If you are like me, and I know I am, then you were filled with the desire to know more about the infamous Bloodstone introduced in the “hit” film Subspecies. So when the sequel was unleashed on the direct to video market there was much rejoicing. Not only would we find out more about this mysterious arcane object, but we would also be treated to more tiny demons and of course more of the terrifying Radu. Well, let’s modify expectations a bit, because this film goes in an unexpected direction. Unless you watched Subspecies and said to yourself, “You know what this movie needs? Shatner!” then you are in for a treat.
Picking up right after the original film ends, Radu (Anders Hove) has a bit of a dilemma. His brother has decapitated him and stabbed him with a wooden stake. For any other vampire this would mean certain death. But Radu has the Subspecies at his command, and they pull his head close enough to his body so the spine can stretch out and reconnect everything in an admittedly cool looking effect. Radu rises and takes vengeance on his brother and nearly slaughters Michelle (Denice Duff taking over the role). But the sun interrupts his murder spree.
Michelle manages to escape Radu’s castle and makes for Bucharest, where she contacts her sister Rebecca (Melanie Shatner). But things don’t go quite as planned. You see, Radu is still pursuing Michelle because she has the Bloodstone, and because he created her, making her his fledging. Along the way he makes contact with his Mummy (Pamela Gordon) who gives him magical aid. Rebecca teams up with Mel (Kevin Spirtas) from the American consulate and the eccentric professor Popescu (Michael Denish). Can these three save Michelle’s tainted soul or is she doomed to walk the night forever with the Bloodstone?
- Denice Duff does a good job portraying Michelle’s confusion and anguish as a new vampire.
- The movie never takes itself too seriously, providing intentional and unintentional laughs
- Location shooting in Romania gives the whole movie a unique feel
- The script is a mess, and character motivations are very hazy
- Most of the scenes with Mummy are hilarious when they should be scary
- Radu comes across as an idiot in this movie, an imposing idiot, but still an idiot
Bloodstone improves on the previous film in some ways and is worse in others. The final product is just as entertaining but for different reasons. This movie is much less serious and going for pure entertainment. Hove still goes for the gusto as Radu, but the script turns him into a bumbling idiot for half the running time. If you enjoyed the previous film, odds are you’ll have a good time with this one. Perfect October viewing if you are in the mood for cheesy vampire fun.
Scores (out of 5)
In Depth Review
|Radu loves the night life. He loves to boogie in Bucharest.|
One thing I really like about the film is that it is a direct continuation of the events and characters from the previous film. It almost feels like it is sticking closer to trashy horror novels or comic books in that way. Bloodstone literally starts minutes after the events of the previous film (the blood from Michelle’s dead friends is still wet on the floors of Radu’s castle). The events of this film occur over the course of a few days and it gives the film a bit of urgency.
|"I'm telling you, Meatloaf stole my act!"|
Unfortunately the script doesn’t really help Hove out too much. Time and again Radu makes really dumb choices and could have easily avoided half the problems he runs into over the course of Bloodstone. I really wonder how much of this script was written days before filming, because it feels like with a bit more time and script tweaking, half of these issues could have been avoided.
|Diaphanous gown? Check! You are ready to be the|
|The bloodstone gets and upgrade. Shame the|
See, I just made all that up after a few hours thought about the film. This is why I get the feeling that the messy script was written in a hurry right before filming. Because things like that happen all the way through the script and most of it impacts Radu in a negative way.
|Vampire fledglings come running for the great taste|
of saints' blood.
Perhaps the worst offender of the weakening of Radu is the character of Mummy played with outrageous verve by Pamela Gordon. Looking like a combination of The Crypt Keeper and a deranged Mummy, the character is literally Radu’s mother. He keeps calling her, Mummy and gives her sheepish obedience. With these two actors chewing the scenery in their scenes you have some of the most entertaining sequences in the film. Mummy’s makeup effects are pretty good, she’s gross to look at, and devilishly amused by everything. But Radu’s total obedience to her reduces his fearsome nature. And the scenes are so funny that it is hard to take Mummy seriously as a threat to anyone.
|Mummy gets down with her bad self.|
That covers the villains of the movie, but how about our heroes? While I did like Laura Tate as Michelle in Subspecies, Denice Duff does a good job with the character in Bloodstone. She handles the desperation and fear that Michelle feels as her vampire instincts grow within her. After the events of the previous film, she is terrified of Radu (with good reason), so her constant paranoia that he is following her is handled well. I also like how Duff gives us that self-loathing at her desire for blood combined with the lust to kill. It’s a tricky mix of emotions but Duff does it well. Obscurus Lupa did give Duff some grief about crying so much in these movies, but I think it makes sense in Bloodstone. After all the shit she’s been through and dealing with now, I would think her emotions are a real mess.
|"Vampires. Why did it have to be vampires?"|
|Fearless vampire slayers? Or posing for for the|
Romanian travel brochure?
|Nothing brings the giggles like being evil and undead.|
|Michelle stopped her blood drinking to call the|
I also like the finale where Radu has captured Rebecca and threatens to destroy the sister in front of Michelle – severing her last link to humanity. A more interesting approach may have been to force Michelle to drink from Rebecca and by killing her sister destroying everything good within Michelle. But that is just my twisted mind at work. In any case, these elements of the story are effective and with a tighter script this sequel could have surpassed the original as an examination of Michelle’s fall and Radu’s pursuit.
|Two sisters separated by darkness.|
Enjoy this review? Click an ad and support this blog.
|The finger demons are going to play tether-ball|
on Radu's corpse.
|Radu plays hide and seek with Michelle. He's not very|
|"Do you think you cold get your dad to sign this napkin?"|
|Even the graffiti in Bucharest is vampire themed.|
|"Seriously, look at these hands. You know what they|
say about a guy with big hands, right?"
|Radu's got a headache this big, and it has Michelle written|
all over it.
|"Van Helsing? I taught him everything he knew."|
|"I can make some awesome shadow puppets. |
You wanna see?"
|Would you trust this guy to save your sister's soul?|