Subspecies

The story begins deep in the dark corridors of a Transylvania castle. Here we find King Vladislav (Angus Scrimm) enjoying his daily feeding from the "bloodstone".  The stone is a prized possessions among vampires, because legend has it that to drink from it will curb one's thirst for human blood, while giving insurmountable power. As the King feeds, in walks his diabolical son, Radu (Anders Hove), who has come to claim his birthright. Always prepared for this day of betrayal, Vladislav traps his evil spawn in a cage, but not for long. Radu, being the son of a witch, is able to break off the tips of his fingers who form quickly into little gargoyle-looking creature (subspecies) that help to free him. He than dispenses of his father and claims the "bloodstone" for himself.

The story now shifts to the world of the living. Michele (Laura Tate) and Lillian (Michelle McBride) have traveled to Transylvania to research local folklore with their roommate Mara (Irina Mara). According to the locals, a family of vampires saved the city from an attack by Turks and in return for their help, a group of gypsies went to Rome and stole the "bloodstone".   As the girls do their research, they meet Stefan (Michael Watson), a local who has returned home upon  hearing news of the the death of his father.

Michele catches the eye and heart of Stefan, as well as, his evil half brother Radu, who has sets his sights on turning all three girls into his brides. While succeeding with Mara and Lillan, this power struggle goes beyond the "bloodstone" for Michele is the true prize they both desire.  Karl (Ivan J. Rado) and Steffan have been  preparing for this final battle for a long time, but they cannot know what horrors Radu has awaiting them as they rush to free Michele.  Who will win and who will lose their head??? Rent this film to see for yourself!!!!

Subspecies

 This film currently is
out-of-print

Checkout Dr. Van Helsing's Diary

1991

Full Moon's ode to Nosferatu  is one of the better vampire films of the 90's. Although the sequels are not as effective as the first film, both Part 2 and 3 are very entertaining films. I have to say that I was a little disappointed with the most recent Subspecies IV: Bloodstorm. Ted Nicholaou did an excellent job directing this films. This is one of the first vampire movies shot in Transylvania. The location and atmosphere of Romanian really added to the overall effectiveness of this film. 

Bram Stoker's Dracula

The films begins in 15th-century Transylvania.   After saying his last good-byes to his beloved Elisabeta (Winona Ryder), Prince Vlad Tepes (Gary Oldman) knowing that he faces insurmountable odds  from which he may never return.  As victory comes swiftly for the Tepes, the vengeful Turks shoot a arrow into the his castle carrying false new of his death. Unable to imagine life without her love, Elisabeta decides to ends her life by jumping from the castle into the river below.  Enraged by the blasphemy spoken from the lips of his clergy regarding his beloved Elisabeta (that she will never walk in the "Kingdom of Heaven", because she committed suicide), Vlad pledges his soul to darkness and forever damns himself ... "DRACULA".  Thus begins a love affair that will span the oceans of times. 

The story now shifts to 1871 as we see a young lawyer, Jonathan Harker (Keanu Reeves), making  his way across the Carpathian Mountains to a gloomy little village in the mists of eastern Europe. There he is to finalize paperwork with a Transylvanian Count who has been buy up property in London.  Little does Jonathan know what terror awaits him as he is quickly imprisoned by Dracula and his minions. The Count is preparing to travel to London alone, for it seems that his lifeblood has begun to flow strong once again when he sees a photograph of Harker's betrothed, Mina Murray (Winona Ryder).

Upon arriving in Britain, Dracula begins his reign of terror as he searches for his long lost love Elisabeta...I mean Mina.  He seduces Mina's closest friend, Lucy Westenra (Sadie Frost) into his world of darkness and Mina isn't far behind.  But at last, help comes when renown scientist Dr Abraham Van Helsing's (Anthony Hopkins) shows up. He establishes that Lucy is indeed not suffering from some  rare blood disease, but rather her demise is the work of a "nosferatu" and in this case, the "king of all vampires" ...DRACULA. The race is on for this creature of the night in hopes of saving Mina's mortal soul, but will love conquer all??? 

