Blade: Trinity Review


It’s time to look at the final Blade film. Does it end on a high note or end up disappointing? Well, it’s better than the first film but I wouldn’t say it’s as good as the second so it’s squarely in the middle. I liked that we got some more fighters this time around. It’s about time Blade had some backup. On the other hand, the plot feels pretty aimless the whole time and there isn’t much of a focus next to the first two. It feels like events just happen so Blade can go around beating people up. That’s not a bad story idea of course, but to me it felt like there wasn’t much of a plot beyond that.

So the movie starts with Blade murdering a bunch of vampires as normal. Unfortunately one of the guys he murders was just a human pretending to be a vampire. Unfortunately people see this so now the government is after him. The vampires have finally framed Blade. This lead to his capture but fortunately he is busted out by a pair of allies known as Abigail and Hannibal. They get him back to base and explain that Dracula has been resurrected. The 3 of them will need to take him out before the villains figure out the trick on how to be a day walker. This won’t exactly be the first time that Blade had to take down a powerful foe though so he’s ready for this. Blade isn’t the kind of guy who goes around losing fights after all.

I do have a bit of an issue with the opening. Blade is questioning why the guy didn’t die and is shocked to find out he wasn’t a vampire. We do have tons of familiars who are humans that Blade has been murdering throughout the films. Why is this guy any different? Seems to be like Blade is a little more surprised than he should be. Framing him would also be very easy for this same reason since he’s never cared who he murdered before. If they’re working with the villains then he ends them. End of story. That’s just how Blade works, he’s never been the kind of guy to even think about offering up some mercy. I’d be surprised if he were to stop now.

Unfortunately as part of the framing plot this does mean that Blade and Whistler spend a lot of time fighting off actual cops and government agents. You understand that they have to use some self defense, but this goes beyond that as they openly start shooting and bashing away at them. Whistler even uses a giant explosion that without a doubt murders a bunch of them. This is an ongoing trend that happens in numerous scenes. It feels like the heroes murder as many innocent people as villains in this film. It was a rather odd way to end off the trilogy. It does portray Blade as even more of a Punisher type of vigilante but I’m not sure if we needed that here. I think some of these scenes could have been cut or at least altered to show that they weren’t actually murdering anyone.

Beyond that Blade is still a solid lead though. He talks tough and is always ready to take the villains down. I like the new extended cable weapon he has since it’s very useful for taking down scores of enemies from a distance. If you ask me it’s easily one of his most useful weapons by a long shot. The Whistler gets his share of hits in as well. Without powers there isn’t a whole lot that he can do, but he’s always ready with background support. The two new characters are really the ones who are here to fight on the front lines.

First you have Hannibal who is mainly here to crack a lot of jokes. Apparently he used to be a vampire and got cured which is neat but it wouldn’t have made any difference if he wasn’t. This tidbit of knowledge doesn’t matter in the slightest. He manages to get a big win near the end although I can’t say it feels deserved since he should have lost that round. I found him to be a reasonably entertaining character although it would have been nice if he were a little stronger. Then you have Abigail who has an excellent opening scene and continues to look good throughout the film. She’s a solid hand to hand fighter and uses a crossbow that can even light up and burn opponents to death.

Blade finally has an ally who can really fight alongside him. She isn’t a vampire so she has no super abilities but her close quarter combat skills are enough for her to take multiple opponents down so that’s quite impressive in itself. She’s a big reason as to why the setup of Blade having allies worked. If both of them were comic relief it would have been a little pointless. As it stands, she can only continue to get better and better as she fights along with Blade and a fourth film with them would have been interesting.

As with the earlier films the fight scenes are really solid here. We get quite a few good battles and this time each character gets their own fight. This leads to a pretty wide variety of battles. Blade tends to have the best ones, but as mentioned Abigail’s was solid as well. Dracula’s battle with Blade is a highlight and we got a lot of back and forth there. Dracula’s character itself wasn’t amazing though. He spends his first fight scene running which is pretty odd for a guy who prides himself on being the King. You’d think that he would welcome a challenge right off the bat. I suppose vampires just can’t help but fear Blade.

As always the graphics are really solid here. The effects are on point and the soundtrack is also great. We get the classic rock themes that you always want to see. For the negatives, it’s really the same as always. The film’s pretty violent with everyone getting bumped off. There’s a lot of blood draining going on for sure. We also add a new wrinkle as we see dog vampires that end up getting bumped off. It was so completely unnecessary. The instant I saw the dog appear I knew the film was setting itself up for a fall. I’ll give the movie props for not having them die on screen but it’s of little comfort. The film would have lost at least a star if that had happened and if it lost 2 there wouldn’t have been any lower for it to go. The writing isn’t the best here, but it could be worse. At least the script tried being a little different from the previous ones.

Overall, Blade 3 had some good ideas but also faltered in others. On one hand it was nice to see Blade having some young allies who could actually fight alongside him and weren’t evil. The soundtrack continued to be really good too and amplify the fights. On the other hand, the film is as excessively violent as always and this time there were even animals. Additionally the plot itself felt the weakest. After Dracula resurrects and the heroes have their opening fights it feels like the film stagnates for a while until we get to the climax. It didn’t feel like the pacing was quite as tight as the last two films. I’ll give the 3 films this, they were all pretty consistent and roughly on the same level as each other. That may not have been a good thing for their score, but you can’t win em all.

Overall 2/10

Blade II Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such.

It’s time to look at the sequel to the original Blade film. This time we’ve got him in an actual group so you can expect some of the other characters to get big fight scenes as well. I’d definitely say that this one improves upon the original for me. It’s not by a whole lot as there’s only so much you can do with a gritty vampire film. Still, I’ll take any improvement I can get and we got more special effects with the fight scenes so get ready for some sped up superhero action!

