Saturday, June 09, 2012

Vamp or Not? Bloodsuckers from Outer Space

Despite the title containing the word Bloodsucker, this film had always struck me as looking a bit too zombie to be on vampire filmographies. However friend of the blog Alex suggested I look at the film and it had been languishing away in my ‘to watch’ pile. So, here goes…

The film dates from 1984, was directed by Glen Coburn and looks cheap… really cheap. But heck, that hasn’t stopped us before! It begins with a farmer (Dan Gallion) doing what farmers do. He seems to notice something, a strange noise perhaps. A wind whips up – but the nearby branches are still – and then he doubles over, puking blood until he falls dead. Then he awakens, blue of face and growling… so far so zombie (in look and inarticulate growl at least).

a victim
Cops are at a crime scene. Two bodies have been left, their throats ripped and drained of blood. Local reporter Jeff Rhodes (Thom Meyers) turns up. One of the cops, Sam (Christopher Heldman), is a friend of Jeff’s and so he lets the reporter know, off the record, what has happened – though he doesn’t want him to report it and start a panic. At one point the V word is mentioned, though dismissively.

Jeff and Julie
Jeff goes to see his Aunt Kate (Billie Keller) and Uncle Joe (Robert Bradeen). Uncle Joe gives him an ultimatum – leave the paper and become a farmer or lose his inheritance. He is given until supper to decide and drives off. Jeff has a blowout and, because the spare is flat, he smashes the car with a tire iron. A passing motorist, Julie (Laura Ellis), sees him –and despite him smashing his own car – gives him a lift. Soon they are sucking nitrous oxide together and then in bed.

experimenting on Pace
Meanwhile Jeff’s cousin Ralph (Glen Coburn) is working at the military base known as Research City. The leader of their team, Dr Pace (John Webb), has turned blue and is being experimented on/interrogated. We get the full story of what is happening when General Sanders (Dennis Letts) arrives. A lifeforce has arrived from outer space. The life force is invisible but windy (their description!) and takes over a body. The process of taking over causes them to haemorrhage their blood from the mouth, kills and then resuscitates the corpse, which subsequently need to suck blood to survive. There seems to be some form of telepathic link between the hosts and the unhosted energy.

family are turned
Later we see that the bloodsuckers do not necessarily attack. They wish to hold Jeff and Julie as Jeff has been chosen as a host and she as Jeff’s first meal. We see a taken over Uncle Joe lose a limb with no apparent detrimental effect, whilst Aunt Kate waves farewell to the fleeing Jeff and Julie. We see one bloodsucker distract soldiers whilst three others attack from the back and yet another one play possum to catch his victim. A decapitated body seems to continue without dying. Jeff accidentally discovers that nitrous oxide prevents the lifeforce from taking a host but the General is intent on nuking the town.

a bloodsucker awakens
All in all this is much more Vamp than anything else. Given the look you might almost argue zompire but I think such a label would be inaccurate. These are definitely vampires… the film is rubbish but, one hopes, deliberately so, made for laughs more than just poor horror on a shoestring. If anything it is worth watching for an unexpected breach of the fourth wall and a comment about the incidental music.

The imdb page is here.

2 comments:

Alex said...

Poorly made but interesting and entertaining thanks to the whole concept of extra-terrestrial zombie-vampires. That's something you don't see everyday.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

I did, as I mentioned to, like the breaking of the fourth wall in this... but absolutely dreadfully made (if I had been reviewing rather than looking at Vamp or Not, I might have mentioned the awful sets round research city!)and yet strangely interesting, as you say Alex