Blade of the Vampire (2006) - Dread Central
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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 –


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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AHS: Cult Review – Clowns, Cults, Politics, and Peters



Starring Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, Billie Lourd, Cheyenne Jackson, Frances Conroy, Mare Winningham, and Allison Pill

Created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk


It’s here. We’ve reached the end. The newest season of “American Horror Story” has ended and now we are here to provide you guys with our season review of AHS: Cult.

Spoiler free.

To start things off let me say I’m not the world’s biggest fan of “American Horror Story”. It breaks down like this: I enjoyed the absolute hell out of the first season of the series (“Murder House”), couldn’t get through “Asylum” (I know, I know, I’ve tried), dug “Coven” for what it was, really enjoyed “Freak Show”, and again I couldn’t get into “Hotel” or “Roanoke”.

That’s the story of me and “American Horror Story”. Plain And simple. But what did I think of the new seventh season of the notorious horror anthology series? Let’s find out.

Back when the seventh season of AHS was first announced (then going by the title “AHS: Election”) I was immediately intrigued by the new season because I heard it would not include any supernatural elements. Like the fourth season, “Freak Show”.

Now I’m a fan of ghosts and weird creature-men with drills for d*cks, don’t get me wrong. But the series has thus far relied almost exclusively on horrors of the supernatural variety (other than “Freak Show”) so this major change of pace was again welcomed by this guy.

Instead of vampires, aliens, and witches this season relied on terrors of the mind. Psychological fears and anxieties. The horrors man does to man. Deep issues.

Oh, and clowns. Like a lot of clowns.

But just because this new season didn’t include anything supernatural, that doesn’t mean the 11-episode season wasn’t filled with twisted visuals and horrifically disturbing acts. No, sir. This season boasted some showstoppers including S&M, gimps, and a house of horrors that wouldn’t be out of place in a Rob Zombie flick. It was all good.

But let’s backtrack a bit here.

Allow me to rundown the season’s plot for those who may be unaware. “AHS: Cult” tells the tale of a world post-election night. The literal dawn of Trump’s America. In one corner we have Sarah Paulson’s soccer mom, trying to fight through life with a series of crippling phobias (including clowns, holes, blood, and being a good person).

And in the other corner, we have Evan Peter’s angry, white (blue-haired) male, looking to seize Trump’s new position of power to bring about the end of… Actually, I want this to be a spoiler-free season review, so I’m just going to say the dude’s got big plans.

Like Manson-size plans. Let’s leave it at that.

With these two characters established, the new season then proceeds to send them spiraling into a collision course of political sabotage, intrigue, and clown-based nope, nope, nope-ing that can only end with one – or both – of them dead as Dillinger.

Overall “AHS: Cult” belonged end-to-end to Mr. Evan Peters. The young actor has continued to show his striking range from season to season of Ryan Murphy’s horror show and this season was no different. Peters’ turn as not only Kai, the blue-haired leader of the titular cult, but as infamous leaders such as David Koresh, Jim Jones, and Charles Manson – to name a few – owed this season.

I can only hope he doesn’t pull a Jessica Lange and opt-out of more AHS next year.

Speaking of top performances, “AHS: Cult ” showcases some other chilling and memorable turns with Alison Pill’s strangely vulnerable, put-upon wife character being the best next to Peters in my eyes. This actress needs to be in more films/TV!

Along with Pill, actress Billie Lourd killed it time and time again. The “Scream Queens” breakout star and Carrie Fisher spawn was yet again a highlight in her second Ryan Murphy series. Bet she has the starring role in next season. Mark my words.

Add to that, the season also boasts a handful of fun cameos, including John Carroll Lynch’s return as Twisty the Clown, Emma Roberts as a bitchy reporter that will do anything to end up on top, and Lena Dunham as SCUM Manifesto writer Valerie Solanas. The cameo cast killed it and I wish they would have been present for more episodes. What are you gonna do?

On the sour side of the season, I didn’t dig Sarah Paulson’s character. At all. But I’m sure that was the point. Right? I’m still not sure. But, boy, I wouldn’t even want to be stuck in line behind her at a Starbucks for three minutes, let alone spend the better part of this season’s 11-hours with her and her whiny bullshite. Urgh.

That said, she pulled it out by the finale. That’s all I’ll say.

In the end, I enjoyed this season as much as – if not more – than any other of the series. “Murder House” will still no doubt go on as my favorite season of the series, but “AHS: Cult” will rank third after season one and “Freak Show”.

While I was on the fence about the season after three episodes, the show ended up ditching Paulson’s character (and/or shifting her arch) after a lull so the episodes picked up quickly. Whenever the season turned its focus back towards Peters (in whichever incarnation he was playing at the time) the show got better and better. Every time.

Not a bad way to spend my Tuesday night for the past 11 weeks.

Bring on season 12.

  • American Horror Story: Cult (2018)


The seventh season of Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story was Evan Peters’ show all the way through. The young actor pulled out all the stops time and time again to make what may have been a lackluster supernatural-free season a winner.

User Rating 4 (3 votes)
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The Axiom Review – A Stylish and Clever Slice of Independent Horror




Starring Hattie Smith, Zac Titus, Nicole Dambro

Directed by Nicholas Woods

The Axiom is an ambitious, well directed, impressively acted and stunningly shot independent horror film that has just a few, teensy little flaws holding it back from greatness (and therefore will have to settle for just being really, really good, instead).

The first thing you realize when watching The Axiom is that this is a beautiful film. Everything is framed and shot in a lush and stylish manner, but one which is always tonally appropriate for the scene.

