Vampires: The Turning

Dir: Marty Weiss
Star: Colin Egglesfield, Patrick Bauchau, Nophand Boonyai, Stephanie Chao

I suspect my opinion of this is enhanced, simply because I saw it immediately after Vampires vs Zombies. The most obvious upgrade is a script that makes sense...if any story about warring vampire factions can ever be said to do that, at least. A tourist in Thailand (Egglesfield) sees his girlfriend kidnapped by a local vampire gang; the cops do nothing, but he's lucky enough to meet their foes of 800 years: "nice" bloodsuckers, who've been at war with the villains over whether humans should be food or friends. [Though PETA might be unimpressed with the pig the good guys use instead] The original vampire (Chao) is now out to end it all during an upcoming solar eclipse; those she spawned are not keen on having their eternal lives ended. And, hey, wouldn't you know it? Our hero is a martial artist! What if he became a vampire too, in order to face the dark side's champion?

This is supposedly a semi-sequel to John Carpenter's Vampires. I admit, that is hardly a recommendation, though the only connection here is really a couple of vampire-hunters doing the old stake 'n' winch routine. Even if Egglesfield has no charisma at all, on its own merits this is not awful; despite some blatant wirework, the fights are solid, and the final battle at a temple is well-staged. However, many early scenes, such as a lame motorbike chase, definitely outstay their welcome, as do the "Look! We're in Thailand!" shots, which show this isn't a micro-budget indie. It's just a shame they couldn't have handed the reins to some local film-makers too - the Pang brothers come to mind - and got something with ethnic flavour that extended beyond a Thai boxing bout.

December 2005

Turning Thai, 
rather than Japanese
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