Revamped


Dir: Jeff Rector
Star: Jeff Rector, Christa Campbell, Martin Kove, Tane McClure

I'm pretty sure this started off as a short film, as we seem to remember seeing the first chunk on cable a few years back. Clearly it took producer-writer-director Rector some time to raise finance to expand it into a feature; while the result is stretched somewhat thinner [we enjoyed the short more], the result is sufficiently tongue-in-cheek to prove entertaining. Richard Clark (Rector) sees a late-night infomercial offering to turn him into a vampire, and does so, to gain revenge on his cheating wife. Unfortunately, she has him cremated, throwing a spoke into his eternal life. Five years later, an accident involving blood and his urn, gives him the chance to resurrect, only to find himself in the middle of a war between three factions. Vampires, humans and the half-breeds caught in the crossfire, as they head towards Black Dawn, which could plunge the world into eternal darkness.

Let's be honest: global vampire apocalypse is far beyond the film's capabilities, even with ever-sterling B-movie veterans like Billy Drago as the vampire leader...or "master biter", if you prefer. The action sequences are particularly poor, and a scene at a vampire club is embarrassing, though we had some fun sniggering at the extras, straight out of Goth Central Casting. However, despite the obvious shortcomings, an affection for the genre is clearly apparent, and that goes a long way in this kind of picture. The film is at its most effective when Rector reins in his aspiration, keeping them in tune with the scope of his picture, and relies instead on his dry wit, which is less hamstrung by the small budget. Unlikely to be mistaken for a third installment in the Underworld series, yet not without its cheap and cheerful charms, providing you don't expect too much.

[The film is released in the US on February 19th by MTI Home Video, and includes a commentary and behind-the-scenes footage. For more information, see the MTI website.]

B-
[February 2008]


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