Bloodlust: Subspecies 3 (1993)

So Vladislas Killed a Bunch of People … Oh, This is Doing it For You?

I’m beginning to think that I should’ve planned these reviews better.  I don’t mind watching four Subspecies movies back to back, but since all of them have stayed in roughly the same quality level, it feels like I should’ve compressed them into two reviews, or at least spread them out by doing them one every other day so that the audience that doesn’t care to read about these movies wouldn’t fall off and not pay attention to them for four days.  Oh well.  I’m pot committed.  Let us see what Radu is up to now in my review of Bloodlust: Subspecies 3, written and directed by Ted Nicolaou, starring Anders Hove, Denise Duff, Melanie Shatner, Pamela Gordon, Kevin Blair, Michael Denish, Ion Haiduc, and Michael Dellafemina.

Picking up right where we left off, the vampire Radu (Anders Hove) is dead once again and new vampire Michelle (Denise Duff) is trapped in some catacombs with Radu’s mother (Pamela Gordon), unable to leave because the sun’s out and she doesn’t want to be glittery and get killed for it.  Or she’d catch fire like a REAL FUCKING VAMPIRE!  …Sorry…  Radu’s mom brings Radu back from the dead with Michelle’s blood, while Michelle’s sister Becky (Melanie Shatner) runs to get help, but the three disappear before the police can find them.  Becky and her friend from the American Embassy, Mel (Kevin Blair), go to Radu’s castle to find them.  Radu is taking Michelle out hunting to enhance her powers, and also teaching her how to be a better vampire while Becky and Mel try to save her from the castle.

The quality of the movies have really remained constant for me.  I could probably get away with posting my review for the previous movie for today’s movie, but I wouldn’t cheat you people that way.  The story remains solid, but with the occasional laughable moment, and the effects remain mostly underwhelming.  Around this point in the series (because I’m really super intelligent), I began to realize that there is a definite pattern to be found in these movies.  It’s a pattern you probably develop when you’re pretty sure this is the last movie you will make.  Radu will die at the end, and Radu will be resurrected the moment we realize we can make another movie.  I don’t find it that annoying, but it certainly takes the emphasis out of the fact that Radu dies at the end.  Why bother doing it if we know he’ll be back?  It’s not really that bothersome, but I have a pretty good idea about what I’ll see in the first five minutes of Subspecies 4.  After that, I was fairly fond of the story.  It was very similar to the other two movies.  Radu’s a vampire and wants to kill people, but also hungers … for love … from Michelle.  This movie takes it a bit further by having him actually begin to teach Michelle some cool vampire tricks, like disappearing and reappearing a short distance away.  I actually enjoyed these pieces, much more than the rest of the movie that was kind of status quo.  Of course there were a couple of things in this movie that didn’t mesh well with logic.  Take, for instance, when Mel is hurriedly trying to drive away from danger with Becky, so he starts up the car, throws it into drive, pulls forward about three feet, and smashes into a tree.  You’re supposed to be scared, not stupid.  Later, he has a make out session with Becky, but it happens right after he’s telling a story about King Vladislas slaughtering a bunch of people, but I guess that worked for Ol’ Beck SnuffFilm.  And then, later in the film, Becky decides to flat out tell Radu that she’s holding a gun with silver bullets (that I too yelled “Horse Shit!” at, but it was melted down from a crucifix).  Why tell him and not just shoot the dangerous vampire in the face?  Of course, later she does and it’s less than helpful anyway.  The graphics in this movie were roughly the same as the previous one.  Not too dark to see things in this movie, but nothing super spectacular.  They had a cool smoke effect that was fairly well done and a nice part where a girl seamlessly disappeared into a shadow, but they also overused the shadow effects like they had started too in the last movie.  Also (JOY!) they brought back the finger minions.  The worst animation in the first movie pops back up at the end to help bring Radu back (aka set up another movie), but they’re slightly better animated this time.

The performances and the people are still the same.  Anders Hove is still a pretty good vampire, but still definitely needs a cough drop for his raspy whisper problem.  There were also times when him being butt-hurt over things Michelle was doing did not seem to fit the character idea I had for him.  I liked him a little better when he just killed things and was kind of a dick.  Denice Duff was still in the movie, and was still decent enough at being in the movie.  She wasn’t really to blame for it, but I did get irritated by how many times she was able to convince Radu to do something by saying “I’ll do anything if …” or “I’ll do anything for …”  I’m sure she has a rather impressive collection of Klondike bars, but it probably shouldn’t work more than once tops on a character like Radu.  William Shatner’s daughter, Melanie, was in this movie again, but never really did that much for me.  First, she kind of dressed like a lezzie for most of the movie, with her short hair and Andrew Dice Clay-style leather jackets.  I assume she’ll be the one bringing Radu back in the next movie by pounding him on the chest and saying “Eeey.”  She also did something that I’ll never understand in horror movies.  When the unhappy, newly-turned vampire (Michelle) asks you to kill her, why do you not do it?  Yeah, she’s your sister, but she’s also dead already and not too happy with her station.  Maybe you should be a better sister, lezzie!  I would TOTALLY kill my sister if she asked me to.  I might even be willing to jump the gun on it.

My feelings remain unchanged.  Solid story, performances that do what you expect, decent enough visuals for the budget I assume they have, and buckets of fake blood.  A movie I would be okay with you watching, but good luck finding it.  One more of these movies to watch and then I have to figure out something else to do.  Bloodlust: Subspecies 3 gets “Okely Dokely” out of “Maybe I should just be paying better attention for quotes from the movie, instead of trying to find them online.”

