Directed by: Kevin J Lindenmuth
Release date: 1998
Well, I for one was pleasantly surprised when I watched Addicted to Murder, flawed but interesting probably sums it up. The cynic in me feared it couldn’t last. The cynic was right. Lindenmuth tries to capture the moments in the life of Joel (Mick McCleery) between his mother’s death and his being found by vampire Angie (Sasha Grahame) and not only makes a mess of this but also a mess of the story that went on before.
What we do see is a lot more of vampire society and discover that Angie’s sister, Rachel (Laura McLauchlin), has set a lot of folks on the path to being a vampire. However these people are all sociopathic and not worthy – tainted blood, as the title suggests. This seemed a little silly for two reasons. Firstly it cheapened the story of Joel from the first film, worse it made a mockery of Angie’s motivation for turning him as she is hunting down the tainted.
Secondly because the idea of a ‘darkness within’ gets pulled more into focus. Indeed occasionally viewed ‘vampire expert’ Jonas Collins (Ted V Mikels) informs us explicitly that vampires are born and not made and that those turned are inherently evil. I had a problem with this. I like the idea that to turn one must embrace evil – similar was explored in Twins of Evil – but the idea of being born evil well, quite frankly, that is too catholic for my taste, smacking of original sin.
The other problem I had with it was that it wasn’t supported by the film. We see, during the film, Angie’s turning of a woman named Tricia (Sarah K Lippmann). Tricia never came across as inherently evil – though she may have embraced it in order to turn. No, she was dying of cancer and came across as inherently desperate, desperate for a life she was losing and a life she felt she had hardly lived.
Joel’s story seems to have been noodled with, and frankly the noodling is as bad as it would be if King Noodler George Lucas had been involved. We know that his mother died and we saw, in the last film, him receiving phone calls from his aunt after the funeral. One then wonders at why someone would call him momma’s boy – the insult seems spent once she was dead. Further we wonder at why he would have the head of his mother in his car – an altogether plastic looking head it has to be said. Before we get to bad effects, let me just wonder what on Earth happened to his meeting his wife, his marriage and his divorce within this period – conveniently forgotten, it seems.
I said in the review of the first film that vampires are easy – all you need are fangs and fake blood. This is true but a pig’ ear can still be made of things – especially if the fangs look like cheap Halloween purchases and don’t fit. Then there are rubber masks… We get a true vampire face moment in film that works slightly better than the first film – though not much – due to judicial film effects.
However, to have a victim represented by a rubber dummy with big googly eyes. I mean there was no need. Dragging some poor sap off the street, pouring some fake blood on their neck and giving them a couple of dollars would have been preferable. It was, quite frankly, unforgivable.
Lore wise we learn little more than the first film. Day time is fine for these vampires. They have a loose society with definitive rules – one vampire may not kill another, only turn the worthy and don’t kill the high profile seem to be the main ones. They do not heal quickly – what happens to a vampire who can’t feed for a few months is a question posed by ‘the hunter’ (Joe Moretti), a vampire enforcer, who then pulls a vampire’s fangs out. Well, that question is not answered – though we get a regeneration time gauge. What we also get is the idea that any vampire that can’t feed without fangs has obviously not heard of a knife – or that the script writer (Lindenmuth) just didn’t think that through.
We also discover that crosses do not work, in a scene that also hints at a vampire being able to steal character traits from a victim (you are what you eat) but as it is from a newly turned I think we can dismiss that as speculative.
The acting is poor and irked me more than the last film, probably because the thing was not hanging together as well and was far from as interesting. It less added to the mystique that, despite itself, the first film generated and more buried it out in the woods in a shallow grave.
Whatever indefinable element the first film had, which made it watchable, has gone; altogether poor. 1 out of 10.
The imdb page is here.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Directed by: Kevin J Lindenmuth