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Thank you Full Moon Pictures for restoring vileness to the vampire!
Anders Hove, as the villainous Radu, is the type of fiendish demonic monster that all vampires should be. Yet people today, thanks to genre rapists like Anne Rice, would rather watch vampires gallivanting about like a bunch of aristocratic Sallys.
The film centers around two college girls from America (Laura Tate and the curvaceous Michelle McBride) who visit their foreign exchange student friend from school (Irina Movila) in her native Romania. While there, the three appealing young women happen into a vampire feud. Radu has slain the father, a cameo by horror legend Angus Scrimm, thus acquiring the wrath of his good vampire brother Stefan(Michael Watson).
The only drawback to this film is the lowsy swordplay, but how can Anders Hove be expected to handle a sword with foot long fingers.
A vampire film done right, restoring the fiendishness to the vampire legend.
Take notes Anne Rice!!
This is one of my all time favorite cheap, corny, vampire B movies.
Calvin Klein underwear model...oh, I mean, Stefan the Good Vampire, returns to Transylvania to ascend the throne of Vampiric Royalty, but Manicure-impaired and eternally drooling half brother Radu has other plans. Having killed their father the Vampire King, Radu now sets his sights on Stefan, Stefan's new mortal girlfriend Michelle and her two pretty friends, and the all-powerful Bloodstone.
Okay, the scenery is beautiful, and it should be as it was shot on location in Transyl-fricken-vania for gosh sakes. The actresses are no great shakes and Stefan the Heroic Vampire is about as charming as a refrigerated fireplace poker, but who cares? There's only one reason to watch this movie, and his name is RADU! He's a physical homage to Nosferatu and he has the best lines in the movie, all spoken in the raspy voice of a man who smokes ten packs of cigarettes a day. The cemetery festival scene is one of the best scenes in the film, as Radu slowly approaches the camera and reveals his grinning, slobbering face for the world to see. I found myself cheering him on as he collected victims and taunted his perfect brother. But maybe I'm just a sicko. Questionable taste in men aside, I highly recommend this film to vampire enthusiasts. It's original, it's fun, and Radu is one of the best vampires I've seen in a long time...much more fun than the stiff, tragic, whining Undead brats that endlessly grace the horror screens these days. Radu enjoys his sadism and never apologizes. He's what a vampire should be.
It's the classic story of good brother vs. bad brother as the vampire sons
of old King Vlad - handsome, noble, boring Stefan and hideous, jealous,
scheming, fascinating Radu - battle over the rights to their inheritance. At
stake (sorry) are ancient Castle Vladislas, played to perfection by ancient
Castle Hunedoara, and the family's prize, the mystic Bloodstone; a holy
relic that drips the blood of saints. (What a unique invention! I wish the
movie said more about its nature and history.) Into the middle of this gory
sibling squabble wander the obligatory clueless bunch of cute American
students, doing a research project on local folklore, and we're off to the
Has its weak spots, especially the awkward animation and matting-in of Radu's tiny demon servants, but its energy, enthusiasm and imaginative ideas - such as the "shadow transit" by which the vampires travel, and the reptilian relish of Anders Hove's performance as Radu - easily carry it over these gaps. Add in some gore and nudity for the high-school crowd, and the pleasure of seeing a vampire film actually shot in Romania and using its wonderful medieval locations so central to Western vampire lore, and you have a thoroughly capable and enjoyable little horror film. Those who appreciate bloody but clever small-scale horror such as Brian Yuzna's Lovecraft films should have no trouble adopting this one.
(If you enjoy my reviews, you can read more of them under my previous name - just plain "angelynx".)
Words fail me whenever I want to describe my feelings about this movie (and the sequels)... Does it have flaws? Sure it does... Starting with the "Subspecies" themselves,which were not executed well enough for a special effect.So why do I glorify these movies??? For the herd of movie mass-consumers out there,who care more about quantity than quality,about cheap fun more than about depth, crap like "blade" (it doesn't even deserve a capital letter),"underworld","Dracula 2000","dracula 3000" and so on are good movies to munch popcorn to and drink a couple of cokes... What makes Subspecies a superior effort for anyone claiming to be a Vampire fanatic,on the other hand,is obvious: The Vampire Himself is Romanian,the story is set in Transylvania (the scenes filmed on location are more than convincing),and the atmosphere is not based on any "action-packed" chases or expensive orchestral music.Radu Himself is the source of the atmosphere... This is what a Vampire should look like and this is how He should behave! Add a breathtakingly gloomy castle with dark passageways situated in Romania,include some typical Vampiric elements ( such as the movement of the shadows on the walls when the Vampires take to flight) and you have a work of art! In short,if ,like me,you 're fascinated with Vampires and feel that their appearance as well as the setting should be sinister and dark,there's no better place to look in than in a Subspecies movie... Or in Vampire Journals,the brilliant spin off of the former...
"Subspecies," like many other horror films, gets a raw deal on IMDb.
The majority of movie-watchers have a hearty contempt for horror, and
when they occasionally rent horror films, they either want to laugh at
them or cringe at excessively gory scenes. Unfortunately, "Subspecies"
is not particularly laughable, and not that bloody, so it gets a low
rating. That's too bad.
