[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.

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 #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.

Continua a leggere “The Spooktacular Eight #3: Evil Of Dracula (1974)”

[EXPRESSO] Blood Red Sky (2021) | A Vampire On The Wing Of The Plane!

Sometimes Netflix is home to some good surprises, alongside reboots nobody asked and/or lots of “3D CG anime for the west”.

Seriously, Netflix does have some good exclusive movie releases, and this german horror thriller from Peter Thorwarth (also known as Transatlantic 473) is quite the unexpected delight.

Not because it came out of nowhere, i’ve heard of it before and was looking forward to it, but the premise gave the strong impression of this being a very gimmicky movie, using the horror element of “a vampire is on board” as a novelty to spice up another run of the mill thriller about a plane hijacked by terrorists, so i did go into this one with lowered expectations.

The premise see a mother and her son board a plane to New York, where she plans to get cured of her mysterious illness. But during the flight a group of terrorists spring their plan, hijack it, so in order to protect her son and the other passengers, the mother will have to give in her disease, as she’s actually a vampire, the kind that’s just a feral, unhinged creature entirely driven by bloodlust.

The vampire lore is pretty simple but also pretty convincing and brutal, fear not, the horror parts were not shoehorned in at the last moment, at all, and they work very well, not only as they give an interesting, fairly unique spin on the “airplane thriller”, but also feed into the notably solid mother-son dynamic, leading to pretty good drama featuring likeable, solid, competent characters.

Villains are a bit generic, but there’s the usual psychopath nutcase that helps in giving the plot some pretty good action scenes (among other things), and there’s a lot going on regardless, making the sizable runtime quite sensible. Pretty good one, quite recommended.