Jodi Lyn O'Keefe
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Vampires: Out For Blood (2004)
13th Oct 05
When a police detective is bitten by a vampire he enlists the help of his ex-girlfriend (a vampire novelist) to hunt down and kill the vampire master.
Review (Part of Anchor Bay's Box of Blood)
Oh how the mighty vampires fall. Lance Henrikson, so great as Jesse in Near Dark (also included in this box set) makes a return to the vampire genre in Richard Brande’s awful 2004 ‘TV-movie’, Vampires: Out for Blood. He doesn’t play a vampire this time round (thankfully), but his world-weary, plodding police Captain is a true waste of a great face, and proves that Henrikson is content to carry on the rest of his career in cruise control.
Vampire duties in this film belong to Kevin Dillon (no stranger to a falling career – he’s never been better than Bunny in Platoon) who plays Hank, a washed-up alcoholic cop who has taken to stalking his ex-girlfriend, the novelist Susan (Vanessa Angel). Assigned a missing persons case by Captain Lance after heavily beating up a mugger, Hank promptly visits a rave, drinks three beers and then miraculously spots the missing girl, a young vamp by the name of Layla (Jodi Lyn O’Keefe).
After a brief introduction, Layla (along with an accompanying vampire and victim) invites Hank to a party and they clamber into a limo and share spliff blow-backs and sexy blow-jobs. Arriving at an orgy (easily the most expensive scene of the entire film) we are treated to an overlong scene containing teasing Hollywood breasts and sub-Massive Attack music before (surprise!) half the guests turn into vampires and begin to chow down faster than you can say all-you-can-eat Hog Spit Roast.
In the process Hank is bitten by the Master, but luckily he manages to pull the curtains apart slightly, saving his life as the vampires suddenly realise it’s daylight and run for their coffins. He wakes 10 minutes later in an empty hospital, Captain Henrikson is called to the scene and Hank is promptly called ‘crazy’ and suspended from duty.
So, instead of going home and cleaning up, maybe change his bloodstained shirt or something, Hank takes to drinking in his car and watching over the abandoned hospital. When Layla reappears the following night and kills two cops in front of him, Hank finally begins to accept the truth that he is becoming a vampire, and hunts out his ex-girlfriend Susan (who co-incidentally has written three vampire novels) for some ‘expert’ advice.
From here on in you can pretty much write the script yourself. Does Susan believe Hank? Will she help him hunt out the Master to prevent Hank turning into a vampire? Will it all end in a climactic battle? Do we really care?
Well, no, not really. There’s really not too much going for this film. The script is basic to say the least, with vampire ‘rules’ helpfully explained by Susan, the vampire novel expert, who comes up with such great insights as “They’re Wraiths all right. Now, Wraiths are twice as strong as humans and have poisonous blood. Oh, and they’re afraid of heights.” Afraid of heights you say? Now that’s handy to know.
The acting is mostly atrocious, and dotted along the way there are so many plot illogicalities it often feels like we’re simply following a bread-crumb trail towards a severe dressing-down at a Scriptwriting seminar. Worst of all are the vampires themselves, in particular the rubbery effect of the Master’s face, which makes him look like an effeminate Yoda with a broken nose who spouts bollocks crap like “You’ve been a very bad boy!” In fact it’s a good thing when he’s blown away in an anti-climactic pre-ending, a solitary film example of an anti-climax working well, largely due to that fact that we can get this bloody character off the screen earlier than we had hoped for.
Dropping all elements of the literary erotic undercurrents of the classic intelligent vampire stories, Vampires: Out For Blood instead exploits the myths for an anaemic LA-set horror movie with cheap tit shots and minimal gore (a decent be-heading aside). You may get one or two jolts of guilty pleasure if you watch it drunk, but on the whole this vampire movie sucks; although unfortunately not in the way that most vampire fans would have hoped for.
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