Bram Stoker's Dracula

 
Checkout Dr. Van Helsing's Diary

1992

This film was billed as the most faithful adaptation of Bram Stoker's classic novel "Dracula".   Exquisitely directed and shot by Francis Ford Coppola.  Most retelling of this classic novel have neglected the foundation of the story, which is one of undying love. The vulnerability, yet destructive Dracula, in only searching to find peace with his true love.  It is and always will be a "love story" with major horror overtones.  The casting of Gary Oldman was magnificent and if these were the early days of "Hammer", I could easily see his being cast over and over   again in the tragic role of "DRACULA". The rest of the support case is more than adequate with a sub par performance being given by Keanu Reeves and an over-the-top performance by Anthony Hopkins, which at times gets tiresome (I much prefer the Van Helsing of Peter Cushing). Overall, this is a tremendous and beautiful film and one of the best horror movies of the 90's.

Interview with the Vampire

The movie begins with a prologue set in contemporary San Francisco. A young interviewer (Christian Slater), a sort of collector of lives, agrees to hear Louie's (Brad Pitt) tale. "Than how shall we begin", Louie states, "....when I was born into darkness"?

The year is 1791 and Louie is a 24-year old Plantation owner in Louisiana. His death had come long before this story began, for he had truly stopped living when his wife and child died. Now praying for his physical death, Louie's invitation is finally accepted by Lestat (Tom Cruise), but this death only brings eternal life and torment for Louie.

Unable at first to accept his very existence as a vampire, Louie sustains his "un-life" with the blood of rats and other animals. When he final breaks down and feeds on a young girl (Kirsten Dunst), Lestat decides it is time to add to the family and makes the girl Louie's companion. As the years go by, young Claudia becomes enraged with Lestat, because he has forever damned her a child that can never grow up. Her pain would later leads to her apparent kill Lestat.

Now the year is 1870 when Louie and Claudia travel to Europe in search of their own kind. Their travels bring them to Paris where they meet Armand (Antonio Banderas) and his underground cadre of vampires. Louie hopes to learn more about his lineage from Armand. Fearing that Louie may soon leave her, Claudia asks him to transforms a local woman (Dominizia Giordano) into a surrogate mother for her. But when Armand troupes learn of Lestat's murder, they imprison Claudia and Madeleine in a dry well and entomb Louie. Death comes unmercifully for the women as the sunlight reclaims their souls. When Louie is finally freed by Armand, he reaps his revenge on the vampires by burning them in their crypt.

In the  the years that followed , Louie returns to America, and in modern New Orleans he again encounters his old master Lestat, who is now only a shadow of his former self. As the interview ends, the shaken Daniel drives off  thinking that he's got a story of a lifetime, but an unexpected guest may change his life forever.

Interview with the Vampire

 
Checkout Dr. Van Helsing's Diary

1994

There was a lot of controversy that surrounded this film. It took almost twenty years to get this novel made into a movie and at first Anne Rice was not very happy when she found out that Tom Cruise was cast as Lestat. She went so far as to ask her fans to boycott the film and only recanted her request after seeing a cut of the movie. Neil Jordan, director of the Crying Game, did a marvelous job of bringing Rice's vision to the silver screen and the film oozes with rich imagery and atmosphere. One of the best vampire movies ever to be made, easily blowing away Bram Stoker's Dracula. Supposedly, a sequel is in the work that will focus on Lestat

Other Great Vampire Films: "The Lost Boys", "Scream Blacula Scream", Any Hammer Film, "Dracula's Greatest Love", "Sundown: The Vampires in Retreat", "Nosferatu" (1979), "From Dusk till Dawn", "Vampire Hunter D", "Salem's Lot", "Dracula vs. Frankenstein",  and many others.

 

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