Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Mom's Got a Date with a Vampire

In this 2000 released made for TV Disney film, two kids team up to get their mom out of the house one October night so that they can go to the Octoberfest. They do this by answering an add on the internet for her, saying she would meet the strange man in the market. Meanwhile, the youngest one of the family has found out the truth about mom's date and gets the help of a vampire hunter, because mom's date is actually a vampire.

It's a cute film, PG rated and still funny enough to watch in "Hallowe'en Season".

Saturday, 23 June 2007

Vampires Everywhere...Look!

"Vampires Pretending to be Humans Pretending to be Vampires" -Interview with the Vampire
That sums up what I am going to say today.
I am going to start some posts (this one will be more a list) on the Hidden Vampire in movies/books. Vampires that just because they don't fall into the Hollywood traps of coffins/stakes/fangs/ etc... most don't class as vampires but if you look closer you will see they are.
  1. Nightmare on Elm Street series
  2. Edward Scisorshands
  3. Farscape
  4. Star Trek
  5. Matrix
  6. Shock'em Dead
  7. Trick or Treat
  8. Black Roses
  9. Hamlet
I know there are more to this list that even I am not thinking of at the moment.
(I actually had very detailed notes on this topic but have lost them somewhere, and doing my best to remember.)

I will start with the easiest of the list Shock'em Dead.
Here we have what seems like just another 1980's/1990's (honestly not sure on the timeframe for this one) rock n roll story. Martin Angel is a guitar player who just wants to be part of the band, and would do anything to get it. So he sells his soul to the Devil to become the greatest rock star alive, becoming Angel Martin to everyone. Only one thing, he has to take other people's souls to stay alive, draining their life from them. Makes him a psy-vamp. Needing the energy from others to keep up his own. This film does take it to extremes but hey, it's an old heavy- metal-great -for -Hallowe'en-night-partys- film.

Saturday, 16 June 2007

Blood and Chocolate

Yes I know, it's not a vampire story but a werewolf story.
But, I have a few reasons for talking about this film. Let me start by saying, No I have not read the book it is based on my views on Blood and Chocolate is the dvd only. Reason #1-It was just released on DVD
Reason #2-The people who work at my Blockbuster
Reason #3-The connection to vampires in the media and myth

Okay now the review: We have a girl who's family is hunted down and slaughtered because they are werewolves. She is the only one to survive. Moving half way around the world to live with her aunt and cousin, she melts into the pack. We are then thrown ten years into her life. The Pack leader picks a new "wife" every 7 years, and he has his eye on her. She wants nothing to do with him mostly because he is her "uncle" by marriage. In walks a cute American artist who is doing a story on the Loup Garoux. A mythical creature that could shape shift and had been worshiped hundreds of years before. The young lovers are hunted by the rest of the pack, mostly because of fear the boy will tell the world about them and they would be hunted once more.
I have mixed feelings about this film. It's got the typical "Romeo and Juliet" thing going for it, making it a love story, it has shape shifters making it a horror story, it has fighting making it an action story. But, it just seemed to lack something. I just don't know what. I was watching this and thinking, "and then what?" which could only mean one thing....they are already planning a second film.
Okay, so there was reason #1, now I will give you reason #2 and #3. I wish that Blockbuster or any rental store for that matter, would have the same core rule as Chapters Books does, which is that 'all staff members must learn about other genres other then their favourite to better serve their customers'. My sister, her first day on the job was handed a reading list and told to 'bone up on her knowledge of authors, genres and books just in case'. Too bad movie stores don't require the same thing. When I was checking out with this film the other day, the girl at the counter started to make comments about this film. When I asked what she thought of the story, she admitted she hadn't even seen it, that she was giving the 'rental speech'.
Right! She did mention a loogaroo which sent my mind right back to yeap....vampires. I know I have seen the term loogaroo before in my studies of vampire mythology. So cracking open my books I did come across the term. It is vampire in Haiti folklore. They would remove their skins and become balls of light, draining the life of sleeping victims. It is also a corruption of the term loup garou which is the French term for shapeshifter, or werewolf.
The removing of skins to become pure energy is where the idea of shifting falls into play.

Sunday, 10 June 2007

Some Underlooked Canadian Vamps

Four of my favourite vampire films are Canadian Made.

Blood and Donuts: Boya is a vampire who's life fell apart in the late 1960's so he went into a deep sleep. Woken up in the late 1990's by a golf ball, he starts hunting around Toronto and comes across an old lover, a taxi driver, the Mob and a donut shop worker. This strange modern day tale of friendship, trust and addiction is light when it needs to be, dark when it needs to be, and a Cronenberg classic.

Karmina and K2-Les Zombies: Karmina is a vampire who's family wish to marry her off to Vlad. In the first film, she flees her home of Romania to her freedom in Montreal. Here she hides out at her aunt's place finding there is a better way to be a vampire in the modern day. Karmina falls in love after drinking a potion to make her human, while trying to stay one step ahead of Vlad as he goes looking for her.
In the sequel, We follow Vlad as he is being chased around Montreal by news reporters, the Mob and one angry woman who wants revenge on him for making her husband a vampire. The first film is a love story, the second a buddy movie. Both are filled with laughs.

Central Park Drifter (Graveyared Shift) : Here is a story about Stephen Tsepes, a cab driver who feeds only on women who are about to die. After 300 years, he falls in love with a television producer and saves her from her illness. But they are hunted down by his past lovers, and her husband. This film was good enough for a sequel called "Understudy Graveyard Shift 2".

The Best of The Sequels

Now, I have not obviously seen EVERY sequel to every vampire film out there, but I have seen a bunch. So this is my top list of vampire sequels....
  1. To Die 4 Two Son of Darkness. The sequel to "Bram Stoker's Dracula The Love Story To Die For" In which we find Vlad now named Max, working as a doctor in a small town where his son is located.
  2. Dracula's Daughter. Set right after the original 1931 Dracula, we find Dracula's Daughter trying to live a normal life.
  3. Fright Night 2. The hero from the first Fright Night film is back and this time he falls victim to the sister of the vampire he killed.
  4. Blade 3 Trinity. This is on my list not for it's story, but for seeing wrestler Triple H in a comedy role. Here we have Blade trying to stop the oldest vampire from taking over the world.
  5. Understudy Graveyard Shift 2. The sequel to Canadian vampire film Graveyard Shift (renamed Central Park Drifter) finds our vampire back from death and working in a movie. (not too sure if this film was renamed with the Central Park Drifter 2 )