Thursday, January 21, 2021

Xane: The Vampire God – review

Director: Johnny Pendragon

Release date: 2020

Contains spoilers

This one looks as though there was some budget involved and, in many respects, that is worrying as the film was on shaky grounds all the way through. Using a premise of the first vampire being the biblical Cain (Robere Kazadi), the storyline flirts with time paradox – always a concept that will be difficult for any but the adept writer to pull off.

Xane and Frost

So, the paradox starts with some time travel and, thus, we start in the distant future on an apocalyptic earth. Xane (Parker Boles) is hidden within hooded cloak as a ball of light, a spirit called Frost we later hear, comes to him and says that he has found it… this 'it' soon becomes apparent as being the temporal location that Xane wants to travel too. Xane can’t let *them* see his face, so he puts a mask on.

Jenna Farden as Jocelyn

Following a hugely pretentious voiceover, we meet Titus (Parker Boles) – or Ti – who is in the family home, sat at a piano. He speaks briefly to friend Jocelyn (Jenna Farden) and goes to see little brother Lucas (Maximus Xavier Lopez). Lucas is clearly ill (leukaemia we hear later) and Ti gives him their dad’s dog-tags to encourage him to be strong. Back with Jocelyn, he admits that he isn’t going to college, she assumes he is going in the military but he says no. She gets mad with him.


He has a brief chat to mom (Leslie Lelo Lopez) and then he is off camping with Jocelyn and mutual friend Sonny (Dylan Wood). Sonny’s step-father (Jon A. Ravenholt) abused his mother and killed her and Sonny is out of therapy but the tension over Ti’s decision to ‘drop out’ upsets him. Later Jocelyn will be told about the leukaemia and Ti’s plan to work to pay towards treatment (hint – the military pay their recruits too) and feels bad that she was so judgemental.

Brennen Davis as Cpt Henry

Anyway – let's stop mucking around. A mysterious vampire, later revealed to be Captain Henry (Brennen Davis), has been watching them and reports to Cain that Ti bears the mark and they are heading out. They are not long at the campsite when a girl, Gentry (Michelle Oneida), runs up and screams ‘vampires’. All this is in daytime as sunlight appears not to be an issue. They all leg it to an abandoned factory. Sonny has anti-vampire gear as he believes his step-father was one (he was).

Robere Kazadi as Cain

Nevertheless, they are doomed. Gentry is an agent of the vampires and Cain turns up to take Ti and have henchmen kill the friends. However, Xane appears after Cain leaves with Ti, rescues them and kills the henchmen. So, what’s going on? Cain wants to die and only one of his mortal descendants, a first-born son with the mark of Cain, can kill him during a certain astrological moment. Xane is Ti – not a stretch, nor a spoiler really, who killed Cain, took his curse (as someone must have it) and went mad. He essentially destroyed all life on earth and has come back from 10,000 years hence to put things right. Unfortunately, he has caused a paradox and in this altered timeline Cain goes off and kills his mother and kidnaps Lucas.

Cain and Lillith

Cain also has his wife, Lillith (Zoë Kelly), change Ti’s memories so that he sees Xane attacking his friends and not Cain – why Cain wants to be seen as the good guy with the person he wants to kill him is not explained. Lillith also changes Jocelyn’s face in his memories with Gentry’s, to control him. This leads to the odd looking technique of switching actresses as she speaks to him, which didn’t make a lot of sense except to indicate the filmmakers didn’t think the audience would keep track.

Cain's true form

There are numerous things wrong with the film – beginning with the performances. Not helped that this was dubbed (presumably by the original actors, in studio to improve audio quality over the location recording) the dubbing is obvious and the delivery from every single actor is an abject and hapless lesson in why melodrama can be a film’s undoing. I mean every single one. There was no nuanced emotion, just melodramatic delivery that served no good purpose. Simply awful.

origin animation

Given that, we have no sympathy for any character and the two-hour running time is painfully drawn out and the film absolutely outstays its welcome. For the fact that it looked like it had a budget (and the photography was crisp and clear, in outdoor shots, though a tad gloomy, though lacking in atmosphere, in the bad guy's lair) the number of sets were very limited. Story aspects seemed bolted on (like Sonny’s step-pa the vampire). There is a nice animated flashback to Cain’s origin – however there is no mention that such a mythology would make Lillith Adam’s first wife nor why she then wound up with Adam's son.

shedding blood tears

This was hard work to watch. Blood tears, which are simply makeup smears, might be shed for the project. The dubbing might have destroyed the performances but I suspect it was all as melodramatic when shot and at least 30 minutes needs to be cut from the running time. However logic-less moments, like changing his memories, which for me only served the screenwriter and not the character’s motivation, also need expunging and that probably couldn't occur within an edit. 2.5 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.

On Demand @ Amazon US

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