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|Index||21 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
K(Kadeem Hardison)must find away to stop a
succubus/vampire/temptress(Cynthia Bond)from securing the desires of
his young minister brother, Joel(James Bond III, who also produced and
directed)who is visiting him from a bible belt town from North
Carolina. He'll seek help from ladies' man wannabe Dougy(Bill Nunn,
well cast)who frequents a popular pick-up bar. The temptress, as seen
in flashbacks through Joel's nightmares, caused the car crash and death
of his parents. This would be the ultimate victory for the succubus if
she could cause a man of God to follow his fleshy lust and fornicate.
We see the succubus claim several male victims she picks up in bars
through various vicious attacks(Dickerson often shades the violence
through some creative photography and set-ups perhaps because the money
for the budget was tight and using the imagination was crucial). Will
Joel remain faithful to the Lord or surrender his lusts to a demon? Can
his brother, K, somehow help Joel before it's too late?
Exceptionally well made considering it's minuscule budget thanks to cinematographer Ernest Dickerson's amazing, imaginative camera-work. The acting is off at times, providing some awkward moments, but the direction is potent enough to hold interest. The plot and decision to use all black performers adds a special ingredient to the horror genre. James Bond III is weak in the lead, but has enough charismatic supporters around him to sell the picture. The low rating on this site is ridiculous.
I give this film high marks in spite of its limitations, which are primarily budgetary only. I thought the casting was perfect, particularly in Kadeem Hardison (who's career I had thought should have been, by rights, much larger), and Cynthia Bond, who's feature turn as the succubus was terrificboth terrifying and seductive at the same time. There were references to this film being firmly in the genre of "blackspoitation," but again, given the obviously low budget and other factors, I thought they did a bang up job with what they had to work with. Compared to say, "Vampire In Brooklyn," a big budget studio film starring Eddie Murphy, this little film succeeded in every important way, and in comparison fared so much better for all the reasons you watch a movie in the first place, two hours of solid entertainment. In this regard, I think the film succeeds quite wellfunny, scary, hip and funky, with a strong undercurrent of the mystery of faith. I loved it.
This movie had more of a religious theme than a horror theme. I enjoyed it and recommend it. It is low-budget but a good first effort for James Bond, III. There are a lot of know people from the 80's and 90's in the movie who, I am sure, were just there for the publicity; however, some of the actors actually did a pretty good job, including James Bond, III, who also played in Spike Lee's SchoolDaze along with Samuel L. Jackson. There are movies with bigger budgets that are nowhere near as good as this movie. The storyline and creative aspect of the movie are much better than the set and location. If this movie would have had at least a couple more million dollars in the budget, It would have been a hit and everyone would know about it.
"Def by Temptation" is one of the sleekest, most genuine independent horror films to come out in the past 20 years. It is easy to dismiss its credibility due to the reputation Troma has built for itself (and the film does include plenty of creative gore), but it is one of the most poignant and original works of the modern horror genre. An original story, talented actors, great low-budget special effects and a skilled eye on the part of director (and writer/producer/actor) James Bond III for genuinely creepy visuals make this a horror film on the same scale of such other cult classics as "The Hunger" and "Nadja". It is a rarity to find a horror film that still focuses on old-fashioned traditions such as plot and character development, and this film has a refreshing amount of both. James Bond III is pioneer in the spirit of Oscar Micheaux, and has truly created a horror masterpiece with "Def by Temptation."
I think most of the bad reviews for this movie are from people who
aren't familiar with the Troma franchise. Troma is an independent film
company that showcases unique, unusual and often very twisted projects
from up-and-coming filmmakers who can't get a break from other (more
hypocritical) film companies. "Def by Temptation" is certainly the work
of an amateur, but I can tell that James Bond III put his passion into
the movie and he did make a moderately good effort. I can't lie and say
that the movie doesn't look low-budget, but its cheapness adds to its
charm. And there's never a dull moment. The acting is often good, since
quite a few of the actors are alumni from Spike Lee's films. Bill Nunn,
who many might remember as Radio Raheem in "Do the Right Thing," gives
the strongest performance and to this day I feel like he's one of the
many underrated actors who never gets proper recognition for his
talent. As you can expect, though Samuel L. Jackson is on the cover of
the DVD and video, he's only in the movie for about 15 minutes. Once
again, cashing in on the popularity of a big-name actor, who wasn't
such a big name at the time. Kadeem Hardison, who many remember as
Dwayne Wayne on "A Different World," does a fine job in the lead role,
as does the female lead who plays the Temptress. About the only bad
apple in the bunch is the director himself, who plays second lead.
