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Blade of the Vampire (2006)

Blade of the Vampire reviewStarring Michael Taggert, Rod Koch, Julie Tolle, Darren Robertson, Megan Ethridge, D.E. Simpson

Written & Directed by Miles Feldman


Blade of the Vampire tells the tale of a vampire that looks like a super intense stockbroker being pursued by a vampire hunter that looks like a soap opera actor in dire need of a good night’s rest. Did I mention that the vampire hunter wields this ultimate vampire-slaying weapon from which even a small cut can cause a fatal infection of sorts in the undead and that this knife looks like a little squiggly dagger only slightly bigger than a switchblade? Folks, this blade is so dinky that re-titling the film Pig Sticker of the Vampire would have been even more fitting.

Okay, let’s start with what few positives there are. Writer-director-producer Miles Feldman is obviously more technically proficient with a digital camera than most of his no budget, shot-on-digital filmmaking contemporaries and does deserve credit for making Blade of the Vampire a nice looking film, glossy and well lit, sort of like a low rent telenovela. I also have to say that while the acting still isn’t especially good and the two lead actors have an annoying habit of speaking in breathy tones with a good deal of pauses from time to time, I still found the overall acting to be a bit more adequate than what I normally see in a film of this sort.

But neither the look nor the acting matter since Blade of the Vampire is as uninteresting as it is derivative and trust me when I tell you that this is one of the most divisive modern vampire flicks you’ll come across. If vampire movies are worth a dime a dozen then this one’s story and characters are worth only about a nickel. Forget about the showdown between the vampire and the knife-wielding vampire hunter; the real showdown was between this DVD and the remote control-wielding me, and I confess that the DVD made me blink. I gave the film a chance but it insisted on trying my patience with its absolute nothing of a tale and all around uneventfulness. Boring bad makes for the worst kind of bad movie and Blade of the Vampire is boring bad from start to finish. And that’s even with liberal use of the fast forward button!

This is a vampire flick that offers precious little action, even less horror, and no atmosphere whatsoever. Since the vampires can walk around in daylight and the majority of the movie takes place in broad daylight, kiss any possibility of the director setting a mood goodbye too. The best director Feldman can muster is some fancy pointless camera trickery early on done for no particular reason other than he knew how to do so.

But if you’re the sort of person that likes vampire movies where most of the running time consists of characters just loitering or engaging in uninteresting conversations about various aspects of vampirism that’ll leave you wondering if perhaps maybe you’re actually watching someone’s unimaginative movie version of a live action vampire role-playing game, then Blade of the Vampire is just the vampire movie for you. If you like unexciting foot chases, if you like community theater-quality fight scenes, if you like movies so cheap that much of the film appears to be taking place under a freeway off-ramp, if you like characters that register so little you can’t even remember their names (I know I can’t!), then Blade of the Vampire is exactly the vampire flick you’ve been waiting for.

So you see there’s this age old vampire named Vandalis – I only remember his name because he’s the only character named in the plot synopsis on the back of the DVD case – who has just arrived in Los Angeles with a world weary vampire hunter in pursuit who’s name I honestly do not recall; I’ll just refer to him as the vampire hunter. Vandalis immediately looks into taking up sanctuary in a house for lease, but since vampires hate paperwork, he just puts to the bite on the real estate agent and begins squatting in the place. Then Vandalis goes out for the evening and strikes a deal with a punk teen willing to pimp out his girlfriend for money. A pair of young females, friends of the young low life and his “I’m not a prostitute but I’ll gladly whore myself out for $500″ girlfriend, turn down the offer to go to Vandalis’ pad – at least I thought they did. So while the rookie hooker and her novice pimp boyfriend head over to Vandalis’ place, the hunter instead begins stalking those other two females that I’d sworn had said they wanted nothing to do with Vandalis because they thought he was freaky.

In fact, “freaky” could be the film’s buzzword for the first half hour since characters keep referring to both vampire and vampire hunter as freaky. They say they look freaky and act freaky, despite the fact that both vampire and vampire hunter look like regular Joe’s. And yet these two ladies, one of which with her colored hair and trampy clothing looks freakier than anyone else in the film, insist upon calling the vampire hunter freaky just because he’s prone to staring in their general direction. What about him makes these two young women think is “freaky” is beyond me. Heck, they’re describing him as freaky even before he begins stalking them.

And why does he begin stalking them? Why does this film squander countless minutes chronicling these girls high-tailing it down the street and taking refuge in a clothing store’s changing room just to get away from this normal looking guy that’s following them? Well, because he saw them talking to the young man that struck the deal with Vandalis and desperately needs one of these two girls to give him Vandalis’ street address so that he can go slay the vampire. Why didn’t he just follow the others that were already going to Vand … Ah, screw it!

Vandalis’ coming back to town draws out another vampire, an ex-lover of Vandalis whose name I also cannot remember. The actress playing this vampiress looking to get back into the loving arms of ex-squeeze (who keeps rejecting her) is doing her damndest to channel Musetta Vander. I’ll give her props for doing a better Musetta Vander impression than anyone other than Musetta Vander.

Two of the teenage idiots get bitten, causing the wannabe hooker to act like she’s stoned out of her mind, while the vampire hunter pairs up with the trampy looking girl that thought he was so freaky in order to save and/or kill the vampires and friends-turned-vampires or something along those lines. The bulk of the film’s second half appeared to be set in an outdoor area that looked to be under a freeway overpass or was down by the city’s drainage system. There’s virtually no plot for the first half of the film and by the time the film reached the halfway point I’d come to find the circumstances and conversations to be absolutely mind-numbing.

People, if you need one moment that sums up just how hopelessly pointless this whole movie is, the hunter gets knocked unconscious at one point and the vampires use the opportunity to run away rather than – oh, I don’t know –

KILL HIM!

I got my own knife for slaying movies like this, but in this case I only need half of one.

1/2 out of 5

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Jon Condit

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