The movie starts off by slightly retconning the ending to the first one. Despite being in a near death state and then shooting himself, The Whistler managed to survive somehow and the vampires have kept him alive for kicks. Blade finds out and frees him. Shortly afterwards Blade is attacked by a pair of vampire ninjas who reveal that they have come to ask for his help. There are a few super vampires running around that are immune to silver and garlic. Defeating them will be nearly impossible without Blade. To this end, they will make him leader of the Bloodhounds which is an elite fighting force that was originally meant to destroy Blade. This is a fragile alliance at best, but Blade figures he should take down the super vampires so they team up. Are the vampires hiding something from him?

There’s definitely a lot of action in this film and the choreography is on point. Blade has definitely nailed the whole “slow walk towards the villains” routine as this point since he does it so often. I do have to give the films a lot of credit for how smooth his outfit looks. It’s very accurate to the comics and honestly it looks pretty crisp. Whenever Blade shows up you know he’s about to take down a lot of monsters. Those fights are always a lot of fun and accompanied by solid rock songs. The Blade series has had a pretty dynamite list of songs and this one is no different. I miss the early 2000s rock that we used to get for the various fight scenes. It still happens sometimes but it is certainly a lot more rare.

The special effects have also improved since the first film. I already spoke about the fight scenes but even the vampires getting blasted away. It’s all pretty neat. My favorite fight in the film was Blade against the two Ninjas. It’s an example of solid choreography with some back and forth action compared to Blade just absolutely dominating the random minions who can’t fight back. Those fights tend to be pretty fun as well but you really can’t compare the two. An even match like this ends up being quite satisfying even if surprisingly Blade may have lost. It depends on how fast he regenerates since his hit would presumably be fatal since it was silver and the ninja attack wouldn’t be, but it would have been a clean shot that could be fatal anyway.

The plot of having to team up with the villains is also pretty interesting. It’s always a very tricky dynamic trying to work with someone who could back stab you at any point. I also like that Blade keeps the upper hand for most of these interactions. He humiliates one of the vampires when they start getting smart and throughout calls all of the shots. Whenever they point a gun at Blade he does the same to them. The early banter are some of the best parts of the film. I consider the plot to be a little more interesting than the first film’s as well. It does have the benefit of being a sequel so we already know the characters.

Now to the negatives which are effectively the same as the first film. For starters the film is incredibly violent. We see a lot of characters get drained and murdered by the vampires. Characters are stabbed and tortured as well. The violence never really ends in these films which can be a drag. It takes away from the moments of the film that actually are good. I have to say that the opening of the film makes everyone look bad no matter how you look at it. It feels like the guy is a bit of a sucker when he’s being led down a series of halls into a locked room with suspect characters. I don’t remember the place looking so shady when donating blood. I get that this is a special place but even so it was obvious that it was a trap. Then it makes the trappers look bad since this is way too obvious. Anyone who is “caught” in the trap is suspect themselves so it was never going to end well for someone.

The writing is okay. There’s quite a bit of language that this version fortunately skips which does help to a degree. It still seems to be a bit of a crutch for the writers. I also have to dock some logic points for how they don’t even bother trying to explain why Whistler survived. There’s just no way he would have lived through what happened and as hard as the film tries to do so, there’s no way they can explain it. I suspect that’s why they don’t even bother. I don’t even see why the plot needed to be brought back since Whistler doesn’t even do a whole lot during the film. Him leaving his post at one point was also an odd red herring. Why not bring your communicator for when your partners are being bumped off?

Overall, Blade II brings in a more interesting plot as well as better fight scenes than the first film. This does result in a better experience for me. That being said, it still can’t shed the vampire roots of the film. I don’t see how the films can get much higher without toning that aspect down a bit. The violence can be quite excessive. Even though none of the vampire members were particularly likable it was still pretty neat to have a whole group structure. It’s probably the closest we’ll see of Blade on a team for quite a while. Ultimately I could see him getting a new movie or show at some point though. If you really like vampire films then you should check this one out I guess since it delivers on what you’d expect with everyone getting bumped off in gruesome ways left and right. On the other hand you can definitely do better.

Overall 2/10

Blade Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative.

It’s time to look at one of the original comic book films from back in the day. Blade is largely forgotten nowadays although it seems to have had a bit of a resurgence in recent years. It’s a vampire film which naturally does limit how good it can be to a large extent. Unfortunately the comic book aspect of the movie was unable to do enough to take it back to the next level. It makes all the usual mistakes of a vampire film and ends up being rather similar to Resident Evil. Resident Evil would ultimately have the edge though with its top tier soundtrack and a more interesting plot. Come to think of it, zombies may also beat vampires for me although it’s close since both don’t make for particularly good movies.

The movie starts off with one human being lured away to a vampire party. They are about to finish him off when Blade appears and destroys the lot of them. Unfortunately he decides to toy around with one of them a little too much so he manages to get to a hospital and murder a bunch of people as well bite Karen. Blade takes Karen over to his base where the Whistler tells Karen that it’s all over. She’s already dead and they’re not going to help her. Karen’s not thrilled about this so she decides to stick with the gang. At the very least she should be safer with the pros right? Blade doesn’t have much time to guard anyone though because he’s on a quest to avenge his mother and himself by murdering Frost. Frost is the one who turned Blade into a vampire after all and this is the closest that the hunter has gotten to being on his trail.

Right from the start Blade introduces itself as a film that is going to go all in with the violence and vampire action. The first scene probably has more blood almost all of the other comic book films. The violence never lets up either as we see people eaten and blown up. The TV edit does cut away from a lot of the direct moments which is quite telling considering how violent the film still was. Automatically there’s no way the film was going to get a very high score because of how excessive it all is. Definitely be sure you’re cool with the violence if you plan on checking this one out.

I’ve also never been a fan of the drinking blood angle which is pretty hard to avoid in a vampire film. It’s part of why those films are always destined to lose if you ask me. While it can be possible to do a good vampire story (Records of a Fallen Vampire) it is very difficult and not particularly likely. The villains aren’t particularly fun either. You’ve got Quinn who is the main comic relief of the villain group. He is always in a party mood and doesn’t take things too seriously. This never bodes well for him in a fight and you know from the start that he has absolutely no chance against Blade. He’s just completely out of his league.

