Tag Archive: Vampires


A bad movie that never really stood a chance is one thing. I mean, when you see a bad movie starring someone like Katherine Heigl or directed by Brett Ratner, you just sort of shrug and say, “yeah, well, what else was that gonna be, really?” On the other hand, Dark Shadows, Tim Burton and Johnny Depp’s new reimagining of the cult supernatural soap opera, is the most disappointing kind of bad movie, one that constantly teeters right on the edge of being something truly worthwhile, only to keep shooting itself in the foot at nearly every turn. It’s got a decent concept, with seemingly the right director and definitely a very game cast, but something just seems off almost the entire way through. If you could take the word “frustrating” and distill it into film form, it would be this movie.

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When we last left vampire Death Dealer Selene (Kate Beckinsale) and her lover, vampire/lycan hybrid Michael (Scott Speedman), at the end of Underworld: Evolution (we can ignore the fairly unnecessary prequel film, Rise of the Lycans), they had successfully defeated both the sole remaining vampire elder Marcus, the first vampire, and his brother William, the first werewolf. What’s more, Selene had acquired new, somewhat undefined powers – we could assume enhanced strength and agility, and we knew for sure she could now walk in daylight. With the leaders of both the vampires and lycans dead, and what remained of the clans thrown into chaos because of their actions, Selene and Michael stood at a crucial turning point in the centuries-long war between the two sides.

Yeah, well, forget about all that.

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Bloodrayne: The Third Reich is an Uwe Boll movie.

Some might suggest I could just end the review right there, but I don’t know…I guess this is the part where I admit I don’t really have anything against Boll. It’s not that I think he’s a great filmmaker or anything (I’m not crazy), but at the same time I DO take umbrage with the commonly accepted belief that he is THE worst director out there. As someone who has watched A LOT of intolerable films during a weekly “Shitty Movie Night” with friends, I can definitely say that Boll is far from cinema’s worst offender. Heck, the very fact that he can competently frame a shot and stage somewhat – SOMEWHAT – decent action scenes absolves him of that title. And occasionally – usually during his more “serious” films like Tunnel Rats or Darfur – you can even catch glimpses of some real, genuine talent peeking out.  Hey, I said glimpses.

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Like many horror fans, I hold a special place in my heart for the original Fright Night, a film I watched quite a bit in my childhood. Still, I’ve never been that opposed to the idea of this remake. The concept – young kid realizes his next door neighbor is a vampire – is a simple but strong enough idea to work in any era, and a modern take on the tale seemed like a pretty good idea.

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Back when I was doing the October Zombie-Thon for 411mania, one of my best finds was the awesome indie flick, Mulberry Street, about a group of New Yorkers battling a horde of “rat-people” in their run-down tenement building. The film, directed by Jim Mickle and starring and co-written by Nick Damici, was a perfect example of taking a cheesy B-movie concept and delivering it with gravitas and conviction, mixing in a little well-done social commentary on the side. I still point to it as one of the best independent zombie films of the modern era. I couldn’t wait to see their follow-up. Now here it is, and I’m certainly not disappointed.

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Here’s how I like to think the original meeting for Lesbian Vampire Killers went:

– “Hey, Shaun of the Dead was pretty popular, huh?”
– “Yeah.”
– “Well, why don’t we make our own British horror-comedy with a nerd who has just broke up with his girlfriend, and his funny fat sidekick?”
– “Uhh, don’t you think that’s a little TOO similar?”
– “OK, we’ll make it a different monster. Vampires instead of zombies.”
– “That might help, but there’s still the fact that we’re nowhere near as talented as Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright.”
– “We’ll have tits in ours.”
– “I’m in.”

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