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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Jarret's FFF: "Subspecies" (or The Chronicles of Radu)

October 6, 2012:  For the last few days I've been back and forth over whether to write a Blah-ugh! exploring my recent life-changing experiences relating to consciousness enlightenment and deep self-fulfillment through a practice of present-minded concentration, and the "Subspecies" vampire series I just got on DVD.

I assure you, you're going to love "Subspecies," and while I haven't actually watched the other four movies in the quintilogy, I know I'm going to love them too. For starters, Radu is a perfectly ghastly vampire, and while his fingernails -- hell, his actual fingers -- are ridiculously long, the brutal, Frankenstinian mug of star Anders Hove, coupled with his deliciously demented voice, makes this one B horror movie you won’t want to miss! (Some of you may remember Hove from such films as “Zakka West” and “The Twitchers,” but I don’t.)

Still better than Hove’s great ghoulish vampire are the incredibly gorgeous women fronting the cast. Laura Mae Tate, I have to say, is possibly the most beautiful woman I've ever seen on film, even with clothes on. While she’s suspiciously billed as Laura Tate in this film, it didn’t pass me by that she’s the same woman appearing in “I Love Trouble.” (Actually, I’ve never seen it, but it was a fact I came across in my Internet search for nude pictures of her.)

Michelle McBride is another gorgeous lead, playing the striking blonde to Tate’s vibrant brunette with the smart pixie cut. Rounding it out is Irina Movila as the foreign chick, who, while initially not as attractive as the other two, perhaps became my favorite after Radu chained her to the wall half-naked in the dungeon. (What is it about a half-naked woman chained to a wall in a dungeon that just speaks to my sense of art?)

Despite this impossible array of talent, Angus Scrimm still claims top billing with his brief appearance as King Vladislav. You’ll, of course, remember Scrimm as the Tall Man in the wonderful “Phantasm” series, but you’ll find it hard recognizing him in his colossal white fright wig. And to speak of further falsies, don’t let the box cover mislead you, because even though it shows a sexy woman (and I’m not sure which) being carried by a host of little demon creatures while Radu looks on in a pretty poorly animated depiction, there are in reality only four demon creatures, although where the fourth one comes from is anyone’s guess, because Radu creates the other three by cutting off the ends of three of his fingers and they turn into these little guys. (The fingers do grow back, which is good, but the Ray Harryhausen-type stop-motion work seems regrettably out of place in this otherwise visually engaging effort. (The part where Movila is chained to the wall is especially engaging!)

I also like the story itself, which takes place in modern Transylvania, where we learn the legend of how the town’s folk made a kind of deal with the vampires 500 years ago after they helped kill the invading Turks. (F***ing Turks!) Basically, they’re all living in peace and the King feeds off the Bloodstone, which is this kind of red egg that bleeds the blood of the saints (I guess all of them). It was stolen from the Pope, but they don’t go into details how. Anyway, Radu wants the stone, and he hates his half-brother Stefan, who’s basically the original model for the “Twilight” series—pensive, handsome, half-human and not really a blood sucker like Radu. I won’t give away more, but the Bloodstone returns in subsequent movies, as evidenced by the second movie being called “Subspecies II: Bloodstone.” I’m looking forward to rolling it now, in fact, so I’ll wrap this up and just hope they’ll be more half-naked wall chaining …

Regarding consciousness and enlightenment, all I can tell you is you can’t be self-conscious and write a Blah-ugh! like this, so I’m not sure whether I need to work more or less … My best conclusion is that I’m not going to think any more about it and will, instead, start the movie and perhaps eat some chocolate …

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