[EXPRESSO] Dampyr (2022) | Bonelli: The Masquerade

While i made clear i was very familiar with Dylan Dog’s source material in the review of Dylan Dog Dead Of Night, i can say quite the opposite for this new adaptation of an italian comic book series distribuited by Bonelli Editore, Dampyr, debutting at this year’s Lucca Comics & Games with renewed aspirations of a Bonelli MCU-thing.

So if you were looking for an in-depth review from a fan of the series, i’m not the guy this time, even if the situation it’s convenient for the sake of a more unbiased piece.

Set in the war torn Balkans during the early 1990s, Dampyr it’s about Harlan, a guy that manages to survive by posing as a dhampir (a half-human half-vampire hybrid in slavic folklore) for superstitious small villages, but it ends up dragged into the war as a unit of soldiers is attacked by vampires and Halan is brought there to help as a last resort. Little does he know he IS an actual dhampir, and the horrible dreams he constantly has are hints to his actual origins…

The vampire lore isn’t anything amazing but ain’t totally copy and pasted either, it has some inventions of its own (you can tell this was based on a comic book, regardless), acting by the international cast it’s fairly decent, the war-torn Balkans are a nicely bleak setting, production values aren’t shabby at all, the movie it’s definitely more than just “presentable”.

Overall, Dampyr it’s a fun, quite decent film, fairly entertaining but not much more, especially with some very cliched turns the story takes and the ouvert sequelbaiting. And the slightly confusing fact that two important characters basically look almost identical, like gothic vampire armored Alan Rickmans (or italian singer Renato Zero, for the “homies”) despite being played by different actors.

Zombie VS Ninja AKA Zombie Rivals (1989) [REVIEW] | Coffin Ho

You know i don’t even need an excuse to review these old Godfrey Ho movies aside from the fact i just love to do so. But its still (technically) the spookie-ookie season, so you better believe i have some properly themed (or more spuriously-connected) reviews of garbage from the nearly infinite pile of Godfrey Ho 80s output, and we already reviewed the infamous Robo Vampire, so let’s indulge.

I’m gonna just call it Zombie VS Ninja, since it’s original title and the one it’s known as mostly, though in my UK DVD release by Vengeance Video it was retitled as Zombie Rivals on the box, Zombie Rivals: The Super Ninja Master on the disc, and “Zodiac America – The Super Master” in the actual film, which is the usual transfer from VHS, with 3 extra minutes of black nothing at the end, just so the film can technically reach 90 minutes. As usual for these.

So, we already start with some strong “Ho-isms”, not bad, and this one of the few Pierre Kirby feature entries in Filmarts/IDF catalogue, so we start off on the right foot.

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The Spooktacular Eight #15: Once Bitten (1985)

While we wait for the third Sonic The Hedgehog film to remind us that Jim Carrey still works because why wouldn’t he say no to Sega asking him to redo his old shtick… well, let’s go back to one of his earlier film for this year’s entry in old horror comedies that time forgot.

I could have reviewed instead The Silence Of The Hams, but we did revisit Dracula Dead And Loving it last years, so Mel Brooks and Ezio Greggio get a pass this year.

I actually haven’t seen nor heard of this one before doing some research, so serendipity today brought us to shine a spotlight on Jim Carrey’s early carriers, and it’s hard to go back even further than Once Bitten in terms of feature films, since this movie marked Carrey’s first major role ever, playing the innocent and naive high school student Mark Kendall, seduced in a Hollywood’s nightclub by a sultry countress, whom happens to be a four centhuries old vampire.

Why him? Well, in order to keep her youthful appearance (and immortality), she has to drink blood from a male virgin man 3 times by Halloween each year, which starts to become a issue, since its the 80s and this centuries old vampire countress figured it was best to settle in frigging California to satisfy this specific need. HM.

Continua a leggere “The Spooktacular Eight #15: Once Bitten (1985)”

The Spooktacular Eight #14: Dylan Dog: Dead Of Night (2010)

As they announced via a trailer early this month, we’re gonna have Bonelli, an italian comic books publishing house, give another crack of turning one of their decades long running series into a live action film, with the movie adaptation of Dampyr, a horror comic book series created in 2000 by Mauro Boselli and Maurizio Colombo about the supernatural adventures of the protagonist, a hybrid between a human and a vampire (so, yes, a “dhampir”), set to release very soon in theathers here.

Not only that, this is supposed to kickstart the Bonelli Cinematic Universe, and while to many non-italians readers this sounds like a cheap joke i’m making up…. it ain’t, and from a more marketing-oriented view, it makes sense, as now the time is ripe to give it a shot as audiences are familiar and used to superhero stories and stuff alike.

Still, it sounds hilarious to me to see them still trying to go this route, as if Universal itself tried and managed to cock it up not once, but twice, and in general very few players can do the MCU thing.

So it’s worth bringing back that the precedents aren’t exactly high in terms of inspiring any confidence or actual committment to any long term plan, as we saw Sergio Bonelli’s publishing house try it more than a decade ago with the live action adaptation of a far more famous italian horror-supernatural comic book series that will ring a bell even outside of Italy.

Continua a leggere “The Spooktacular Eight #14: Dylan Dog: Dead Of Night (2010)”

Vampire Holmes (2015) [REVIEW] | Everlasting Love

YES, i’ve heard of this by doing a research on the worst voted/rated shows on AnimeList.

I could have talked about NAMI (no, not that one, not that Nami either, most likely not even your thrid guess), so you decide if you lucked out or not in this occasion.

I’ve held off on covering it because it’s so goddamn obscure and has such infamous reputation… that even finding english fansubs for it was a notable task.

