August 6, 2004

Strange Things Happen at Sundown (2003)

"Strange Things Happen at Sundown is the story of vampires run amuck in New York City. There's a group of low level mobsters with fangs, there's an age-old vampire who does mob hits for money, there's a pair of vampire lovers on the run. Throw in a born again Christian trying to bring one of the vampires over to her side, an Italian girl from Brooklyn bitten by vampires and left to endure an agonizing three-day turn and a psychotic four-hundred year old blood-sucking housewife with a fetish for cleanliness and virgin girls. All of them are being hunted by a nefarious vinyl clad woman whose intentions are mysterious and powers are unmatched..."

In reality, this is an ultra low-budget piece of B movie trash that tries to be an amalgam of mafia movies and vampires. Hello!?! This idea was done much better before with John Landis' "Innocent Blood".

What a waste of two and a quarter hours! It's slow, tedious, and a bit confusing. The acting is inconsistent and the overly ambitious camera work shows how not to make a movie that you want someone else to ever watch. Actually employing a lighting technician may have helped in a lot of places.

It also tries so hard to sound like "The Sopranos" (but with even more choice expletives!) that most of the time you can forget that it's a vampire movie at all. These vampires go about in daylight so the "sundown" in the title is a bit redundant anyway.

One of my biggest criticisms of the movie concerns the death scenes of victims. They are dragged out to such an extent that it all gets very boring and very repetitive. Once would have been enough for all that writhing and moaning.

On the plus side, it does try to be different to most vampire movies out there. These vampires are nasty and brutal and not all brooding and wimpy like some I've seen recently. There are some pretty girls in it too (including Melissa Bacelar) who don't wear too many clothes (which is always a bonus). It also tries really hard to be a serious vampire movie though a few comic moments (some unintentional) do make you wonder at times.

You can buy this film on DVD from "Brain Damage" (who I'm sure you've all heard of) or get it as part of the Mill Creek "Tomb of Terrors" 50 movie pack along with a lot of other crap which you'll never watch either.

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