Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Want to have a cinematic blood lust binge this Halloween?

The scary movie season is in full force,with this past weekend's top money earner being 30 Days of Night,the very gruesome vampires invade an Alaskan town movie. Normally,I prefer my nosferatu to be more of the tall,dark and deadly romantic type but sometimes it plays off for vamps to be more monster mash.

So,since the next big horror flick coming down the pike this weekend is Saw IV(which means that 30 DON will have to move to a lower position on the B.O. charts),with no other vampire movies in sight,I thought that I would help some of my fellow bloodsucker fans out with a personal pick list of films that have alot more of a bite to them.

A good place to start is John Landis' attempt to do for vampires what he did for werewolves in Innocent Blood,which stars Anne Parillaud(the original La Femme Nikita)as a vampirella who feels better about her night time feeding habits when she goes for "Italian"-mobsters,that is.

During one of her dinner and a date deals,things go wrong and she doesn't get to "finish" her food,making Robert Loggia's Don an instant vampire king who must be dethroned before he converts his whole crew into the ultimate realm of the underworld. There's plenty of humor(Loggia is real damn funny in vampire mode),most of which is slapstick and gore. A good example of that is this bit with Don Rickles,who gets a most unfortunate wake-up call:

One of my true favorites in this genre is this early Tarantino/Rodriguez collaboration,From Dusk Til Dawn. Tarantino co-stars with George Clooney as the Gecko brothers who share a life of crime but not a taste for murdering ladies who don't fulfill their foot fetish fantasies(I don't have to tell you which one is into that,do I?). The boys are on the run and decided to get some reliable wheels to reach their desert rendevous by taking a lapsed preacher(the kickass Harvey Keitel)and his kids hostage in their trailer.

The fellas make the tragic mistake of going to a bar that's a front for an all you can eat vampire buffet. In addition to Keitel,the eclectic cast also boasts Juliette Lewis,F/X master artist Tom Savini(whose character name is Sex Machine),Fred Williamson and Salma Hayek as the sexysinister vampire queen Santanico Pandemonium who brings the house down(and enthralls baby brother Richie) in one of the pre-battle moments of the film:

And during the big fight,she takes on the other Gecko brother as well but with very different results:

Vampire in Brooklyn is Eddie Murphy's tribute to the Blacula films of the seventies and has mixed results with it's mix of humor,horror and romance. Murphy plays the vampire lead and gets to indulge in his love of make-up as his character has the ability to shapeshift into other people(I swear that he's addicted to this stuff-why he and Martin Short haven't teamed up yet is beyond me). Angela Bassett is his intended Bride of Darkness while Kadeem Hardison gets to Renfield things up along side John Witherspoon,who gets some of best laughs here:



To round out this bountiful bloodfest,let us consider the "Wes Craven presents" version of Dracula 2000(a sure sign that you need to lower your entertainment standards is the phrase "So and So Presents",which means "Yes, I threw some money behind this film but no way in hell was I gonna waste my valable directing time on it").

Gerard Butler stars as the Count,who is awaken by a gang of thieves who have plundered the vault of Matthew Van Helsing(Christopher Plummer) and flee to New Orleans,which is convienant since Matthew's estranged daughter Mary lives there and has visions of our leading vampire both in dream and waking life.

This is a tad goofy at times,with dialogue exchanges like this:

Dracula: We are so much more complicated than our names.

Lucy: I was named after the Peanuts character.

Yet,I can't help but like this movie. There's quite a bit of fun to savor as Omar Epps and Jennifer Esposito camp it up as newly made vamps,the plotline holds a Da Vinci Code like secret and Gerald Butler is so smooth and smoldering. The fear factor is pretty good as well,such as this scene where Jeri Ryan's reporter loses her camera man at a crucial moment:

Good luck at the video store and/or Netflix,guys. One word of advice: don't bother with Bordello of Blood,I beg of you. Despite what the ad line says,evil is not the only thing that bites in this sorry excuse for a Tales From The Crypt movie:

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