Just edges out S2 as my favorite in this hugely entertaining vampire
series, mostly on the strength of Anders Hove and Denise Duff's
performances. Same basic plot: Rebecca and her Fearless Vampire
Stalkers continue where they left off, in pursuit of her sister
Michelle, Radu, and the Bloodstone; while Radu tries futilely to gain
the love and loyalty of his adamantly defiant "fledgling", Michelle.
Hove has completely sounded the depths of Radu's character and his portrayal of this tragic monster is poignant and heartfelt. Unable to command his headstrong protégé's fealty to the master she refuses to acknowledge, unable to win her heart with gifts or intimate displays of trust, Radu's despair is utterly human, yet he never turns on her. Despite his constant praise of pain and suffering, his deathly face conceals a heart capable of loyal and true love.
As for Denise Duff as Michelle, she is probably the coolest vampiress EVER, and if it not for Radu would no-doubt be the star of this series. The Subspecies movies deserve acclaim for their strong female characters, and Michelle is the toughest, a determinedly human woman who resists becoming a vampire with every fiber of her strength and will. At the same time, we see her grow in undead power and skill, and realize that if she keeps control of the Bloodstone - with which she can resist the need to kill - she'll become an immortal to reckon with. Her scenes with Radu are really something to see, as the two vampires match wills eye-to-eye again and again, and she forces Radu to blink every time.
Their story is truly "Beauty and the Beast" without the happy ending, and indeed it's hard not to think of that classic story in the sequence where Michelle begs to see her sister just one last time. Like the Beast, Radu is unwilling to let his "pretty one" go, but gives his permission, hoping to prove his love by a gesture of faith in her; and just as in the fairy tale, his hopeful gesture has sad consequences. The look on his face as she sweeps past him while he pleads for her devotion could bring a tougher fan than me to tears. --These are some of the best characterizations in modern vampire film, and among the very few that I really care about.
Once you see this you will NEED to see #4!
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