Monday, April 23, 2018

Corbin Nash – review

Director: Ben Jagger

Release date: 2018

Contains spoilers

Corbin Nash is a strange beast of a film reminding me visually of a grittier Vamp but it felt (to a degree) a little like Pearblossom or, at least, made me want to dig the film out and give it another watch – strange as Pearblossom is in a dessert setting, whilst this is very urban and neon (which is where the Vamp aspect comes in).

It is also an origin movie but leaves too much unexplained and relies, therefore, on some genre favourite cameos to push the exposition forward and just sheer force of main casting to carry the film.

left for dead
The film starts, as a car with a blood splattered boot cruises Los Angeles, with a voice-over from the Blind Prophet (Malcolm McDowell, A Clockwork Orange, Vamps, Tales from the Crypt: the Reluctant Vampire & Suck) and what a voice-over. McDowell’s voice just oozes over the images like molasses. The car stops, a body is thrown into the alleyway. It is the wounded, barely living form of Corbin Nash (Dean S. Jagger) and he is found by stripper Macy (Fernanda Romero), who (on the advice of the Blind Prophet) takes the dying man in.

Dean S. Jagger as Corbin Nash
Cutting back a year and moving to New York, Nash is a cop and is regretting not taking down a serial rapist who has walked. He’s got two strikes (presumably for violent behaviour), has tattoos of guns and he also boxes. In a cameo heavy scene he is drinking with Jack (Bruce Davison, the Librarian: The Curse of the Judas Chalice & A (Schizophrenic) Love Story), who has known orphan Corbin for an awfully long time. He vacates the table to let a Stranger (Rutger Hauer, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Reverend, True Blood, Dracula 3: Legacy, Salem’s Lot (2004) & Dracula (2012)) sit with him.

Rutger Hauer is the stranger
Rutger’s job in this is exposition – telling Corbin that his dead parents were (vampire) hunters, were killed on the job by a vampire called Drake, a member of undead royalty, after they killed Drake's brother – and that his dad wasn’t just a ball player in the World Series, that was a cover! Perhaps knowing this would be, in a story sense, a ridiculous tale for Nash to believe, the Davison cameo is to give him a person he trusts to simply tell him that its true. In honesty, whilst the cameos are welcome, the exposition is crass and heavy handed.

tied to the bed
We cut to Corbin terribly wounded still, clearly with bite wounds, and tied to Macy’s bed, who washes his wounds. His memories goes to him being attacked by vampires. Macy is helping him because he helped her in the strip club once when someone got handsy. We then cut back 6 months and he has moved to LA from New York (without a reason why being offered) and is working on a series of missing person cases. He perhaps is somewhat brutal when it comes to getting information but he and his new partner do end up going after the pair that are taking people from the street and this is where the thing jumps up in sheer entertainment.

Corey Feldman as Queeny
Our primary baddies are Vince (Richard Wagner) and his partner Queeny (Corey Feldman, the Lost Boys, Lost Boys: The Tribe, Lost Boys: The Thirst & Bordello of Blood) – a wonderfully extravagant genderqueer performance that was an absolute delight. The character was over the top, deranged and sympathetic (in a twisted way, given that the character also amorally revels in the vampiric condition). Leaving Nash's partner for dead, they snatch Corbin and he is forced to fight for vampiric entertainment in a ring lined with barbed wire and a mat stitched from patches of skin. It is all portrayed brutally, in an over-the-top way, until he is disposed of and dropped in the alley to die…

Vince, Blind Prophet & Queeny
So, we see a shadowy being, allegedly Drake, but the crux of the film has Corbin chasing down Vince and Queeny. The Drake side is left (clearly there is an aim to have a series here) and it is in the big story gaps (why LA? did he believe the stranger? what will he do next?) that the story splutters. However, for comic book violence, blood and OTT characters the film does exceptionally well. Corbin seemed to be taking a leaf out of the Punisher’s playbook and whilst looking more gangster than cop Jagger’s look absolutely suited the character and I’ve already waxed lyrically about Feldman. The photography and design suited the story. 6 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.


Fangfan408592 said...

A fare review. Worth noting that the "V" word is never used, just "demons" although clearly this is a vampire film. Also, Malcolm's character just seems mostly to babble the entire flick. Could have used some better writing. Action scenes not bad for a lower budget film. The Feldman character "Queeny" is very over the top, with a lot of Buffalo Bill from "Silence of the Lambs" thrown in.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Fangfan, thanks :) Yes, the notes I made did say the parents were described as "demon hunters" but, as you say, clearly vampire so I stuck with that ;)

CT Kingstead said...

Who do you guys think the blind prophet is at the end? Is it drake?

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Hi CT - its an interesting theory but I can't see it, somehow, as the fact that he had Macy save him seems to go against the idea that he should be left to rot in the street... however I can't totally dismiss that the creators would be going down a convoluted double play such as that.

Thanks for stopping by

SzinNapalm said...

That scan where they finally show drake through 5he shadows and smoke is fuckin frightingly realistic in a it's a B movie we will throw some real stu# in an no one would ever suspect sort of way.