DAMN YOU THE ASYLUM – after promising to never review any of their movies again (over-reliance on unpaid interns, terrible health & safety, and that all their movies suck) they managed to stealth another one past me. Having rather enjoyed “Wolvesbayne”, which I discovered after watching was this movie’s sequel, I thought there was at least half a chance I’d like this one, too.
Oh, how wrong I was! First up is a change of director – although Leigh Scott wrote both movies, Griff Furst stepped in to direct “Wolvesbayne”, while this was also directed by Scott. Looking at his list of credits is realising that some people have too much money, and some TV channels have too much time to fill, because there’s no other excuse for that much garbage. ISCFC readers will remember him from “Transmorphers”, and his family might, possibly, remember all the other popular-franchise-ripping-off crap that doubles as his resume.
I’m sad we’re doing this in 2015, because back around 2008 or so, it seems Mr Scott was pretty active on the message board section of IMDB, and would insult people who didn’t like his stuff. Dammit! Normally, I’ll say “any criticism of this guy’s movies can be tempered by the fact he went out there and did it, while I sat at this dull office job and insulted him” (directors do occasionally happen upon the ISCFC) but honestly, I’d rather do my job than be known as the guy who directed “Dracula’s Curse” and “Transmorphers”. Remember, directors, writers and producers (especially at the lower end of things) aren’t cleverer, or better, or more talented, than any of us, they’re just richer or have better connections.
I suppose I ought to talk about the movie a bit. Actually, no I won’t, not yet – while “Wolvesbayne” is clearly supposed to be a sequel to this, I think because they were made by different companies they had to play all that down, which is the only way I can think of to explain the wafer-thin continuity between the two. One of the many problems of making a movie with public domain characters (Dracula) and real historical figures (Countess Bathory) in it, I suppose. It’s quite funny that anyone thought this was crying out for a sequel (the only laugh you’ll get while watching this, certainly), but there you go.
Movie! There’s a group called “The Nine”, vampire hunters who are so strong and powerful that they’ve beaten the world’s vampires into submission. The vampires sue for peace, and an uneasy truce is forged between the two – the Nine will stop hunting vampires, and the vampires will stop hunting humans. This holds for five years, until Countess Bathory and her tedious underlings decide to break the truce pretty much for no reason (there is a reason given, but it’s stupid and doesn’t really make sense).
The Nine are made up of people who I honestly couldn’t pick out of a lineup, and I saw the movie less than 24 hours ago. The men are all moody and wear long coats, the women are all pouty and wear cut-off tops to show their model-toned midriffs – not a muscle or scar on any of these professional vampire hunters. I also think everyone in this film is in a competition to smoke a cigarette in the most ridiculously “cool” way possible, to the extent where lighting one stands in for character development in some cases.
Anyway, blah blah blah, there’s vampires and the ludicrous twist that gives the “Bram Stoker’s” attachment a reason to be there, and so on. First things first, it’s too long and there’s way too many characters in it. Low-budget genre pictures really shouldn’t ever cross the 90 minute threshold, and this lumbers to a close at 107. Having a group of nine hunters, plus all the vampires, means there’s no way of giving them all a character, so there’s people whose main job appears to be posing in the background (either with a weapon or a cigarette, depending). No-one ever told Scott to get to the point, it would seem.
Blade has cast a long shadow, to the point where I’m sure some people now think that all vampires automatically know kung-fu, swordplay and that sort of John Woo-lite bullet ballet. When you’ve got no money and none of your cast are any good at that sort of thing, it might be better to just not do it, stick to your “strengths” (I’m sure they have some) and not try and hide it with cheap camera trickery.
Anyway, that’s about all I can be bothered to say about this. If I thought this was the best they could achieve with the time and people they had, I’d be at least sympathetic, but it’s not. They have a potential leading actress in Sarah Lieving buried down the cast, give the voiceover duties to Rhett Giles, who sounds like he’d rather be filling in his tax forms, and don’t even feel like they’re trying. Whatever reason director Leigh Scott got into the movie business, whatever burning desire he has to tell tales, he really ought to reconsider. There are other jobs, and I hope he takes one, soon.
Rating: thumbs down