Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Dana Ashbrook, M. Emmet Walsh, Jim Metzler, Morgan Brittany, Bruce Campbell, Maxwell Caulfield, Deborah Foreman, David Carradine
Directed by Anthony Hickox
Distributed by Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Vestron Video. Remember them? Anyone around my age of thirty-something and older surely should. The video company eventually went defunct and as a result took a lot of films with it. Some of them can even be considered lost. One such film that went missing was Anthony Hickox’s vampire comedy Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat. Thank the video gods, this gem is now available on DVD and in grand fashion to boot!
Much like HBO’s series “True Blood”, only on a vastly smaller scale, Sundown centers upon a small town whose residents are actually vampires who are looking to blend in with the rest of society. To help them do so, a manufacturing plant that creates artificial blood opens to churn out a synthetic version of the fang favorite drink of choice. The hitch? They’re not making it fast enough. To solve this problem, the designer of the drink, David Harrison (Metzler), and his family decide spend some time in town to see if the plant can be brought up to speed.
However, not all vamps are content with the fake stuff. Some want to revert back to the old ways of killing and sucking from the flesh-tap. This leads to a civil war of sorts with the ever-so unlucky Harrisons caught right in the middle.
Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat is a true gem that belongs right up there with movies like The Monster Squad and The Gate. Filled with great sight gags, goofy monster effects, hilarious performances from much of the cast, and traditional vampires who are more concerned with putting the bite on than they are with their wardrobe, you just can’t help but have a good time.
As for the DVD itself, we get yet another winner from the folks at Red Shirt Pictures. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — When it comes to supplemental materials, no one is more thorough and does a better job than Mike Felsher and company.
Things kick off with a feature commentary with director Anthony Hickox and director of photography Levie Isaacks. This track is engaging from start to finish, and the duo seem to be having as much fun talking about the movie as they did making it. From there we get three heartfelt interviews with David Carradine, Bruce Campbell, and character actor extraordinaire M. Emmet Walsh. Each interview runs about ten minutes and is sure to bring more than a few smiles to all viewers, fans or otherwise.
If you’re longing for the days when vampire movies weren’t so long-in-the-tooth and are in serious need of a good time, then set yourself up with a visit to the small town of Purgatory. You’ll be glad you came. Thank you, Lionsgate, for rescuing this flick from the great video abyss.
3 1/2 out of 5
3 1/2 out of 5
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