Of course, there's plenty to criticize here. The non-actors are flat, the subspecies are a poor special effect, and the nighttime scenes are too brightly lit. But what do you expect? For a straight-to-video horror film, "Subspecies" boasts decent production values and more integrity than you might anticipate. The film's Romanian setting is virtually unique (I believe it was the first American movie made in that country, post-Communism), and the locations, both interior and exterior, are beautiful. The script has moments of intelligence, especially when it delves into local folklore (all bogus, I'm sure). Somehow, the location filming and smartish script work well together - "Subspecies" has its own very distinctive world. To risk damning with faint praise...it could be a lot dumber.
Fans of the more gruesome aspects of horror will no doubt get a kick out of the blood-drooling vampire villain, Radu. He's pretty effective in this movie - powerful, with a memorable raspy voice - but I like him better in the sequels, when actor Anders Hove gives a more self-parodying, campy performance. A totally sincere Radu is somewhat silly. Other silly aspects include gratuitous nudity and the subspecies themselves, who are clearly only in the movie because producer Charles Band has a fetish for evil little creatures (see also Puppetmaster and Demonic Toys).
But I linger too much on the movie's flaws. For what it is - straight-to-video vampire horror - "Subspecies" is perfectly fine. The sequels boast better production values, more violence, and somewhat more thoughtful story lines, so I recommend them even more highly. Still, this isn't a bad start for the series.
This is a perfect example of a Classic Full Moon Pictures movie. Any fan of
Horror/Vampire Flicks should definitely check this one out. Original Plot
and good, easy to follow Story. Also, this movie has some heart-racing
scenes that combine Horror with action. As of now, the only sequel I have
seen to this movie is Part IV, which I have to say is almost better than
I give it 10 / 10
Fans of Horror Movies like this should Check out Puppet Master, Slumber Party Massacre, Skinned Alive, Sleep Away Camp, and other Full Moon Pictures flicks. For other recommendations, check out the other comments I have sent in by clicking on my name above this comment section.
This is one of the best and moodiest Vampire Tales ever! I love this
movie really. The character are great, even the locations and the
story. Indeed the Picture isn't a big budget production, but it is
absolutely worth seeing.
OK there are some faults (especially the Names of the Castle and the Locations) in this movie, but such mistakes are typically and are almost in every Horror Movie.
The scenery fits perfect to the story and is close to reality,I can say that honest, because I visit them once when I was in Romania in my Vacations.
In my opinion this is the Best Part of the Subspecies Series.
I love this one due to the beautiful scenery and castle. This one, Sub II and III were my favorites. Excellent for any gothic movie lover! Radu makes for an excellent vampire, sort of 'old-style' vampire what with the long hands. Laura Tate was pretty good, but I personally like Denise Duff as Michelle better. (In Sub II-IV). The actor who portrays Stefan is very handsome and does an excellent job.
To start off with I had a great back story. Two Vampire Brothers one,
genuinely good, born of a Mortal woman(Stephan), and the Vampire king and
the other, truly Evil, born of a evil witch and the vampire king(Radu).
*one side note* Radu(the Evil Brother in this movie) was also the name of Vald Dracula's Brothers!!!
I think this movie was great with the special effects. I didn't, and still don't know about the story line with the "Subspecies(the little demons)" Radu's Minions, but they were very well done. the primitive settings and tactile use of locals playing the towns people was great.
One thing I would have done different when filming in the dark of night, in the woods no less. I would try to make the light look more like moon light instead of a spotlight hidden behind a tree. but to one effect it gave a hauntingly glow to the trees!
Oh if you are like me and like to find mess-ups in movies here is one I'm sure you'll see... when the Funeral procession is taking place. On the cross is a name of the person that has died now later on when the towns people are performing the ritual with the white horse jumping over said grave look at the cross again the name is now in reverse the first and last names have switched places! ????go figure????
But anyway, all in all its a great movie the endings well,uh,... well you'll just have to see it
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I watched this on Sky TV late one night, as I am a Vampire fan. I must
admit I half expected it to be a B-Movie disaster but I was pleasantly
Subspecies is about a family of Vampires. When a Vampire Lord dies, his two sons, the handsome and Noble Stefan, and his brother, the Evil, hideous Radu start a war with each other over their birth right, the Bloodstone. The bloodstone is a holy grail of sorts for Vampires and it bleeds the blood of saints, which give the vampire who drinks it an ultimate High.
The fight for the Bloodstone takes an unexpected turn when 3 College Students turn up in the Brothers' territory on a school trip and Stefan has to protect them from his brothers Lusts.
Like, I said, I went into this film not expecting much at all but it was one of the best low budget movies I have ever seen. The sets and locations (Romania I think, been a while since I've seen it) are very nice and the music score did the film justice.
Most of the acting was adequate, but its Anders Hove as the evil radu that steals the movie (and all the subsequent Sequels). Hove's performance as the twisted Vamp is truly breathtaking and bumps the film simply from okay, to pretty d@mn good!
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