Friday, November 2, 2012

Lifeblood (2005)


Pack: Tomb of Terrors
Disc: 1

Subgenre: Vampires

Year: 2005 (IMDb says 2006)

Rated: Unrated
Length: 84 minutes

Director: Steven J. Niles
Writers: Steven J. Niles, Kevin D. Spotts
Starring: Stephen J. Niles, Kimberly Niles, Marci Tint-Kotay

Synopsis: Fueled by vengeance and nightmares, Carl Spencer seeks out his wife's killer. Across town, two sisters are dying of a rare blood disease. In a darkened warehouse, an ancient vampire has spawned a clan of servants that unite the destiny of all.

Screencaps:

Still a better love story than Twilight.

"It will be fun, they said."

"Come at me, bro."

"We are the 1%."

Review: I'm very biased when it comes to vampire movies. No matter how bad they are, the chances are that I'll still like them. Unfortunately, for all its entertainment value, I didn't really get much out of Lifeblood.

The main problem with Lifeblood is that it's another case of the writer and director thinking that they could be actors as well. That hardly ever works even if you're Roman Polanski. Everybody has their own set of skills and few are jacks of all trades.

Although Kevin D, Spotts isn't bad as Demetrius, Steven J. Niles just looks wrong in his role as a vampire hunter and comes across as a bit of an asshole especially in the scenes with his onscreen wife, Leah Schmidt, whether she's mortal or a ghost at the time. Leah Schmidt is a pretty woman so I wasn't able to stretch my willing suspension of disbelief to allow them to be a couple. There's no chemistry in their brief relationship either.

Another huge problem is how dark and grainy everything is. I realise that Lifeblood is a very low-budget production, but a few halogen lamps around the place and some white sheets to reflect them would have helped enormously. Such is the nature of low-budget movies that these filmmakers don't really know how to do things before half-assedly rushing to make their masterpiece which is a real shame. If they had put a bit more effort into the technical side of things, Lifeforce wouldn't be so horrible to look at.

As ever, there are a lot of pretty girls in this although you have to scour the background for the best ones who presumably could only play dress-up but not act. Out of the speaking parts, I really liked the lollipop-sucking girl at M.D.'s house and enjoyed Jodi Cachia's performance as Eliska.

I don't know for sure, but I think the vampire/prostitute at the start of the movie is called Vella. The S&M outfit and her red hair indicates that her stagename might just be Mistress Scarlet. I have no idea who any of the people are in this, of course, so I'm guessing at who played who according to the cast list. Anyway, her scene was quite similar to a segment of Creepshow 3 (2006). I doubt that Creepshow 3 copied it as I'm pretty sure both movies took the idea of a predator becoming the prey from something beforehand even though I can't remember what it was.

The standout actor is Jef Kelly who does a fantastic (or should that be fangtastic?) job as Wraithwood, the leader of the vampire coven. The more I listened, the more I wasn't sure if he was English or just doing a very good impersonation along the lines of Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. My only criticism of his role is that he wears an obviously ladies' corset as part of his costume near the end. The character is camp enough already, and I don't need to have my mind forced into making unnecessary Rocky Horror Picture Show allusions. The fact that Wraithwood has male and female concubines all sitting around doing nothing is a much bigger indicator of his sexuality, not that it's really explored that much.

There is what looks like the aftermath of a sex scene at one point, but there's no nudity in Lifeblood and not much swearing either except from a horribly misplaced "wigger" doctor character by the name of "M.D." He's even worse than Josh Fallon's "Frankie B" from Disk Jockey, but I assume this was a big thing to ridicule back in the mid-2000s and expect to see quite a few more similarly styled parody characters before my journey through these multipacks is over.

Lifeblood's story isn't horrible, but it reeks of the first season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer minus the humour and with cheaper CGI. Things are are played straight for the most part although the bad acting causes unintentionally amusement which even some nice practical blood effects can't overcome.

Having only watched two of the movies on this pack, Lifeblood is the best so far. I dread to think how much worse they are going to get.

Most Memorable Moment(s): The pretty girl with an unfortunate septum piercing being seduced by Eliska (Jodi Cachia) against a tree.

Originality: None whatsoever.

Best Line(s): "Has anyone ever touched you like this before?"
Worst Line(s): "I'm looking to fly strange wings tonight."

Best Effect(s): Demetrius scaling a wall.
Worst Effect(s): The CGI flames used for the way the vampires disappear when they are killed.

Goriness (out of 10): 2
Sexiness (out of 10): 2
Profanities (out of 10): 3

Hottest Actor/Actress: The lollipop girl. I have no idea what her name is, but I've narrowed it down to either Kristin Brenneck or Robin Niles.

"You make my heart go giddy up."

Picture Quality: Below average and grainy
Audio Quality: Average

Rating (out of 10): 3

Trailer: None
IMDb or Wiki: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0851195/

Final Thoughts: Buffy has a lot to answer for.

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