And it figures the only english subbed version i could find around it’s from a group labelling themselves as “BetterThanNothing”, i’m sure even they eventually did so moved by piety, as nobody even wanted to bother making it more available. It’s a rare case of people finding an anime so shit that they don’t even spread awareness by shit-talking it, they figured it was more deserving of wallowing in the dark, unspoken and unheard of, still more valuable than trying to actively focusing a spotlight on it, even if just to trash it for easy views on Youtube and socials.

Can’t say that it was a bad stance to take, in hindsight, this is no Chargeman Ken.

Continua a leggere “Vampire Holmes (2015) [REVIEW] | Everlasting Love”

The Spooktacular Eight #10: Robo Vampire (1988)

Oh boy. THIS one.

Quite the legendary trash film from Godfrey Ho (credited as Thomas Tang, once again), one that definitely lives up to its status as one of the most bonkers heaps of garbage to ever come out of the 80s never ending cauldron of action-xploitation movies.

It’s definitely quite infamous and rightfully so, because even if you’re acquainted with Godfrey Ho, Joseph Lai, their companies like Filmark International and IFD Arts, this is still absolute hokum of majestic proportions, downright unbelievable and baffling.

I can’t even imagine how much cocaine did Ho and his unnamed writers snort up for this one in particular, because it makes their cut n paste ninja flicks look downright sensible and composed.

The main reason it’s because Ho (or Lai, or whoever supervised the scripts, hard to say when Ho is credited for many films he didn’t even direct) didn’t bother to say no to anything proposed, i refuse to believe anything got cut from the script since it’s all a non-sensical demented mish mash.

Continua a leggere “The Spooktacular Eight #10: Robo Vampire (1988)”

[EXPRESSO] Morbius (2022) | Dr. Acula, MD

The “Sony” side of the Marvel movies now moves from fairly popular and well know Venom to a lot more obscure one, Morbius. General audiences sure aren’t familiar with him, myself i barely know of him as a saw a high quality collectable statue as an upcoming item years ago.

Which is good, makes sense to make movie about lesser known characters from the huge roster of Marvel’s back catalogue (with beloved popular actor Jared Leto in the lead to also ensure huge turn-out) and this one if nothing else follows the trail of the two Venom movies, as in it’s an anti-hero, the doctor Michael Morbius, plagued by a rare blood disease and wanting to save everyone with his illness, Morbius takes a desperate gamble in a remote cave with bats.

What seems to be the long awaited cure turns out to be also a curse, as he start developing a craving for human blood and powers akin to a vampire bat.

If Venom was a reminder that superheroes movies could be sketchy but still entertain despite having a lot of problems, Morbius it’s a throwback to the early to mid-2000s era of the genre, as in, despite a lot of money in effects and a fun premise, they often turned out irremediably boring as shit, lifeless despite the fantastical elements, and a pile of hot garbage overall.

Formulaic, tiresome, boring everything, from plot to characters to themes, even the shitty fights way too overreliant on FXs (complete with an underwhelming final confrontation), Morbius has it all, takes itself seriously, and sequelbaits hard to boot.

You don’t always need to be good or perfect, but when everything it’s so shoddy, trite and not very interesting, at least you could be entertaining.

This is sadly just boring garbage. Pity. 😦

Vampire Girl VS Frankenstein Girl (2009) [REVIEW] | Draculina VS Kabukistein’s Daughter

Ah, yes the other kind of “Vlad Love”, not the comedy extravaganza by beloved author Mamoru Oshii, but the vampire biting, the wrist cutting, the blood spurting like geyers after each and every bizarre mutilation, which in some cases will enable flight, this the kind of love we’re talking about today!

While i could have reworded the truth as an excuse to review Tokyo Gore Police (it is after all the love story between blades and mutant flesh, a lot of both, etc.), i think the occasion just fits another japanese horror gore-o-rama from director Yoshihiro Nishimura (the aforementioned Tokyo Gore Police, Helldiver, Meatball Machine, Mutant Girls Squad), co-directing here alongside a another famous name in the “pink eiga”and horror genre, Naoyuki Tomomatsu, better known for his zombie comedy horror Stacy from 2001, also known as Stacy: Attack Of The Schoolgirl Zombies.

Continua a leggere “Vampire Girl VS Frankenstein Girl (2009) [REVIEW] | Draculina VS Kabukistein’s Daughter”

The Spooktacular Eight #8: Spookies (1986)

Another classic staple of horror retrospective, the “frankensteined” project that started as something specific, never got made and was later edited, injected with new footage, and eventually released as the obvious hodge potche it became. One that for years was quite elusive, not that well known, and was available on VHS only…. but this changed as it finally got a DVD release in the US and some european contries (surprisingly i didn’t even had to import it, since there’s an italian DVD release).

And of course the title is that kind of cheesy that bode wells for retronauts in search of cult sensations from the bowels of horror history.

Continua a leggere “The Spooktacular Eight #8: Spookies (1986)”

The Spooktacular Eight #3: Evil Of Dracula (1974)

We gotta have a vampire film in here, but i’m not feeling like talking of Vampyros Lesbos, the old Hammer Dracula films have been done to death, and Yakuza Apocalypse is pretty well known, so let’s compromise and by that i mean feature something not quite from left field, but close enough.

So let’s take a look at a 70s japanese vampire movies clearly going after the western depiction and aesthetic, with Evil Of Dracula, which is actually the last piece of the so called “Bloodthirsty Trilogy” (later rereleased worlwide by Arrow Video) of vampire movies, beginning with Bloodsucking Doll/Vampire Doll, continuing with Lake Of Dracula, then Evil Of Dracula.

I should have done the entire trilogy, i guess that’s what happens when you pick a movie for a random Halloween selection without doing any proper research on it beforehand.

That’ll learn me.

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