Salutations Readers of the Rotten and welcome back to the blog. Now there is a ton of negative reviews on today's movies and some of that is deserved for minor reasons. However, it has some redeeming value due to dialogue choices, creature species names and clear nods to the admired creators. So delving into this Sci-Fi/Horror, I was actually burning a copy for my mom when I realized I never reviewed this film on the blog but for Epinion.com oh so many moons ago. This is Bloodsuckers a.k.a.Vampire Wars a.k.a. Vampire Wars: Battle for the Universe.
|Worse paintball team...ever.|
Personally I like the last title. I just envision Dolph Lundgren as He-Man curb stomping vampires into oblivion. Writer/director/producer Matthew Hastings (Decoys, Panikiller Jane, Eureka, Alphas, The Originals and Shadowhunters) had a vision...um vampires in space. Sort of a Andromeda/Buffy crossover universe. The typical wooden stake, crosses, holy water and whatnot doesn't help at all. Maybe this is Blade crossover. But they seem to be using conventional rounds OF THE FUTURE... Yeah Mossbergs, an M4 with 40mm grenade launcher and metal chromed spikes. Sayth whaaaaat???
So yeah we have a few points to make before we dive right in:
1) The tri-barrel heavy rifle that Roman (Aaron Pearl) is using is from Blade: Trinity. The rifle Patton Oswalt's character shows off to Reynolds, Snipes and Biel's looks at. 2) the interior cockpit, crew quarters and landing plank of our intrepid vampire hunters' ride is the Eureka Maru from Andromeda. They decorated it a bit but Roddenberry fans will immediately recognize this has Captain Valentine's rusted out crap box of the stars. 3) the species of vampires are named after horror film slasher icons such as Voorhees and Leatherface 4) the Captain's sidearm is the Blade: the Series sawed off shotgun with vents. They just added laser sights to it. Trust me, with that spread, you really won't need to aim; just worry about recoil.
In the far away future of 2210, humanity has explored the stars and the only other intelligent lifeforms out there are the vampires. Different breeds, whole lot of attitude. The V-SAN or Vampire Sanitation (sounds like the vamps call them for a blocked toliet) are on the case. From mining planets to areas of British Columbia that Stargate and its spin-offs hadn't filmed in, our brave hunters are taking down suckheads left and right. IT'S A FRIGGIN' CREW OF FIVE!!!!!
|Vampire Reavers? Veavers? Rampires?|
For God's sake, at least the Sulocco in Aliens had a platoon worth of space marines. My favorite Damphyr of BloodRayne (Natassia Malthe of Devil's Highway, Skinwalkers, DOA: Dead or Alive, Dead & Deader, Sex and Death 101, BloodRayne: Deliverance, Alone in the Dark II and BloodRayne: The Third Reich) is playing...wait for it... a Damphyr. Typecasting or do producers just like her in mid-riff leathers? That may be a bit sexist. Granted you won't hear me complain that a gorgeous woman is in leathers and strutting about.
Our touch as nails Captain Churchill is Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman's hubby??? Yeah it is Joe Lando (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, Counterstrike, Bloodsuckers, Wildfire, A.I. Assault, Meteor Apocalypse and The Secret Circle) leading our team of FIVE into hostile territories. They snag, bag and tag the vampires or call corporate and tell them the planet is a write-off. It's a tough job but somebody's got to do it. Breaking in a new roster to the crew is corporate officer Lt. Damian (Dominic Zamprogna of It Waits, Supernatural, Battlestar Galactica, Battlestar Galactica: The Resistance, Blade: The Series, Painkiller Jane, The L Word, Smallville and 2012), a wet behind the ears rookie that may just have what it takes to gack some vamps. Awww he's got a coming of age story. Precious.
|10 to 1 she heard a cheesy pick-up line.|
Among our fine bunch of badasses is gunner duo team-up Roman (Aaron Pearl of The Tortured, Ice Quake, Lloyd the Conqueror, Christmas Miracle, Supernatural, King & Maxwell, Godzilla, Til Death Do Us Part and No Men Beyond This Point) our Drake of Aliens archtype and Rosa (Leanne Adachi of Deep Rising, The Final Cut, The Invisible, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Stargate Universe, Red Widow, Rogue adn Supernatural) our Vasquez wannabe. Well now that the Mousekeeters signed off, they get into the fracas. Shocking the first planet they find has been ransacked and ravaged. For a handful of vamps, they made quite the mess. Moving on from the mining colony, the ship gets an SOS and naturally they're the only ship in the quadrant (Hmm sound Star Trek enough for ya?) so they go in. Finding the sole survivor Fiona (A.J. Cook of Final Destination 2, Tru Calling, Criminal Minds, Dead Like Me, Vanished, Night Skies, Misconceptions and Mother's Day) she tells the hunters that the last place the rest of the colony was down in the mines. FYI, these are the same mines that were used for First Blood. Yeah a bit more movie trivia. You're welcome, gang!
Our team head right to the obvious trap instead of taking off and nuking the site from orbit, because...plot device. Shockingly enough, a team of five really cannot hold off hundreds of vamps. Who knew? The Captain gets separated from the team and Damian has to take up command. Reluctantly, the duo fire team follow Damian as they find out someone has issued codes to shut down orbital defenses on the allied planets inhabited by humans. Soooo...it's a universal code? One code and that's it?! I can change my remote, my Ipad, hell my laptop's registration but one frickin' code?!!! Ever heard of backups?!! Sorry sorry.
|Not even Dylan Hunt would hire these clowns.|
Now our band has to play on and find out who sold the humans out, eradicate them and save the universe. That's a tall order. Getting backup isn't an option as they don't know how far up the ranks of the corporate of V-SAN this goes. Bet it was Burke. He'd definitely screw us for a percentage.
Obviously this film is a love letter to many a creator. James Cameron for Aliens, Joss Whedon for Buffy and Firefly a little smidgen of John Carpenter for Vampires and definitely Star Trek for the Final Frontier gag and techno babble.
Is it a bad movie? No. Is it filled with tropes we have seen before? Well yes. A group of loners that work together, combat their differences, back stories and issues then fight side-by-side? Yeah it may have been done before. There are clever ideas, decent locations, the FX is spot on and overall story is feasible for a TV plot. Is it captivating to the likes of Serenity? Well that is an unfair comparison and Firefly had a lot of desperate elements and characters that amounted over the course of 14 episodes and a later a movie. If Bloodsuckers got the same treatment, they could do pretty well. So yes if this were the pilot episode rather than the movie, you'd have a chance.
At the end of the day it is a goofy flick with some action, one liners and vampires. Look if you came for a riveting story that tells us the underlining metaphor of humanity and the hopes and dreams that would one day become reality, you picked the wrong blog. I really don't review those types of film. If you came for some laughs, cheesy lines and a decent enough plot; you're in luck.