Bond's performance just seems way too subdued and his emotions seem
I understand he's supposed to play a laid-back, repressed, Bible-toting individual, but he plays the role a little too low-key. The concept of an all-black horror movie has been done before in films like "Blacula," but it's not a concept that has been repeated very frequently. Even in our supposedly politically correct times, the black characters still tend to die off significantly quicker than the white characters in scary movies. Some of the dialogue is a little too cheesy, but there's also a lot of funny dialogue. The movie takes itself more seriously than you'd expect, but it never gets too serious. Nowadays, we see tons of campy horror flicks that seem 90 percent comedy and 10 percent horror, so it's cool that Bond didn't want to go that route. From a technical standpoint, the film's best aspect is its lighting, especially during the bar scenes. The DP is Ernest Dickerson, who's worked on Spike Lee's films. The camera-work is sometimes shoddy, with some bad eyeline matching during the dialogue scenes, but the lighting is great. It was also fun to listen to the movie's hip soundtrack, mostly composed of R & B from the early 90's. It helps date the film, but not in a bad way. "Def by Temptation" is far from a masterpiece, but it's entertaining and unique. Just don't expect to see Sammy L. in a big role and you won't be disappointed.
In New York City, there is a beautiful temptress (Cynthia Bond) who
seduces men at bars then takes them to her place only to murder them
and drain their blood as she's actually a vampire. Joel (James Bond
III) is a student from out-of-town who just came to the city to seek
the advice of his actor friend named K ( Kadeem Hardisan), he also
shows Joel a good time around the big apple especially at bars then has
the help of Joel and a detective to find out what's behind these
Very interesting and underrated vampire blaxplotation thriller from writer-director-producer-star James Bond III. What works in this movie is a good storyline with some sex and violence around, the movie was released by the popular independent studio known as "Troma" in theaters and has gained a small cult following. The acting is very good especially the writing on the dialog, there's also some great cinematography that captures the mood and feel of this flick.
If your into vampire flicks or supernatural horror movies then i suggest you watch this one!
Also recommended: "Vamp", "Dracula" (1931), "The Hunger", "Vampire Hunter D", "Basic Instinct", "Bram Stoker's Dracula", "Near Dark", "Buffy The Vampire Slayer"( Movie and Show), "The Forsaken", "Innocent Blood", "Blackula", "Tales from The Hood", "Fright Night 1 & 2", "Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust", "Blood The Last Vampire", "Blade Trilogy", "American Werewolf in London", "The Lost Boys", "Daughters of Darkness", "John Carpenter's Vampires", "From Dusk Till Dawn", "Salem's Lot" ( 1979 and 2004), "Once Bitten", "Lifeforce", "Demons", "Suspiria", "Interview with the vampire", "Queen of the Damned", "The Night Flier", "Evil Dead II", "Lair of the White Worm", and "Martin".
Although firmly rooted in the sort of cinematic milieu I don't tend to usually go for, I had a pretty good time with this fresh and fun slice of black horror. Starring, as well as written and directed by the awesomely monikered James Bond III, Def by Temptation tells of young divinity student Joel who heads to the big city, to stay with his street smart brother and experience the real world beyond his sheltered upbringing. Unfortunately a comely she demon with a fondness for sleeping with luckless males and then slaying them has designs on young Joel, and his time in the city will soon prove to be a good deal more stressful than expected. Although lacking in some aspects, Def by Temptation wisely sticks pretty close to what it is good at, thusly it does pretty well overall. As the deadly she demon of the film Cynthia Bond is a delight, running hot and cold or kindly and vicious with captivating assurance, she is throughout the film both marvellously compelling and somewhat intimidating. As K, brother of young Joel Kadeem Hardison does a fine job, coming off a little like a far less irritating Will Smith with his hip and good humoured confidence fuelled turn, bringing lots of laughs and a pleasing warmth. As far as notable acting goes things are rounded out by Bill Nunn, a hoot as he desperately lies in failing attempts to score with women and a small role from Samuel L. Jackson, as Joels fiery minister father. Of course, its not just the acting that work but the script too, well paced, liberally splattered with amusement and even relatively heartfelt at times. Combiend with the actors easy chemistry, the writing really works. Then there's the stylish and evocatively lit cinematography of Spike Lee regular Ernest Dickerson and of course the music. Paul Lawrence does the original score but the music is most memorable for being filled with early 90's hip hop and R&B. Now generally I'm quite fervent in my dislike of both genres, but the music works just swell in this film, giving it a great lively, funky feel that is ever engaging. Overall the film is a neat looking package, and it sounds good too. Not perfect though, events are a little repetitious in the first half, also punches are pulled with regards to the sex/murder scenes. The film gets in some agreeably perverse jabs, with the fate of a gay gentleman being quite a deranged eye opener, but the lack of female nudity hurt the film, given its subject matter. Also, though perfectly good on the writing and directing side of things, James Bond III is a bit weak as Joel. Never especially likable or interesting, and his more forceful moments as a character feel exactly that, forced. When he eventually becomes the focus of the film the interest drops a bit and its a pity. More of a pity is the ending though, whilst as an exciting climax it does OK in its low budget fashion, its such a thematically simplistic close to the film that it actually detracts from a fair amount of the good work that has gone before. The general gist of the ending was inevitable from the start, but the fashion in which the elements that made the film such a blast previously are mostly stripped out of the ending feels careless and a little callous and undermines the film dramatically. Still, its a good fun time on the whole and definitely underrated. Some quality moments, good style and a decent quota of laughs, worth a look if it sounds interesting I'd say.