Then you have Frost who can be a decent main villain in some Blade stories but he doesn’t work here. They really play up the fact that he’s a much younger vampire than the others so he’s always fooling around. The guy is pretty smart and does take the vampires to new heights that the old ones wouldn’t have reached. He definitely gets some points there and is a reasonably strong villain. Ultimately he’s not nearly as charismatic as he thinks he is. The rest of the villains don’t really get much of a role. For the most part they’re just here to get blown up.

For the heroes we’ve really got 3. First is Whistler who is the mentor figure of the movie. You can probably tell how his story will end up the instant he is introduced. He’s human so there’s not a whole lot that he can do against vampires with their special abilities. Still, he doesn’t back down from a fight which is really important in this kind of thing. He’s a bit of a downer though as he doesn’t even try to give Karen any hope. Karen is a solid heroine though. She does actually get involved in some of the fights and adapts pretty quickly to using a gun and other such tactics. I was glad that she spent more time being pro active as opposed to running or something like that. She was even able to work on a cure right away. Karen contributes quite a lot to the cause and that’s why she’s a pretty solid character. I’d be up for seeing her in sequels someday.

Then we have the main character Blade. He feels sort of like a more brutal Batman at times with how he will suddenly appear and start taking out the enemies. The main difference of course is that Blade murders his opponents. At first he tends to spare the humans although in some fight scenes it’s really hard to tell if he spares anyone. By the end though he is all out of mercy and just takes everyone out. He’s a pretty great lead. Blade’s serious and down to business throughout the movie. The film did a really good job with this portrayal and I’d say that Blade is pretty much perfect. I also like all of his tools and weapons. It makes for a pretty good arsenal in these battles.

The fight scenes are pretty good in the movie as well. When it’s not going out of its way to be particularly gritty we have some solid hand to hand action and swordplay. The scene of Blade arriving in the climax was handled particularly well as he got down to business. His opening fight against the vampire army was also solid. The movie helps to enhance these scenes with a solid soundtrack as well. We get some pretty fun rock themes for the battles. They have a nice retro feel that you don’t really see quite as much anymore in the modern films. For some reason rock music doesn’t seem to be as popular for the average fight scene which I don’t understand because the fast tempo should always be in season.

Overall, Blade is definitely what you would expect from a vampire action film. The action can be good but ultimately the film is held wayyyyy back by the vampire angle. It goes way too far in being overly dark and gritty. I can’t recall the last film I saw which was quite this violent. The body count is pretty high and you usually won’t be able to go more than a few minutes without something super violent happening. The film can be having a fun little scene and then you’re thrown into the next villain scene or something crazy happening. Pretty much any villain scene will end with something violent happening. These instances certainly add up so I wouldn’t recommend this film. It’s all just too excessive. If you want to watch a good supernatural action film then it’s time to watch the Avengers 2012 instead. It delivers on all of that without going overboard. We’ll see if the next Blade films are able to improve from this one or if they will ultimately make the same mistakes.

Overall 1/10

The House That Dripped Blood Review


It’s time to look at a horror anthology. I’m not big on horror films and I’m not big on anthologies so I can’t say that I went into this one with high hopes. That said, it was actually quite a bit better than what I was expecting to the point where I could call this a good film. Maybe not an amazing film but better than over 90% of the other titles I’ve seen in the genre. This is how you should handle atmosphere and scares. It feels a bit like the Twilight Zone episodes of old.

The base plot connecting all of these segments is about an inspector trying to find an actor who has gone missing. He talks to a real estate agent who calmly explains to the inspector that the house is pretty sinister so bad things happen there. The inspector isn’t impressed but decides to stick around as he listens to a few stories. Did the house really cause all of these murders or was it in the wrong place at the wrong time? One thing’s for sure, a lot of bad things do tend to happen here.

The first story is about a writer who decides to move into the house. The house is in really bad condition but he feels like this will actually help him in coming up with ideas which is a decent rationale I suppose although I’m not sure it’s worth buying a house for a few months though. He begins his next murder book about a strangler and gets so engaged in the material that he starts to see the guy around. Is he going crazy or is the strangler actually here? This may end up being the last book he writes.

This was a pretty good way to start the saga. We got some twists and turns and there was a good amount of tension here. You can interpret the ending a few different ways. Personally, I took it as the guy who was hired was legitimate but what he didn’t count on was the spirit still residing in the house from the picture which ultimately took him over and gave us the twist ending. The writer definitely seemed a little crazy from the start which is the only way this plan could have worked from the start. If he had a bit more control he would have realized that something was up.

The next story is about the main guy heading over to a wax museum. One of the statues looks a lot like a lady he used to like. He stares for a while but then the owner drops some cryptic threats about it so the guy decides to never return. Unfortunately an old friend of his stops by and insists that they return. The guy has no self-control either so he keeps on going back to the place and the owner doesn’t like that very much. This is sort of like an abridged version of the Wax Museum films but handled a lot more tastefully. It’s a little hard to believe how badly the guy does against an old man with an axe though. You can probably see the ending coming and it’s harder to feel as sympathetic to the characters with the bad moves they make. The main guy warned his friend and at that point he shouldn’t have gone back in. It’s a little harsh but if someone keeps trying to jump into a fire you can’t follow them.

Next up was the weakest story if you ask me. A guy moves in with his daughter and she seems to be afraid of fire for some reason. The guy hires a tutor who starts to get close to the daughter but for some reason the father always prevents the tutor from getting the daughter any gifts. Eventually the daughter gets a wax doll and the father’s journey begins to reach its end. We learn some twists about the daughter but I can’t say that they justify the father’s actions in the slightest. If anything he created a self fulfilling prophecy here by being so mean to the kid. It reminds me of a villain in Fairy Tail. If you know that this character can destroy planets, why teach that person to resent everyone right away? It makes no sense and just speeds up everyone’s demise.

