Well the folks of Full Moon Pictures came back to Bucharest, Romania for yet another vampire picture. Ted Nicolaou , writer/director of the Subspecies quadrilogy , brings Vampire Journals to light. Timeline based it occurs after Subspecies 4: Bloodstorm. The vampire of that series Radu Vladislas has met his final end and his made vampire Ash is our head nuisance. The story revolves around two vampires. One is racked with guilt of being one of the undead and seeks to dispatch them with a blade in the form of decapitation. The other is an amoral soulless creature that delights at playing with his food and instilling fear prior to feeding. Guess it is a bit like adding Coke to your Jack. No clue. Zachary (David Gunn) lives with the unending life span that has brought him nothing but blood and torment. Ash (Jonathon Morris) is a master vampire that owns a night club and assists in presenting it around the world. Both creatures of the night fall for the same beautiful pianist named Sofia (Kirsten Cerre).
Ah, the music spoilers make.
Predictably their ideals and ways of life rub each other wrong but they continue this odd game of cat and mouse back and forth. Ash points out his former life to Zachary and clearly is giving him a chance to belong among his flock so long as he does not poach the pianist. And we all know how well competition goes with men over a woman. Zachary is almost as whiny and bitter as Louise of Interview with a Vampire. I mean this guy whimpers on and on. Flashbacks are a bit of a theme with this guy as Ash in some far back time of the powdered wig era fed and drained Rebecca, the love of Zachary’s unlife. He makes this pact to slay his fellow vampires wherever he finds them. Once again I have to comment on the prop people. Since the Subspecies, these folks bust ass on what little budget they have and produce a wicked broadsword named Laertes. Maybe someone was a big Homer fan or possibly just a fan of Hamlet. Who can truly say?
While I feel the story has been played out to death and not exactly what I would call an original idea I love the camera work and lighting. The music score is amazing and frankly for as low a budget as Nicolaou always seems stuck with it, the film is impressive. An ancient city with so much architecture to work into your story, the movie maintains a gothic feeling and the characters are true to the nature of the beast if you will. My complaints were pretty simple actually. The script seemed light. You had a simple love triangle story arc that did not get the love it should have. Felt like there should have been more. The nudity follows a basis for the seduction or feeding so I didn’t feel like it was over the top but there is a far amount of it. Not one for the kids. Erotic vampire tale hey you got to expect this sort of thing to be happening. Nicolaou also seems to like to let every film end on a down note. Admittedly I did not see a happy fluffy bunny ending with a tale of vampires but dammit man through in a tender note now and again. What I don’t get is why these clearly different storylines are even linked. Clearly Nicaloau had a plan to do something more in depth with the 4th Subspecies using a few of the characters from this flick and it just felt clunky and confusing.
To sum it all up, this flick was a pleasant addition to the growing vampire sub-genre. Our vampires didn’t twinkle, they had no emo angst nor did they whine and bitch too terribly.