Sunday, October 21, 2012

Subspecies...Gem of Month.


Hey Halloween folks, what say we sit around the campfire and bring up an obscure B movie that became a franchise from Full Moon Entertainment?  So prep some holy water, start chopping that garlic and prep the blackthorn oak stakes.  This is Subspecies.

Spoilers be immortal…

Director/writer/producer Ted Nicolaou (Bloodstone: Subspecies II, Remote, Bloodlust: Subspecies III, Dragonworld and Vampire Journals) brings forth the tale of Vampires and humans living in a pact of peace for far too long according to some.  The vampire King Vladislav (Angus Scrimm of Phantasm 1 through 4 and I Sell the Dead) is beseeched by his eldest son Radu (Anders Hove of Critters 4, The Silencer, Bloodstone: Subspecies II, Family Passions, Loving, Bloodlust: Subspecies III and Subspecies 4: Bloodstorm) whom he exiled centuries ago now returns to Prejnar to claim the throne and the sacred bloodstone.   This enchanted artifact that is said to drip the blood of the saints which would empower or warp a vampire.  Radu is no ordinary vampire as he seems to have powers magic as well as his own vampirism as he creates minions from his own blood freeing him from his temporary prison and allowing him slay his own father and claim what he deems his birthright.  Meanwhile two American students come to Prejnar to do result on folklore in the residing area.  Michelle (Laura Mae Tate of Dead Space, Diggstown, I Love Trouble and California Myth) and Lillian (Michelle McBride of The Playroom, Masque of the Red Death and Prey of the Chameleon) meet up with fellow college roommate and local of Prejnar Mara (Irina Movila of Hotel de lux, Sundays on Leave, Dipolmatic Siege and Alone Verses Myself) had made arrangements to stay in the existing fort of Brașov Citadel Fortress. The caretaker Carl (Ivan J. Rado of Mask, The Puppet Master II and Mac and Me) retells the tale where a handful of monks and warriors is said to have held off the vampires until the king of the vampires was given the Bloodstone to pacify his hunger.  Thus creating a lasting peace of more than 300 years or so they thought.  The girls venture to Castle Vladislav in its ruins and take a few photos.  Lillian accidently cuts herself in a doorway and leaves a bit of her blood tempting poor Radu.  He tracks them back to the fort and stalks them in true creeper fashion.  

 The girls encounter Stephan (Freddy’s Nightmares, General Hospital, Deadly, Blackfellas, Midnight Man and Viper) a fellow scholar and traveler to this region and immediately gets goo goo eyes for Michelle and vice versa but in a subtle undertone.   Stephan makes his way to the castle as dawn approaches to combat his brother Radu.  *gasp* Another spoiler.  Stephan and Radu share the same father.  Would that mean that Stephan is a vampire as well?  

The film itself is shot around Transylvanian area Hunedoara, Brasov and Sinaia with extensive footage using fish eye lens and more anamorphic and yet recorded in mono for some reason.  The subspecies were originally to be stuntmen filmed via blue screen but Nicolaou felt they were being too hammy so he went stop animation and rod based puppets instead.  The village and graveyard scene was actually a re-enactment of the festival of the dead. This is also the first American film project in Romania.  A guilty pleasure to be had and yes boys there be boobies.