The second thing you’ll notice, and keep noticing as the film plays out, is that the movie really struck gold with this cast. Not only is there a total lack of the sort of stilted and unnatural acting seen in countless other microbudget horror affairs, but the performances are genuinely fantastic across the board. The main characters are believably chill and relatably normal in the early scenes, and the acting remains just as impressive once things start getting a bit more… intense. It’s not often that an independent horror film has so many good performances that it makes it hard to pick the movie’s acting VIP, but that is undeniably the case here. Taylor Flowers delivers what is probably the showiest performance (and does it very well, indeed), but the entire cast really is quite good.

The central premise of the film is both interesting and original, and touches upon the real life fact (given some recent attention in the ‘Missing 411’ books and documentary) that a lot more people sure seem to go missing out in the woods than seems reasonable, while simultaneously weaving all sorts of folklore, fairy tales and urban legends into the mix. It’s also clever in the way that it very naturally reveals aspects to the relationships between characters that serve to later – or sometimes retroactively – explain some of the more questionable decisions they make or attitudes they display. While that may sound like screenwriting 101, it’s surprising how many films fail to do this. The Axiom rewards the viewer’s attention in other ways as well, with many aspects of the movie that initially feel odd or unnatural receiving reasonable explanations (within the context of the movie) by the end. It’s not quite as challenging (or as rewarding) in this regard as, say, something like Session 9, but it does add a nice layer of complexity to the storytelling.

The film’s score, by Leo Kaliski, is also quite good. There may be a moment here or there where the music hits an overly familiar beat, but overall it not only fits the movie’s tone, but does quite a bit to help set that tone as well.

The only thing that I don’t feel the movie quite pulls off – and I’m trying to be vague here, because I feel like the less you know going into this film, the better – is some of the makeup effects work. The gore stuff is very well executed, but some of the other stuff feels like it was crafted with the intention of shooting it in a more… stylized manner. Instead, filmed as it is here, the result is sometimes less than impressive and can fail to make the impact that the movie seems to be implying that it should. And while some of what the makeup effects lack in execution is made up for with the ingenuity and creativity of their design, it’s still a bit of a shame when they don’t quite pull them off because, aside from a few niggles that I have with the writing, the effects are the only aspect of the film that occasionally fails to live up to the high level of technical proficiency that The Axiom otherwise demonstrates.


  • Man, the acting in this movie is really good. The dialogue may stumble once or twice, but these actors always sell it anyway.
  • Give back Mia Sara’s DNA, Hattie Smith!
  • If you’re going to put your female lead in shorts this small, I hope you’re not sensitive to viewers unleashing a nonstop parade of “Has anyone seen my pants / OH GOD WHERE ARE MY PANTS!” jokes.
  • “You just pop this here ‘Blair Witch Stick Person / Anarchy sign’ sticker up on that there windshield of yours, and them park rangers? Well – heh heh – they won’t bother you none, no sir.” Hmmmmm…
  • The film really is shot amazingly well – better than a lot of mainstream releases. Cinematographer Sten Olson has a real future ahead of him.
  • As does writer / director Nicholas Woods, for that matter. Any director who can get this level of quality out of their cast and crew on their first ever film is someone to keep an eye on.
  • “I’ll make a run for it and get help,” says the female lead, and I’m like “Yeah, let her go – she has no pants to weigh her down.”
  • The gore effects in the movie are both realized and utilized very well.
  • Welcome back to horror movies, “I’ll be right back” dialogue spoken unironically by and/or to ill-fated characters.
  • The Axiom


In the end, The Axiom is a solid and entertaining flick that manages to wring a level of quality and originality out of the somewhat tired “Don’t Go in the Woods” horror subgenre not seen since 2012’s Cabin in the Woods. The cinematography and acting are hugely impressive, it features a nice, unnerving score, the premise is original and captivating, and the whole thing moves at a nice pace that helps keep the film’s flaws from dragging it down.

User Rating 3.9 (10 votes)
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The Dollmaker Short Film Review – Welcome to Heebie Jeebie City!



Starring Perri Lauren, Sean Meehan, Dan Berkey

Directed by Alan Lougher

The loss of a young child drives a mother to take a set of unusual measures to preserve his memory, and all it takes is one call to The Dollmaker.

When the short film by Alan Lougher opens up, we see a rather disturbing image of a little boy inside a casket, and the sound of a grieving mom speaking with an unidentified man in the background – he’s requesting something personal of the child to help “finish” his product, and it’s not before long that mom has her little boy back…well, kind of. What remains of the child is the representation of his former self, although it’s contained within the frame of a not-so-attractive doll, and the boy’s father isn’t a believer in this type of hocus-pocus (or the price to have this constructed, either). The doll comes with a specific set of instructions, but most importantly, you cannot spend more than one hour a day with the doll, or else you’ll go mad thinking that the soul inside of it is actually the person that you lost – sounds reasonable, doesn’t it?

Well this is just too good to be true for Mommy, and as the short film progresses, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens to her mind – it’s ultimately a depressing scenario, but Lougher gives it that creepy feel, almost like visiting a relative’s home and seeing their dearly departed pet stuffed and staring at you over the fireplace – HEEBIE-JEEBIE CITY, if you ask me. All in all, the quickie is gloomy, but ultimately chilling in nature, and is most definitely worth a watch, and if I might use a quote from one of my favorite films to apply to this subject matter: “Sometimes…dead is better.”

  • Film


Ultimately chilling in nature!

User Rating 3.31 (16 votes)
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