Then we have the classic vampire story which involves the actor. He is working on a new vampire film so he stops by a store and buys a cloak. Unfortunately whenever he wears the cloak he is overtaken by an urge to bite people. He decides not to wear it anymore but what if someone else wears it? I’m not a big vampire fan, but the story was reasonable. Mainly what made it so good was the big plot twist at the end. It was a “big brain” moment from the villains as we realize that they were always in control. It’s a very different take on how this kind of story would end and I definitely appreciated it. It also means that the villain may have even had better acting skills than the main guy.

Finally that takes us to the climax where the hardened inspector thinks this is all hogwash. I suppose that’s a reasonable reaction to this, but in a less reasonable take he rushes off to the house in the dead of night and goes straight to the basement. He actually does better in the fight against the villains than I expected, but at the end of the day you already knew how that was going to end. It was a pretty fun way to end.

One thing against the film though is that ultimately it’s really hard to pin any of this on the house. It was just an innocent bystander the whole time that was probably hoping these people would stop moving it in. It didn’t actually do anything in pretty much any of the stories. The Wax was just a crazy guy running around, (maybe the Wax location was haunted) The one with the girl was because she had powers, and the vampires already had their plan. I’m willing to defend the house in this case because I do think it was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and didn’t mean for any of this to happen.

The writing is pretty solid here. As mentioned, it does a good job of building up the atmosphere without suddenly trying to make everything gritty and violent. That’s exactly how you’re supposed to do this. It’s a very tasteful array of horror stories and the length helps to prevent any of them from dragging on although I do think some of these could have worked as a whole film. I just doubt they would have been quite as effective. These still had time for the various plot twists and such which is really the important part if you ask me.

Overall, The House That Dripped Blood is a bit of a misleading film but it’s solid nonetheless. None of the stories are particularly bad and the best ones are quite solid. That makes for a pretty all around story since each story is pretty different. If this sounds like it’s up your alley then you should check it out or if you want more of a grounded horror movie. I think the part that will stick with you the most is that if you have an evil cloak that grants super powers and evil urges you should probably burn it or at the very least insist that nobody wears it after you. Even if you may have been able to take it off, it doesn’t ensure that the next person will be able to.

Overall 6/10

Let’s Scare Jessica to Death Review


It’s time to look at a horror film filled with characters making terrible choices throughout the movie. It gets to the point where you have to question their sanity and this is definitely not one of those films that wins any consolation points. From the camera work to the characters nothing about this film clicks. You sort of get that feeling right from the start that things aren’t right and it ultimately pans out. I’m afraid that this film won’t be scaring anyone.

The movie starts with Jessica getting out of the asylum and getting ready to move to a new place with her husband Duncan and their friend Woody. Jessica has them stop by a cemetery first since her hobby is to trace the gravestones and the put the pictures up in her room. To each their own I suppose, but considering that she was just in a pretty bad place I’m surprised they didn’t try to get her out of this habit. Jessica encounters two ghosts along the way to the house but decides not to say anything in case people believe that she has finally cracked. They make it to the house and discover that someone already lives there. Her name is Emily and she has no place to stay. Emily quickly begins to seduce Duncan and Woody while also making Jessica really self conscious about her own appearance. Keeping all of this in mind Jessica decides to fail at basic logic and invites Emily to stay indefinitely.

At this point I’m sure everyone walked out of the theater but that’s the basic premise. Jessica must now struggle with her own issues as well as the fact that Emily plans on stealing everyone away. The whole village also doesn’t like Jessica and Duncan for some reason so they won’t be of any help. With the world crashing all around her Jessica starts to deteriorate more and more. Are these ghosts actually there or is there some kind of conspiracy to try and break Jessica’s mind? One way or the other she will definitely be finding out pretty soon.

I think we need to take a step back here and just look at why letting Emily stay is one of the worst movie decisions I’ve ever seen. This is on par with deciding to run back into an abandoned house where the murderer is just to pick up a piece of paper or insulting a terrorist with a rifle to show off in front of your friends. I think the only possible case you could make here is that Jessica was being a good person since Emily was in a bad spot. That’s not good enough I’m afraid. That’s because Jessica already got multiple red flags like Emily intentionally scaring Jessica and then her messing with Duncan and Woody. Helping other people is great, but if you already know that they’re going to make your life a nightmare it isn’t worth it. There was absolutely no benefit in letting Emily stay.

By horror movie rules you know that it wouldn’t have ultimately mattered. She would have gotten Duncan anyway, but at least Jessica could have delayed things a little bit. All she did her was speed things up and that was not a great move. It was a terrible move. It’s hard to really take the rest of the situation seriously after this because Jessica really invited this on herself. It also doesn’t help that she is not a very confrontational person by nature. Jessica will let the others walk all over her and that means she is already at a considerable disadvantage here. Jessica was not a good main character and is simply too soft. She even allows Emily to take her to the lake by herself and gets attacked multiple times but still does not say anything. That’s just going too far. Jessica also overrates her own abilities as she keeps telling Duncan to stop trying to protect her only to crack even further afterwards.

Meanwhile Duncan is a terrible character. I don’t care how charming Emily is, (The film wants us to believe that at any rate. She looks half dead the whole film which ties in to a plot twist) he’s married. That’s game over. Full period. There’s nothing she could possibly do that he should allow to have him break his vows. It just makes him come across as weak and also makes him a terrible person. It’s fine for Woody to have an affair since he isn’t even with anyone, but that’s it. Woody’s the most reasonable character of the 3, but he’s working on the tractor during the entire film so he never actually notices anything. He gets played like a fiddle and then wrecked so he really doesn’t get to contribute at all. Jessica really should have asked for his help a whole lot sooner.

From the start of the film we see that everyone has a scar in the village. They’re also all antagonistic towards the main characters to the point where they are backup villains. Surprisingly the film doesn’t address this until the very end and it happens so late that I thought the film was just going to back away from that plot. You can probably guess what is happening here as the film does offer some foreshadowing with Emily. I definitely don’t think it was in her head or that it was a dream. I think everything happened and the plan all along was for the villains to mess with Jessica. Even the title supports this and I think they just did their job so well that even the viewer may have some doubts. Jessica is just terrible at fighting back against this kind of thing so she walked into all of the traps.

