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Graveyard Shift II (1988)
"The Understudy: Graveyard Shift II" (original title)

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Ratings: 3.6/10 from 121 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 1 critic

The macho Italian vampire Baisez appears on the set of a low-budget film about vampirism and billiards and seduces the cast and crew.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Wendy Gazelle ...
Camilla / Patti
Mark Soper ...
Michael A. Miranda ...
Baisez (as Silvio Oliviero)
Ilse von Glatz ...
Tim Kelleher ...
Duke / Larry
Lesley Kelly ...
Martina (as Leslie Kelly)
Paul Amato ...
Ramon / Apache
Vince Carr ...
John Conway ...
John Copping ...
Asst. Cameraman
Andy Tcherevatty ...
Boom Man
Scott Spidell ...
Best Boy
Mike Tovey ...
Key Grip


The macho Italian vampire Baisez appears on the set of a low-budget film about vampirism and billiards and seduces the cast and crew. Written by Jeff Hole <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




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Release Date:

November 1988 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Graveyard Shift II  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

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Follows Graveyard Shift (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

Born for the role.
28 December 2008 | by (the Mad Hatter's tea party.) – See all my reviews

A pretentious, but at the same time interesting and innovative punk-Goth vampire story under a moonlight sky that's probably a little too sullen and clever for its own good. 'The Understudy' is a sequel to the 1987 vampire film 'The Graveyard Shift', which I have not seen but from what I've read is unrelated even though it has Silvio Oliviero returning as the lead vamp.

Camilla is an aspiring actress starring in a low-cost vampire movie, and she's captures the eyes of a drifter vampire Baisez who's being secretly hanging around the sets. He eventually casts a spell over Camilla, which sees her fall for him with a bite. After the disappearance of the leading man playing the vampire, Baisez with some help auditions for the part and everyone is in awe of his convincing performance, except for Camilla's soon to be husband Matthew.

The idea behind the concept involving a movie within a movie set-up inviting the feeling that life is intimating art in a self-knowing and manipulative manner became a little baffling and loose, despite the straight-forward narrative structure. At times it gets hard to tell what reality is, or what's for simply the camera… cut! These novelties couldn't hide the fact it's a melancholy love story, as the vampire is the desirable temptation and obsessive fixation that drives the Camilla character. The offbeat script is reasonably talky and very ambiguous on Baisez's intentions and past. It heavily relies on Silvio Oliviero's brooding appearance and erotic allurement. It's a serious turn of conviction. Across from him is the beautifully confident and very engaging Wendy Gazelle as Camilla. Mark Soper is solid. Lesley Kelly, Timothy Kelleher and Carl Alacchi are also sound additions.

Director / writer Gerard Ciccoritti's competent steering keeps to the low-budget's strengths, highlighting moody and smoky atmospherics. It's considerably slow-moving, keeping the lurid camera-work within muggy confined sets with bleary lighting and limited FX work to distract. Philip Stern's bluesy music score is sensually sombre, but alluring in its transition to the on-screen action.

A haunting, if overdone low-budget vampire feature.

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