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Bloodstone: Subspecies 2 (1993)

Forgive Me, Brother!  But the Bloodstone is Mine!

Keepin’ up with the Chrisdiashians, and moving into the second in the Subspecies series that none of us had ever heard of but Chris.  But it’s a review request, so it’s my duty to review them.  And stop laughing because I wrote “duty”.  The previous movie was a good enough go at it, but it was hindered mainly by production value.  Typically speaking, movies get more money and less focus on story as they get sequels, but does that also apply for straight to video movies?  We’ll find out in my review of Bloodstone: Subspecies 2, written by Charles Band and Ted Nicolaou, directed by Ted Nicolaou, and starring Anders Hove, Denise Duff, Melanie Shatner, Pamela Gordon, Michael Denish, Kevin Blair, and Ion Haiduc.  …Isn’t “Haiduc” a line from that Numa Numa song?

The vampire Radu (Anders Hove) is able to recover from his decapitation with a prehensile spine and a little help from his finger-minions.  When he’s finally back on his feet, he sets about killing his brother, Stefan, and Stefan’s newly vampired girlfriend, Michelle (Denise Duff).  He stakes Stefan (who is apparently much more allergic to stakes through the heart than his brother), but is unable to kill Michelle before the sun rises and causes him to retreat to his tomb.  Always the early bird, Michelle wakes up before Radu, finds Stefan dead, and escapes with the Bloodstone, a magical relic that is semi-constantly dripping with the blood of the Saints.  Radu is not too pleased.  Radu runs to his mom, who he calls “Mummy” (Pamela Gordon), for help while Michelle runs into her sister, Becky (Melanie Shatner), who has been searching for her.

Subspecies is still a solid enough series, though what I expected didn’t really happen.  The story did not move much in quality, but neither did the graphics.  The first thing that caught me off guard was that I was actually fairly interested in seeing what happened next in this series for some reason.  This made it all the more annoying when my Xbox wouldn’t play Chris’ DVDs.  A quick doctoring and a change in device later and I was finally able to watch it.  Now that I have, the story is still fairly basic, but still pretty good.  The movies are beginning to play like really long episodes of a TV show, picking up right where the last one left off.  It follows the obvious path set forth by the first movie, having Radu get revenge on Stefan, having Michelle flee, but I never really understood why Michelle would think to take the Bloodstone.  I know that Radu wanted it, and she would probably have an idea to honor Stefan’s memory by not letting him take it, but I would’ve left that shit.  This was my first day as a vampire and I don’t need the baggage of having Radu follow me around to get some rock.  Michelle dealing with becoming a vampire was pretty interesting for a bit, like when the sun woke her up in bed and made her go and sleep in the shower.  One thing that bothered me here is that the cleaning lady saw her sleeping in the shower and instantly started screaming.  I know it’s a bit odd to find someone sleeping in the shower, but shouldn’t you check for a pulse first before you just start acting like she’s dead?  The graphics did not change very much for this movie, but the finger minions were not nearly as present so I could consider that a plus.  They used the same shadow effects that I liked in the first movie, but they perhaps overused them for this movie.  Radu doesn’t really have to disappear into a shadow in order to walk across the kitchen, and then again to open the fridge.  He didn’t do that, but it was getting to that point.  The severed heads they used in the movie were really convincing though.  It was strange, almost as if they used their entire budget just on that.  They looked like the person they were supposed to be, and even animated appropriately, a feat that is not often performed by movies.  They also twice went to a metal club in the movie, and I really dug the music they were playing.  It was kind of reminiscent of King Diamond, or perhaps the Metallica cover of a Mercyful Fate song.

The performances were not notably changed for this movie.  A couple of the actors were different, but none really made that much of an impact.  Anders Hove still has a great look for a vampire, but his voice was beginning to wear on me.  He talks like someone just karate chopped him in the larynx.  If someone would give the man a lozenge, I’d probably be much less annoyed.  He’s otherwise a great and menacing vampire, and I guess technically his voice adds to that effect, but it irritates me.  There was one point where he was watching someone he intended to eat from a balcony above her and he started making strange mouth movements for no particular reason.  It was like he was stretching out his jaw, or he just had a spoonful of peanut butter or something.  Also, at one point he tells his mom that he hungers … for love, which does not really seem in character for him.  And I also think he’d probably get a lot more eating done if he didn’t have to make such a production out of it.  It takes him about a minute from the moment his mouth opens to the moment his mouth hits the neck.  I got irritated at Denice Duff at first because they almost showed her boobs and didn’t.  When you’re in a somewhat cheesy, direct to video horror movie, it’s your job to get them boobs out.  Thankfully, she became a better actress later when she did get them boobs out.  …That is all I have to say about her performance.

Halfway through the series now.  They’ve stayed roughly the same in quality so far.  The story’s about the same and the graphics may have improved slightly, but they overused a few things that ruined my enjoyment.  Anders Hove is still creepy and his voice is annoying, but there are some boobs.  I would say I’m comfortable recommending this movie as a watch, but good luck finding it.  If you want to watch it, befriend Chris.  Bloodstone: Subspecies 2 gets “Whatever I said about the last movie” out of “Still not able to find quotes for these movies.”

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