Overall, this is just a terrible film. There’s nothing enjoyable about it. It’s really just a film about a homewrecker messing with everyone and the characters are too weak to stay strong. The supernatural elements are so brief that they may as well not even be there. The camera work has that dusty feel about it which is hard to describe but occurs a lot with the more distasteful indie type films. It generates a rather foreboding atmosphere on its own which is impressive but usually it means that you’re about to watch a stinker. The film drags on with its slow pacing and the terrible cast doesn’t do it any favors either. There are no good music tracks to listen to and so the film really failed on all accounts. There’s nothing to salvage here and so I’d recommend checking out just about anything else instead. You’ll be glad that you skipped this one.

Overall 0/10

The Last Man on Earth Review


It’s time to look at a fairly old film about vampires, but you could also just call them zombies. It’s a solid slow burner about a guy just trying to survive on his own. It’s surprisingly good and way better than most films in its genre. That being said it does squeeze a dog in for literally no reason which did take away a quick point. Why the film did this is beyond me.

The film starts off by introducing us to Robert. He believes he is the last man on Earth after watching everyone else go down to the plague. This illness was spread through the air and started by infecting all of Europe but eventually spread across the world. The vampires can’t move during the day time at least but at night they go wild. The only way to put them down for good is with a stake or burning them to oblivion. Robert has lived for 3 years by taking them down one at a time during the day and boarding himself in at night. Still, the days are taking their toll on him mentally and he knows that he can’t go on forever. Can he find a cure or finish them off before he loses the will to keep on going?

This is a pretty solid slow burner film. The opening scenes of Robert just walking around and living life are pretty fun. I think I can see why people would like an apocalyptic slice of life film. There’s a nice sense of peace as he just goes about his daily life. I actually would have been fine not even seeing the flashbacks. It’s also nice to just throw us in the middle of this because it gives you a lot to think about as he walked around. I’m sure it must have been a whole lot of work to find out all the rules of how to fight these vampires. He did good to live for 3 years although from how we see him live you’ll be surprised that he lasted so long. He uses quite a lot of garlic for the refills and doesn’t grow his own so the store he gets it from must have had an absolutely massive supply. I wonder if it would have been safer to just live in that factory for the time being.

That being said, the garlic really did not seem all that effective to me. Towards the end the vampires just walk right past it so its effect was either weaker than anticipated or the zombies just had a lot of determination in that scene. They are also very fast since Robert said that he had been trying to find them for 3 years, but never did. Based on how quickly they show up when nightfall is upon him that would suggest that they always make sure to sleep very close by. When searching a whole city for a bunch of zombies it makes sense that this wouldn’t be an easy ordeal but there does seem to be something he is missing. Nonetheless, his strategy of knocking them off during the day each time is pretty smart. It may not be much, but he’ll eventually take them all down.

This is one of those movies where the vampires are incredibly slow to the point where he was able to knock out like 10 on his own. There really isn’t anything to fear except for them potentially getting a lucky shot in. I think his best plan would be to find a gun somewhere so he can just mow them down. That would even allow him to survive pretty well at night since he could easily shoot them before they get close. A sword would also be a good idea. A more pro-active approach like that would definitely do wonders for him. Slow zombies/vampires (I use the terms interchangeably) may be convenient but it does let you have fun imagining scenarios on how you would win. It does leave you a lot of openings for coming through in the clutch when necessary.

Unfortunately there is one scene that the film had to squeeze in for no real reason. A dog shows up. Yes, I sighed when this happened too. There is no purpose for the dog to show up here and even in context it doesn’t make sense that it would have lasted this long. I guess the dog also got immune like Robert somehow, but you know that it’s only showing up to die right from the start. The movie isn’t even being all that subtle about this to be honest. It’s not handled nearly as bad as it could have been in other situations, but it was still enough for me to dock a pair of stars.

This movie does throw in a big twist near the end when Robert finds out that he is not the last person left. Personally I think it would have made sense for a ton of other people to have survived if this was really a virus. Could Robert have been the only one who was bitten by a mosquito and granted immunity? It wasn’t the same situation per say for these guys though. This leads to a bit of a grim end for Robert even if he does take it in a different way than some other characters might. It’s hard to blame Robert for what happened here though since he just never realized that not all of the zombies were the same. As I mentioned his plan was pretty logical.

Robert is a fun character. He certainly was loyal to his science principals and didn’t even want to entertain the idea of the supernatural until it hit him right in the face. He’s the kind of guy who will stay up late cooking up new cures while everyone else has given up. His friend Ben was not nearly as dedicated to his work. While Ben may have had a point, he didn’t do a good job of getting it across. Ultimately all he did was get in the way and slow down the process. At least he became very determined once he was a zombie. The fact that some of the zombies kept parts of their old personalities is also interesting.

Then you have Ruth who isn’t a terribly good character. She wasn’t great at spying on Robert and in general she wasn’t very helpful. I know that wasn’t part of her job, but while she was there she could have at least worked on getting a cure right? Then we have Virginia who is probably the worst character in the film. Even after Robert warns her multiple times not to call the cops because they would burn their daughter, she cracks and does so anyway. It’s easily one of the worst tropes when the character insists on doing the wrong thing and immediately starts crying afterwards acting shocked at how it all went wrong. It’s just way too late by then and that made things tougher on Robert. At the end of the day the only person he could count on was himself.

Overall, the writing is definitely on point here and Robert’s sarcasm and personality really help to carry the film. I enjoy his inner monologue and the movie’s pacing is consistent from start to finish. While I don’t think we needed the flashbacks it is always interesting to see how the town handles it when the zombie infestation first spreads. Resident Evil did something similar with the second last film as we saw a local town’s reaction. Robert may not have ended the zombie infestation, but he came close. It’s hard to say if he could have ultimately survived for the remainder of his days. I feel like he would have a good shot with some weapons and maybe finding a place with 24 hour electricity once he is retired. He would definitely need to thin out the zombie ranks as best he could before then though.

