Having sensibly disposed of Stefan and focused on the far more interesting
Radu, the Full Moon crew really gets this series rolling with its second
film. Michelle (Denise Duff, replacing the first film's Laura Tate) escapes
Castle Vlad and flees to Bucharest, taking with her the precious Bloodstone.
Desperately battling her own developing vampirism, she begs her sister
Rebecca to take her back to America, but when Rebecca arrives, Michelle -
ashamed of her condition - finds it near-impossible to face her. This sets
up the film's central game of cat-and-bat-and-mouse, as the worried Rebecca
and the resurrected Radu hunt Michelle through Bucharest's night time
streets and Rebecca assembles a motley gang of Fearless Vampire Hunters [TM]
pursue her sister's tormentor. A terrific mixture of macabre and
down-to-earth characters, with Duff standing out as the terrified but
strong-willed Michelle, Melanie Shatner fine as brave and concerned Rebecca,
Michael Denish enjoying the Van Helsing-esque role of Prof. Popescu and Ion
Haiduc especially good as the pragmatic Romanian cop Lt. Marin.
The movie, however, *belongs* to Anders Hove as Radu. Hove brings a completely unexpected level of sympathy and emotion to the character. He gets under the skin of the monster makeup to wonderfully suggest the childlike nature, terrible loneliness, and unfed craving for love that offset Radu's displays of cruelty and sudden violence. The scenes with his horrific mother are genuinely affecting, as he tries desperately for even a moment of her approval. Hove's performance is certainly the core of this film and bids to become the main reason for further Subspecies films.
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