This is more than a, 'blaxplotation' film. It has deep, 'religious overtone's' Director Bond was attempting to make a point to that, 'male unsatisfied lust'! Doing this by way of a scary demon temptress called, 'Temptation'! It was meant to scare, and make you think. (Unfortunately a fixed film budget can only go so far when you're making a horror film which requires special effect's on the order of the, 'Exorcist'.) Mr. Bonds point was well taken here! I recommend the rental!
Well, I really tried! But it didn't help. This movie is so bad it hurts. Dull screenplay, amateurish acting and very bad visuals. And though Ernest R. Dickerson might be the only artist/technician on this project, it didn't amount to nothing but the look of a home-video. And then the soundtrack: O boy, this is even worse than the famous Glen-or-Glenda soundtrack! The sound-quality is very low (home video again) and the music is just horrible and without any connection to the plot whatsoever. I really like low-budget movies, as far as there is any vision you can explore or at least: something. There's nothing here, I can assure you.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
James Bond III's ambitious "Def by Temptation" has entertaining characters, is done with style, and its theme is pretty universal; it doesn't necessarily have to apply just to religion. It deals with the challenges one faces on their way to finding their purpose in the world and the battles they fight with themselves. The writer / producer / director also stars, as Joel, a divinity student from North Carolina who's uncertain of his future and thinks that visiting his brother 'K' (Kadeem Hardison), a film actor, in NYC will really do him some good. He finds that the city is, in his own words, a "wild" place, and he won't find a better example than the super sexy form of a predatory barfly, known only as Temptress (Cynthia Bond) who targets the horny men around her, who is in actuality a demon that knows that its greatest achievement will be the corruption of a pure soul, and finds it in Joel. 'K' comes to realize that this lady is bad news and tries desperately to save his brother. The movie is enhanced by the moody and striking lighting schemes courtesy of the talented Ernest Dickerson, who of course went on to be a fine director in his own right, although Dickerson would have to leave the production early, forcing Troma boss Lloyd Kaufman to step in. Bond's movie is equal turns gory, atmospheric, comedic, and erotic, and is overall an impressive effort. Bond himself is admittedly quite low key in the lead role, but is inherently likable and one does want to see this guy rise to the challenge he's facing. Hardison lends his strong comic energy to his role; one particularly funny scene has Joel modelling various choices in clothing. Cynthia Bond is extremely alluring in the antagonist role; we can see that she would be pretty hard to resist. Bill Nunn is highly amusing as barfly Dougy whose attempts to pick up the ladies too often don't work out; it turns out, though, that Dougy has a surprise in store for characters and viewers alike. Melba Moore has a fantastic cameo as Madam Sonya, and it's likewise great to see Samuel L. Jackson as Joel's minister father, although fair warning to those who want to watch this for him as his screen time is quite limited. There's a lot of blood splashed around for all of us gore hounds watching; an early scene where the red stuff pours out of a shower faucet is visually powerful; the eventual demon makeup is not too bad although Bond never does stress the horror elements of his movie too much. There IS a fun moment where a character is yanked into a TV, and that's certainly one of the highlights. Those looking for B genre pictures that are above the norm would be advised to give "Def by Temptation" a look as it really is nicely done. Eight out of 10.
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