Overall 6/10

The Return of the Vampire Review


It’s time to look at another vampire movie. It’s actually been quite a while since I’ve seen one. Have they gotten better over time or is it doomed just like the rest? This one’s basically the latter. It’s far and away not the worst vampire film I’ve seen, but it still isn’t particularly good. It deserves some props for trying to do its best within the genre, but at the same time it could have simply have chosen another genre and that would have been the end of that.

The film starts off with a vampire showing up and deciding to destroy someone. It’s what he has been doing for years so why stop now? He then claims another victim in a town so 2 of the locals head over to his coffin and murder the guy. (The vampire base gets less and less guarded in each film) Unfortunately the groundskeepers show up later and remove the stake since they were dismayed to see the corpses being defiled in this way. This allows Dracula to return from the grave (All right, I’ll start calling him Tesla from here since that’s his name in this film) and continue his hunt. Tesla decides to adopt a human identity once more so that he can attract more attention to himself and gloat in his self satisfaction. Can anyone stop him?

Right away I have to give the film some credit with how it treats Lady Jane as the lead. She handles the situation wayyyyy better than most of the other main characters who run around crying and screaming at the mere sight of Dracula. Nobody’s got time for that. Jane destroyed him once and when he returns she is ready to conquer him once again…I mean Tesla. Her best scene is when Tesla walks over to her room and boldly starts telling her every part of his plan. He’s going to take her family and rule the world from the shadows. She calmly ignores him during the whole speech and gives him a look that says “Are you done yet?” Tesla gets a little perturbed by this and approaches her. Jane calmly finishes her piano piece and then puts the book down, revealing a cross under it. Tesla runs away scared and you realize that Jane is a very sensible character. She also spends a great deal of time trying to convince everyone else that Tesla is real.

Of course, a vampire film wouldn’t be all there without that one skeptic who refuses to believe that vampires are a thing. He sees the bite marks and doesn’t care. It’s all superstition and hocus pocus. Even his two comic relief underlings eventually see the light while this guy doesn’t even at the very end. You always cut these skeptics a little slack since it would take a lot for me to suddenly believe they are real as well, but you should at least look at what is happening and consider the possibility. What does this guy have to lose? As a result he is rather slow and doesn’t help much at all. He brings a gun to the final fight where he panics and fires the first shot, but that doesn’t help his case either.

To quickly give the underlings a shoutout, they did put up a reasonable fight against the werewolf. It may have been futile, but I’m glad that they didn’t go down in one punch as you may have expected. The Werewolf himself is a little annoying. He can’t resist Tesla’s powers and even after being cured he allows himself to regress back into a villain. At the end it takes getting shot in the chest to finally get him to realize that being a hero is the only true path to take. Better late than never though so we take those.

What makes this film a little better than the other Dracula films is that it doesn’t go for the low brow vampire moments that doom the genre. We don’t see Tesla constantly draining people’s blood. Make no mistake, there are fatalities here and he’s still just as unlikable a villain as always, but the film doesn’t rub our faces in it. There is also no animal violence squeezed in this time. I still don’t find vampires particularly interesting, but considering the genre I think the movie did a fair job of it. The writing isn’t bad either. It balances in some humor and the characters sound reasonable. While the skeptic ultimately would not see reason at least he had some valid reasons for sticking to his version of events.

Overall, The Return of the Vampire is about what you’d expect from a Vampire film. It basically goes through all of the usual motions, but does its best to stay classy throughout. If you are a fan of these films then you’ll certainly enjoy this one. Get ready to see Jane dish out the damage against Tesla. While Vampires have quite a few weaknesses including Garlic and Stakes, I’m always glad that the Cross gets such a powerful effect against them as well. It’s used quite effectively here. The most random scene in the film is probably when a giant explosion occurs which prevents the cross from finishing off Tesla, but since the vampire was doomed anyway perhaps it was just a way to stretch out his inevitable end. Tesla certainly didn’t end up going very peacefully.

Overall 4/10

Dracula: Prince of Darkness Review


Time for more Dracula! This film actually had the best beginning out of all the Dracula films which was quite impressive. For a little while there, I actually began to think that this film could actually be good. The second half falls back down the rails into terrible territory but at least it actually tried this time. If only the film had stuck to being a slice of life with a few jump scares instead of a nitty gritty vampire film. Don’t we have enough of those anyway?

The film starts off with a bunch of savages about to impale a girl who’s already dead. They want to make sure she stays that way. A passing preacher/evangelist stops them with his pocket gun and tough negotiating skills. He then heads to a cabin where we meet the Kents. 4 people are going on a big tour of the world and are having fun stopping at all of the various bars. He warns them not to go to a castle coming up since it’s evil. To their credit, half of the party listens. The 4 people are Alan, Helen, Charles, and Diana. Helen really doesn’t want to go inside and Diana isn’t fond of doing so either. Luckily a carriage comes along so Charles proposes that they get on it and head for the next town. Unfortunately the Horses are uncontrollable and quickly take the heroes to the castle. It appears to be empty, but a butler remains.

Helen continues to believe that something bad is going to happen and her fears are put to rest as Alan is destroyed and she goes next. Unlike Alan, she is at least given the pleasure of becoming a fellow vampire who will serve Dracula. Dracula wants Diana next, but Charles intends to put up a fight to save her. Charles and Diana head to the old guy from the intro and hide in his church, but the Church has a traitor who works for Dracula and the guy invites him in. It’s now a desperate battle for time, can Dracula be stopped!?

I really did like the intro. The first 30-40 minutes are basically the heroes bickering among themselves and just enjoying the hospitality once they get into the castle. You know that it’s not going to end well for them but at least they are having fun in the meantime. Charles is a pretty good character as he’s not a nervous wreck like the rest of the heroes and doesn’t mind taking charge. Diana may not be as brave, but she always stands by Charles. Alan and Helen aren’t quite as good. Helen is extremely nervous of everything to the point of paranoia which gets old fast and Alan just barely seems like a character. He’s just along for the ride for the most part. Still, it’s a fun group dynamic. These are actually characters that I can get behind and it’s just an entertaining intro.

