Cinema/TV, Dracula, Film Notes

Your Daily Dracula – Ismail Kanater as ‘the Vampire Master’, Out for Blood (2003)

Your Daily Dracula – Ismail Kanater as ‘the Vampire Master’, Out for Blood (2003)

Troubled cop Hank Holton (Kevin Dillon) is interviewed to see if he is mentally fit to stand trial for murder, and explains to a disbelieving shrink (Jim Ortlieb) and his paternal superior (Lance Henriksen) how he has become involved with vampires.  It opens with the hero stalking his estranged wife Susan Hastings (Vanessa Angel), an authoress who specialises in vampire stories, and then follows him down dark alleys as he spots a Layla (Jodi Lyn O’Keefe) who is supposedly missing and finds she has been turned into a vampire.  Bitten by the Vampire Master (Ismail Kanater), who looks like a rubbery Mexican version of Nosferatu, Holton suffers the beginnings of a transformation, including an unquenchable thirst, sensitivity to sunlight, sharpened teeth, increased strength and a reflection that comes and goes.

In the most interesting idea in the film, his semi-vampire status makes him interesting again to his wife, not because of the undead sexual magnetism but because she sees first material for a new book and then a way of becoming a killer immortal herself.  However, the plotting is otherwise standard stuff, footnoted by the usual RPG-or-Lost Boys-derived vampire lore, and the vampires tend to be the studded and fetish-gear-look clubbers with Buffy-style facial ridges in their beastly mode who became as dominant and cliché a vampire image circa the turn of the New Millennium as caped Tranyslvanian counts used to be.  The frame story witters on long after the plot has been wound up, with the ending unpicked and several was-it-all-a-psychotic-fantasy-no-it’s-real kickers, down to a really dumb Count Yorga freeze frame punchline with a vampire lunging out from under the bed.

Written, directed and produced by Richard Brandes.  Aka Vampires: Out for Blood or As Good as Dead.


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