Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Monster Squad


If you read my other blog this morning, you know I was on the hunt for this dvd.
And I managed to get a copy. It was released today for the first time on DVD, Monster Squad 20th Anniversary Edition is a two disk set with a ton of groovy extras. Rue Morgue Magazine did a special with Issue #69 (July 2007) having the cover of the original poster and a hefty interview inside. I remember now when and why I started to think of vampires as something sexy, Duncan Regehr. Now for those who have been living in a tomb for the last 20 years and have not seen it...
Dracula is after a stone that will make the world loose the daylight, and he brings in the help of Frankenstein, The GillMan, The Mummy, and the Wolfman. He has won before, 100 years ago, or almost won, until Van Helsing sends all the monsters back to another time and place. His one chance in 100 years to try again is now, and the only thing stopping him is a group of teenagers who have Van Helsing's Diary, the Monster Squad.
This has always been on my top ten all time favourite movies and it's about time it got released on DVD.

Monday, 23 July 2007

Night Watch (movie)


This is a Russian film from a few years back but just released here.
I spotted this and thought the story had a very new quality to it.
Set in a modern world that could be mistaken for an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (infact there is a scene where one of the main characters is watching BTVS season 5 episode 1) Where shapeshifters, vampires, and voodoo are more then possible. We open with a man wanting to have revenge on his cheating wife by going to the local witch only to start seeing things while he is there, and learns that he is an Other. As the story unfolds we learn that there were two armies, on of Light one of Dark who have been battling it out since the beginning of time. At this point now, there is a peace pact and the Night Watch are running things. There is said to be one soul that can change the balance of things, and a war breaks out for that soul.
This is meant to be the first part of a trilogy, the second chapter is called Day Watch (not released here yet) and I just found out they are based on a series of books. (which I just ran out and bought both of)
Thought the copy I found was dubbed, it didn't take away from the story. A modern fable of good vs evil or is it evil vs evil or good vs good? Hard to say, but riveting none the less.

Perfect Creature


Perfect Creature.
Not so much.
This was just released here and from what I am told is a remake of a 1960's film. I have no proof of that, what I do know is I did not much care for it.
I did like the fact it was set timelessly. Half the visuals were very modern half were very 1940ish. This film is set in a world where vampire males are born and raised to be the protectors of the world. They are taken in by the church and raised as priests. While their Brotherhood is mostly doing good, one lone vampire has other plans and starts to feed on humans. When doing so, he unleashes a virus that has plague like quickness that kills his victims and shuts down whole cities. What is his goal? To find one female strong enough to breed a female child. It seems only males are born with this vampiric gene. At the same time an extreme flu has broken out almost worldwide bringing the population to it's knees. One female cop hot on the trail of the rogue vampire is the key, she is also inlove with the Brotherhood's next chosen leader.
I am not sure if this was a made for tv movie or meant to be the pilot of a tv show, but it felt like it might.

Friday, 13 July 2007

The Best of the Hunters

I wanted to touch briefly on the topic of the Vampire's other half, and what a better time then Friday the 13th!

It has been said that if you believe in vampires then you need to believe in Vampire Hunters. Some have been more popular then others, but this is my list of the vampire's mortal (or immortal) enemy.

  1. Van Helsing
  2. Buffy/Angel
  3. Mr. Peter Vincent Fearless Vampire Killer
  4. Blade
  5. Monster Squad
  6. Roman Polanski's Fearless Vampire Killers
  7. Lost Boys
  8. Jack Crow from Vampires
Taking a look at the idea of team work being used runs through most of the above character list. Usually, one hunter has the brains but a group is needed to hold down, encase, or distract the vampire in question.
The Lost Boys and Monster Squad were released around the same time, each taking the approach of a group of teens who stumble upon the bad guys and without help from parents or police (until it's too late) they carve stakes and smash garlic themselves to protect the town.
Roman Polanski took a very comical approach to the topic. Playing on Europe's folklore and downright silly means to trap the vampires. One thing it did do was bring up the idea that the cross isn't always useful. One of the vampires in this film was Jewish.
Fright Night 1 and 2 played on all hunters that had been created up to that point. It combined the names of Peter Cushing and Vincent Price to create the movie's main hero, Mr Peter Vincent the Fearless Vampire Killer. Also a take on Roman Polanski's film (not just the title, but the fact that Polanski played the starring role)
Blade turned everything sideways. Here the myth of the dhampir is used, making Blade a half human half vampire. He makes the best hunter because he knows their weaknesses and their strengths first hand. This theme is also touched on in the Buffy/Angel myth.
Buffy is a creature unto herself. Something born in response to vampires. Her sole purpose is to find them and kill them. Her male counterpart is a rare thing as well, a vampire with a soul. It's the old fear of becoming what you fear/hate.
Van Helsing. Old, young, British, or otherwise he is the icon of hunters. Always a strong mind, strong will and the books to back it up. No one seems to ever really question his belief or the tales of monsters or that it is for the good of mankind to destroy the vampires that the characters come across. Maybe not the most violent of the hunters, but the most ruthless.
Top Van Helsings
  1. Anthony Hopkins
  2. Peter Cushing
  3. Edward Van Sloan
  4. Hugh Jackman
In many stories the hunter is not prepared. A person who is thrown into the chaos and disbelief. But on the flipside, a very readily trained hunter such as James Wood's verison of Jack Crow from John Carpenters' Vampires is infact backed by the church. (Jon Bon Jovi played another one of the team in the second film) Christianity runs through most modern vampire mythology once again giving the idea that the vampire is an all destructive character soul less and demonic therefore needing to inlist a priest.

Happy Hunting

Sunday, 1 July 2007

Shade


This is one that surprised me. It is about a group of fans who are going to a book convention for a series of vampire novels. It sort of plays off of the popularity that vampires had in the 1990's as well as the role playing vampire games. The theme of this book is blurring the lines of what is real and what is not.
We meet Shade. She is a very sexy writer of vampire novels, who just happens to be a very sexy vampire. Her books lure and seduce her victims and then she finds them all over the world by using mirrors.
I liked this book because it took a fresh look at the vampire, not just as a horror story, not just as an erotic story, but as a media persona all it's own.