Monday, September 19, 2022

Bite Nite (2011) – review

Director: Ernest E. Brown

Release date: 2011

Contains spoilers

I found Bite Nite available to watch on screenwriter (and actor) Adrian Horodecky’s YouTube. It is suggested that it is a satire and I guess I can see that, especially around TV as an opium for the masses (and including vampires within those masses) but, unfortunately, the TV segment in the centre of the story just snarled the pacing of the film up. It is also clear that this was one on a budget but with a sense of ambition – there is a high number of extras, there was use of cgi for powers.

priestly energy blast

It starts some time ago, we hear a priest talking with a child, asking him to say what happened. We see the kid walking through a snowy night-time street with his dad and his mom, Maeve (Tara Cardinal). They are attacked by a man, Count Vagula (Dallas Mugno), and two vampire goons. They throw the dad to one side, Vagula bites mom who, in turn, tells the kid to run to the orphanage (that sounds like really dark foreshadowing of the next two minutes, but the church run orphanage is central to the story). Vagula is enthused by the taste of her blood (such blood is later named as San Gwynne Single Strain) and goes after the kid but he gets in the orphanage (dad is dragged off to be slaughtered and Vagula declares he is keeping mom around). Vagula is chased off by the priest who can fire magic from his hand (stick with it).

Jake Cassaday as Dr Danger

Cut forward to the present day (2011) and a girl has been murdered. The new sheriff, Butter (Adrian Horodecky) pitches up. You might have already started wondering about the names of characters. Some seemed weird for weird sake, Butter was so named as a set up for a couple of gags much further into the film. He is determined to find missing previous sheriff Sameena (Caitlyn Degler) and, as part of the investigation into the new murder, he goes to see Doctor Danger (Jake Cassaday), who suggests that the victim was bitten multiple times and had no blood in her system. Later we see her shrouded body in a graveyard with the priest, Doctor Danger and the mayor (Beverly D. Asroff). The priest says some words, mentions her spirit living on and we see energy lifting up and her body vanishing.

a serum trip

So, to cut a convoluted storyline down to size, Butter intervenes when another woman, Valla (Kimberly Dixon), is attacked. He is at the hospital and Danger reveals that he has created a serum (Butter doesn’t question why she’d need one) but it has to be filtered through human blood (so Butter has to take it and it is transfused to Valla) and it is untested so might kill him and he seems quite happy about that. The serum causes a massive trip sequence and leaves him with possible residual telepathy! The serum will cure a turned vampire and kill a born vampire. Following this he discovers the town's secrets.

the vangelz

The town is the sight of a vortex (that might be a gateway, presumably interdimensional) and the orphanage is built as a seal to the vortex over its location. The energy from the vortex makes people’s blood so damn tasty and Vagula has run the vampires in the town for years. Every year the vampires declare Bite Nite, where they rape the women of the town to create more population. This is not proving successful as the women then have abortions and Doctor Danger extracts the foetuses for his experiments (though some female ones survive and grow up in the orphanage and are known as vangelz – vampire/human hybrids trained as vampire hunters who can wield vortex energy). The narrative around the abortions etc seemed just a tad confused.

corporate vampires

A new group of corporate vampires, led by vampire Queen Taja (Andrea Lorincz), are now in play and want to build a mega hospital in town but want control of the orphanage (and intend to basically farm the town via the hospital). Doctor Danger is actually the kid from the beginning, Butter the grandson of the sheriff from back then and Maeve is now the bride of Vagula. The missing Sheriff is in a car trunk and, from what we see, has been there for ages, has had neither food or water nor has soiled herself and is still alive (though she is a vangel, so maybe that’s why). Doctor Danger seems to have inoculated most of the town and that makes the vampires who feed on them ill, flatulent and possible dead.

vampire advert

The narrative was not necessarily thought through, despite some good ideas, and the characters are two dimensional. The acting was, generally, enthusiastic-amateur. Some of the effects were just awful and the main one… the fangs. Some vampires had tooth caps that were just too bright white against the natural tooth colour, but the majority were awful, long, thin plastic affairs. I get there were a lot to provide but, really, they are a necessary part of the film where fangs are a used vampire trope. Then we get to a moment in film, half way through, where we are just watching vampire TV (a talk show, for instance, and a lesbian vampire striptease that cuts off before the rating Gods can complain) and the pace snarled. The climax saw vampires versus a bikini bowling team and the exploitation was strong with that idea.

bad fangs

There are good ideas here and there are also cardinal sins… it might have been added for laughs but the TV section should have hit the cutting room floor. If you are going to throw in bikinis wearing vampire hunters then embrace your exploitation, go the full hog and make it a longer action sequence rather than the very short scene it was. It did feel like the filmmakers struggled to know when to apply excess and when excess should be curtailed. I kind of don’t want to score this – especially as it has been put out there for free and the very complexities within narrative, large numbers of extras and ambitious effects for a budget production (such as the energy bolts) do point to a labour of love. Nevertheless, in my heart it is a 3 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.

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