people.

Monica bellucci as Persephone
You might recall, if you have seen this part of the series, that human messianic figure Neo (Keanu Reeves, Dracula (1992)) meets a computer program named the Merovingian (Lambert Wilson) and attempts to get him to hand over a program called the Keymaker (Randall Duk Kim). The Merovingian refuses but his wife, Persephone (Monica Bellucci, also Dracula (1992), Vampire & the Brothers Grimm), and takes Neo, Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss, Forever Knight) to the Merovingian’s mansion.

Brides of Dracula
Now, before this happens we get some dialogue from the Oracle (Gloria Foster) suggesting “Every time you've heard someone say they saw a ghost, or an angel. Every story you've ever heard about vampires, werewolves, or aliens, is the system assimilating some program that's doing something they're not supposed to be doing.” This is our dialogue clue. In the mansion the guards, we see, are watching Brides of Dracula and this is our visual clue but, to get to the truth of things we need to cross over to the game Enter the Matrix, in which you have to raid the mansion and all the guards are vampires and, in game, you must first fight them and then stake them to prevent them getting up again.

the mansion lobby
Indeed Persephone shoots a program named Abel (Malcolm Kennard) and suggests that not many people bother to carry silver bullets in their gun like she does (he was possibly a werewolf program, possibly a vampire program) before letting second guard Cain (David William No), a vampire program, escape and tell her husband what she has done.

So, there you have it, we meet a pair of guards that are vampires – though we never see anything vampiric (bar one being killed by a silver bullet). However, they are there, in fleeting visitation.

The imdb page is here.

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