Directed by: Matthew Hastings
Writing credits: Matthew Hastings
Release Date: 30 July 2005 (USA) more
Also Known As: Bloodsuckers (Original Sci-Fi Channel Title)
MPAA: Rated R for grisly violence and gore.
Runtime: 99 min
Certification: Philippines:PG-13 (Avid Phil) / Germany:18 (DVD) / Australia:MA / USA:R
After four absolute-DUD reviews in a row (The Roost, Cult, Serum & Doomed) I had my fingers crossed that Vampire Wars: Battle for the Universe would be a step in the right direction. Hell, it seemed that ANYTHING would be better than all of those atrocities combined…But I was let down once again. Ultra-big-time-SSSSIIIIGGHH.
In a bleak 2210, humans have spread themselves throughout most of the universe. Think of it as Manifest Destiny to the 10th power. However, the mass colonization of other worlds hasn’t exactly been all wine and roses. It turns out the humdrum-homosapians are outnumbered by various breeds of boring-bloodsucking vampires!
That’s where the V-San (Vampire-Sanitation) unit comes in to play! The V-San is an Aliens ripoff crew of ragtags that spends more time whining than a group of jealous teenage girls camped outside Fall Out Boy’s tour bus. The V-San crew consists of Damian, who initially doesn’t have the ambition to be a part of the team, Rosa, who holds a major grudge against the voluptuous-vamp Quintana, and the obligatory cowboy, Roman, who is the movie’s only attempt at comedic relief. The group is led by hard-ass Churchill (played by Joe Lando), but when a mission goes sour he quickly becomes vampire sushi. By default, wishy-washy Damian is then ranked as Team Captain…and his crew doesn’t appreciate it one eency-weency bit. Actually, I wouldn’t appreciate it either! This guy is the least commanding, indecisive pretty boy in the galaxy! Don’t get me wrong, being soft and compassionate is an admirable quality. BUT, to lead a group of vampire hunting space soldiers requires some muthafuckin’ GUSTO! Sadly, it isn’t just Damian that is lacking: It is also the vampires, plot, action and soundtrack. Ultra-big-time-SSSSIIIGGGGH-redux.
For as much time as the makeup department put into the baddies in Vampire Wars it seems as though they would at least be scary…maybe not frightening, but at least scary. Though, as we at bisforbrains.com know well: Good production quality does NOT make for a good movie. Many of the vampires in this movie look fantastic. The makeup on the Nosferati, which are similar to the creepiest vampire in history, is outstanding for a low budget flick such as this. But they aren’t the least bit scary. All they do is grunt and clumsily lunge at their prey. Even Michael Ironside can’t manage to bring a single chill to the screen. He just enunciates a few things better than the rest and leaves about as quickly as you can say “Hey Michael Ironside is in…”
The set designs and special effects are incredible for the most part considering the budget and nature of this beast. Even the cinematography is impressive, handled splendidly by seasoned-veteran Eric J. Goldstein. However, all this sweet candy-coating contains absolutely zero substance. As darfnader noted, it took precisely forty-seven (47) minutes for the movie to actually give ANY sort of back story on the characters! After that little splice of exposition, it really doesn’t reveal much save for a few small scenes. And considering none of the characters die in any shocking or remarkable ways, it’s basically nothing but a 99 minute space-age bitch fest with a few battle scenes sprinkled on top.
Also, I am afraid I cannot let this review go online without mentioning the UN.BEAR.A.BLE soundtrack. I have no idea how they chose the music for Vampire Wars, but whoever gave the final approval should never be allowed to work in the horror or sci-fi genres again. There are at least 3 major scenes in the movie with some trendy, sappy emo garbage playing in the background, absolutely ruining all of the sweet set designs and honest attempts at acting. Imagine staring at your favorite painting while someone behind you bangs a bunch of pots and pans together…That’s how Vampire Wars feels.
Luckily, there was one moment in VW that was so unintentionally hilarious I nearly vomited from extreme laughter. At one point, the V-San Unit encounters a Slither-esque parasite-form of vampire. One of the lil’ buggers bursts out of some poor sap’s chest, and begins talking in a voice reminiscent of Lamb Chop’s Play Along!!! This is NOT an exaggeration. It is so outlandish and absurd I can’t help but give this movie a few extra props for that small scene alone!
To drive a stake through the heart of this review: Be glad we watched Vampire Wars so you don’t have to. Just doin’ our job…feel free to e-mail your thanks and appreciation letters to firstname.lastname@example.org.
QUINTANA: My type of gal…visually.
PARASITE-PUPPET: If you watch it…Fast forward to this!
PRODUCTION: Too bad it wasn’t for something worth while.
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