Then Dracula shows up and things get messy. First of all, the film is quite violent. The Hammer films in general are always a little more intense and this one is no exception. One character basically bleeds to death which takes a while and it’s on screen. Another character gets impaled with a stake on screen. Ironically, Dracula’s death at the end is the least violent since he simply slips on some ice and freezes to his doom. Not exactly the way you’d imagine the famous Prince of Darkness to go out. I’m aware of the Garlic and the Cross as counters to Dracula even if the former never works. I never heard about Vampires drowning in clear water though. I never assumed they could breath underwater, but it’s actually a weakness now? The deck is really stacked against Dracula since he is quite slow and is weak to just about everything under the sun. Good luck beating any more humans at this rate count.

The traitor inside of the Church was annoying as well. He’s a prisoner as they even say to take him back to his cell, but people still take orders from him? Clearly the guy isn’t the only crazy in the place. It’s also awfully convenient how many empty rooms are in the Church so it’s easy for Dracula to sneak around. I was hoping there would be more people running around trying to stop him. It’s also annoying how quick the hypnosis works on Diana. It’s essentially instantaneous which isn’t surprising, but still not all that great. Where is the will power in all of this?

As a side note, this is probably the worst Dracula design. The red eyes just make him look super weak and then the actual movie certainly doesn’t do anything to dissuade you of that notion. Anyone can out run him and while he has super strength, he tends to let his opponents go. He’s also lucky that Alan was quite naive and not too smart as he otherwise wouldn’t have gotten resurrected in the first place. The heroes make a bunch of bad calls throughout the movie. In another scene they see the butler with a baseball bat or some kind of knife, but just shrug. All 4 of them agree that the butler seems crazy and likely dangerous, but they are still fine with sleeping in the manor. At worst they should have just overpowered him and then gone to sleep. They could have woke up the next day with a “Nothing personal” story and that would have worked. Well, I suppose at least some of them got the last laugh in the end so that’s a start.

Overall, This film is really just more of the same. Once Dracula shows up you can switch the footage with any other Dracula film and it’s basically the same. The film goes through the same beats as he takes the heroes down one by one but then plot armor comes to help the heroes. Dracula gets Charles in his grasp at one point, but then throws him away. He completely had the victory sealed up there, but lets him get away. Why would he do that? Seems like it was a bad move to me. Ah well, I’d recommend staying away from this film. You can watch other Dracula films that aren’t as over the top violent and at the end of the day, vampires are past their prime anyway. If you don’t mind stopping early, then the film is quite good if you just watch right up til Alan says he is going to check downstairs. Stop the film right there and it’s a solid 7/10 with a good cast and solid writing. If every film ended as well as it started, a lot of scores would be quite different in the horror genre.

Overall 2/10

Curse of the Undead Review


If the last film was YES! tier then this one is I want my Money Back tier. This film is just so bad and since it is a vampire film I expected a bad result from the start. It was still a little worse than I had anticipated. The Wild West angle is actually far more interesting than the Vampire one and you know how I’m not really a fan of the former either. It’s all pretty tragic to be honest, but at least the ending will go down as a classic.

There is a town where a mean man named Buffer is messing with everyone. All he wants is to be able to have a nice beer every day and bully an old man. That’s his only wish and so the town allows him to do whatever he wants. Things take a turn for the worse when the old man is murdered and then Buffer is forced to murder his son in self defense. Dolores decides to place a wanted ad to avenge them and a wandering gun for hire named Drago shows up. Dan advises Dolores against this since hiring someone to destroy someone else is pretty similar to doing the job yourself. You will have effectively committed murder. Dolores doesn’t care and even claims she’ll pray to the Devil if necessary. Dan realizes this is a lost cause and goes to the Sheriff to try and work something out. Little does he know that Drago is a vampire!

I think the main reason why I didn’t mind the Wild West setting this time was because it didn’t feel like one. You don’t see a lot of sand or anything since they stay in town the whole time. It was a nice fusion of genres and the film handled it well. The locale is one of the only positive things I can say about the film. Beyond that, I also liked the Sheriff. He still deserves some blame for not actually trying to stop Buffer sooner. He took quite a while to get involved and it was too late by then. At least he was very tough though. He didn’t back up for anyone and stood his ground at gun point. The way he handled the band of bandits was pretty admirable so it’s a shame that he went out on such a sour note. He was just a really good character.

Prepare for the onslaught of negatives now though as they are quite extensive. First off, Dolores is a very annoying main heroine. She faints quite a few times and always makes the wrong choices. I’m not against her hiring someone to take Buffer down since the authorities weren’t doing anything about it, but letting him into her house was mistake number 1. The next one was going right to sleep and not noticing him messing with her. She also didn’t notice that she had bite marks on her neck even though I feel it would be pretty obvious. I’m confident I’d notice something like that on my neck and clearly it means she hasn’t washed it in a while. She then proceeds to faint several more times so Drago has his fun and she even sides with him instead of Dan. She made no good choices and was just a struggle to watch.

Drago is even worse as he’s a vampire who doesn’t know what he is doing. I don’t even think he had a master plan so much as he just wanted to suck everyone’s blood while also having fun doing it. He acted as if he was on her side to gain her trust but why? He would leave her alive so he could keep using her I guess, but it was a pretty random move. Furthermore, if he can hypnotize people, he should do it to everyone so he’ll have a life long supply or blood for all of his needs. He came off as rather distasteful and there was no way to like him. It’s a shame since he could have been a decent character in theory. The idea of a lone gunman coming into a town and liberating it is nothing new. Of course, when the two sides are the bully and an evil vampire, you know that the battle is lost before it even begins.

Dan is an okay character I guess, but he seems content to stay as an observer until something happens that he doesn’t like. He didn’t really help to solve the Buffer problem until the gunner showed up and then he made his move. By then, it was a little late for words. He did a good job in the final battle though so I have to give him credit there. He’s certainly better than pretty much all of the other characters by default. The Sheriff was really good as well as he didn’t let any of the others mess with him. Buffer wasn’t a likable character of course. You couldn’t feel sympathetic to him either since he was a villain the whole time. Perhaps he wasn’t as bad as the vampire, but that’s a pretty low bar to set.

The dialogue and writing for the film wasn’t bad, but it never became an engaging watch. We also got an incredibly random, but dark origin story for Drago during the film. Apparently he murdered his brother and then murdered himself so his punishment was to obtain super strength, high speed regeneration, and immortality so he can murder other people. Pretty interesting punishment. Another thing that hurt the film was just the amount of times Drago had his way with the heroine when she asleep. Those scenes are very dubious and hard to watch. Add in the fact that he’s brainwashing her and it sinks the film to new lows. At this point she basically doesn’t have a choice in the matter. The film was already past saving, but these scenes really ended up hurting the score more than the rest put together.

Overall, This was a pretty bad vampire film. I expected nothing less though. It has some pretty decent scenes and as I mentioned the human moments weren’t bad. The posturing at the saloon wasn’t bad and the various bar moments, but the vampire just brought the whole thing down. The film also just liked being dark like when the kid died or the origin story. It was pretty unnecessary the whole time. If you want a good vampire film…I recommend just looking for something else. The odds of finding a good one are extremely low. It’s almost a contradiction.

Overall 1/10

The Brides of Dracula Review


The Dracula movies have a pretty negative reputation and it is admittedly one that it has earned. They typically just aren’t all that fun and forget to be engaging. This one doesn’t even have Dracula in it. Now that could be a good sign, but it barely even matters since a new Dracula has surfaced in the town. It’s essentially the same story as always, but with a different cast for Van Helsing to deal with. He barely escaped from his last confrontation so does he even have a chance here?

It starts off with Marianne deciding to take a carriage through a forbidden part of town. She is going to become a school teacher and doesn’t want to be late so this is the quickest route. Unfortunately her driver leaves right away so she is forced to spend the night at a bar. The owners don’t want to take her in though and they seem pretty scared so she accepts a shady old lady’s offer to stay at her mansion. There she sees a guy being tied to his room so she frees him and then faints in the road. Van Helsing finds her and takes her to the school, but the vampires aren’t done with her yet. She has released the most powerful one yet and he aims to convert all of the people in the town. Can Helsing put an end to this?

The film’s very convenient a lot of the time and especially in the opening. It seems like the old couple knew something about the vampires or at least that the family couldn’t be trusted. I can understand that, but why were they so vague about it the whole time? Why did it take hours to rent a cot? If they know that the old lady has been kidnapping previous tenants then shouldn’t they tell the cops? The family owns the whole town so that’s a little iffy, but based on how isolated they are the whole time, I like to think that they don’t have complete dominion over the whole place. Ah well, this leads Marianne to go to the castle. Naturally, everyone keeps on lying to her so she decides to just pick one of them to trust and she picks the captive. Turns out that he couldn’t be trusted, but the old lady would have likely murdered Marianne anyway since she had been feeding sacrifices to the vampire anyway.

This is where Van Helsing should come in, but honestly it takes him a real long time to show up. When he finally does pop in he isn’t as impressive as you’d expect. He tends to go into battle unarmed except for a small cross which the vampires always overpower. After that he just looks shocked and dazed as they toss him around. Van Helsing really can’t hold his own against any of the villains and he certainly looks out of his league. Fortunately for him, the vampires basically end up destroying themselves by lighting the castle on fire and being too slow to escape it. One of them basically just falls down and dies. Van Helsing got lucky and this should increase his reputation, but his luck is bound to run out sooner or later.

He can be an annoying hero because it almost feels like he is helping the vampires at some points. For example, after one of the victims has been terminated by the vampires, he knows that she will rise at night. The plan is for him to be there in wait so he can stab her as soon as she wakes up. Unfortunately it seems like he forgot to set the alarm or something so he arrives there 20 minutes to late which gives her time to escape. The same thing happens again later on as another victim appears and Van Helsing decides to make a few stops first. By the time he gets there the situation had already been resolved in the vampire’s favor. You had to wonder what he was doing the whole time? Certainly this should have been his top priority right? He was probably posturing and stroking his ego though so I guess we’ll just have to let it slide.

Marianne isn’t likable because she’s rather gullible and oblivious to everything. That makes it really hard to root for her since she is practically begging to be bitten the whole time. The vampire isn’t any good either as he just seems like a guy who can’t control his own bloodlust. He just wants to drink and he would be your average “It’s Miller Time” Budlight character if he wasn’t a vampire. I did like how he was kidnapped early on though. I guess an old lady can put up more of a fight than Van Helsing sometimes.

The film gives a lot of time to various subplots and characters that are ultimately pointless as well. One really random scene introduces a doctor who likes to smell mystical water and use a lot of pills to keep himself from getting sick. He’s a comic relief character who likes money, but vanishes as soon as he appears. What was the point of the scene? I dunno and I guess you just have to leave that part to your imagination.

Beyond that, the film commits to all of the typical tropes of a Vampire film. They drink people’s blood and keep on building an army. Everyone is too stunned to do anything about it and the vampires take a lot of victims before they finally go down. Blood sucking has always been pretty wince worthy and certainly doesn’t get any better here. None of the villains are likable in the slightest and I didn’t like any of the heroes either. When you have a bad cast there is not much that can ultimately help the film. You need a likable cast.

Overall, This film is just like any other Dracula film. You could watch another version and swear that it was the same film. There is nothing even remotely original here and everyone seems to have a higher opinion of themselves than the reality. To keep things in perspective…Van Helsing lost to an old lady. She rushed him and stole the cross so that the vampires could take him down. That was just plain embarrassing and she was definitely an odd character. I’ll assume that she was mind controlled for most of the film and then got turned into a vampire because most of her behavior just doesn’t make sense otherwise. Unless she was just plain crazy I expect. I advise you to stay far away from this film. You’re better off watching a classic title like Scooby Doo or something. Even Batman vs Dracula is a big step up if you really need to see something with a vampire. This film will just leave you trying to fill in all of the holes in the writing to make the movie more interesting, but all you’ll be left with is pieces of ineligible paper.

Overall 2/10