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If you like gothic vampire movies, then Full Moon Entertainment's Vampire Journals (1997) is for you. This 92 minutes gem is actually for sale at video stores (many Full Moon Videos are not available) because they now distribute for themselves! This is another chapter of the Subspecies series and is directed by the same director, Ted Nicolaou. The story continues when Ash, an understudy of Radu, becomes more powerful and vicious as his master and the vampire-hunter must destroy him. The special effects are much more advanced in this chapter and you can actually see the vampire's "shadow morph" travel. This, like the other parts, was filmed in Romania and has a very ancient "feel" to it. The story is great, as is the filming. What else could we expect from our favorite company but another "must-have?" As always, a Video Zone is included.
You've got to give credit to Ted Nicolau for creating a somewhat separate
vampire world from the Subspecies world he had previously mastered, and
still manage to be original and engaging.
Here we have a movie that was actually filmed in Romania (as Subspecies were) and has that gothic renaissance quality about it. A beautiful low-budget film that puts to shame such mainstream atrocities as Interview With A Shampooer.
Jonathon Morris who plays Ash is such a great actor beyond description. He really should be in more films, but i guess he prefers the classical stage acting field of work. We did get to see him again in Subspecies 4 reprising his signature role of Ash, so that was a welcome addition to the franchise. David Gunn also does a marvelous job as Zachery, the vampire (and vampire slayer) torn between the two worlds.
It would have been nice if there would have been a sequel or two to Vampire Journals, i suppose that died in the monetary problems at Full Moon in recent years. Alas, we still have this excellent movie for posterity through the years....in blood.
Underrated Director Ted Nicolau, a Full Moon entertainment veteran,
made a step forward in his vampire universe with this movie that sadly
has been overlooked as time goes by. "Vampire Journals" is probably the
best movie produced by Full Moon, and easily ranks among the best
vampire movies ever.
The movie tells the story of Zachary (played by David Gunn), a vampire who has vowed to exterminate as many of his specie as he can since his life as one of the undead has given him nothing but tragedies. In his hunting, he finds Ash (Jonathon Morris), a vampire master who controls a club and loves the music. Things get complicated when both of them fall in love with a beautiful pianist named Sofia (Kirsten Cerre).
The most remarkable feature of the movie, is the perfect combination of camera-work, edition and music to create a Gothic feeling that remains through the movie, making it look as a beautiful canvas despite its low budget. Every visual aspect of the movie is of a supernatural beauty, as if the locations were a character too.
Ted Nicolau creates a superb movie that improves in all aspects what he had already accomplished with his other vampire movies, the "Subspecies" series. The SFX are great for the budget and never seem out of place, the movie retains that Gothic surreal feeling without sacrificing anything.
The acting is really good, although nothing special. David Gunn carries the film with grace but is Jonathon Morris who steals the show as the vampire Ash. Worth to mention is the performance of the beautiful Ilinca Goia, who in her limited screen time captures the attention of the viewer not only with her looks, but her performance as well.
Of course, nothing is perfect, the movie keeps that "low-budget" feeling that most of the 90s Full Moon movies carried, but is admirable the effort of Nicolau to make the most of what he got. Also, the script feels too short, leaving the audience wanting to see more of this marvelous Gothic universe. Indeed, the movie demands a prequel and a sequel in order to have the story fully developed.
To summarize, this movie was a pleasant surprise, as it is a worthy addition to every fan of the vampire sub-genre. An outstanding effort by director Ted Nicolau. Best Full Moon picture ever. 8.5/10
This is my most favorite movie! I am in love with David Gunn as well. He is an exceptional actor. I only wish that he would do more movies. Plus, Ted Nicolaou is a genius. His writing is profound. You must overlook the fact that this movie was made by a low budget company. It is filmed in Romania and provides great visuals of their architecture and landscape. Plus, a lot of the people in it are from Romania, which gives this film a tremendous amount of credit. Zachary is perhaps the best vampire character ever written. His humanity and unending torture draw you in and make you love him. This story is classic and beautiful. It had me fascinated from beginning to end. It is a must see for any vampire fan.
Like my previous reviews i don't want to lose time writing about the movie plot line 'cause i think that if you are reading this it's because you have already seen it right? Here we have really beautiful movie, great stages, finest acting and a sublime haunting soundtrack, one of the best i've ever heard i just can't get that piano out of my head. This is another delivery from Ted Nicolaou the one who directed the subspecies saga and i think that most of you must agree with me that this movie it's his finest work. In Vampire Journal happens something interesting and it lies in the acting work, the characters are well portrayed by this unknown actors and that its the veil that all low budget movies must have. the Ash character really have that vampire feel that all we are expecting in a kind of films like this and Jhonaton Morris set his trademark by doing this role, David Gunn in the Zachary role as a vampire slayer did a fine work but he cannot simple match Mister Morris acting, but in Vampire Journal there's one character that really stole the show, I perhaps have never seen a female vampire portrayed so damn well like the one we can find here, everything in she seems completely right, her movements, the way she talk and even her blood drinking, i am referring to Ilinca Goia as Cassandra, she did a amazing outstanding job and without a hell of doubt her character is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen, every scene where she appear its a rewind must, all her movements are so memorable, she is (and this is my very personal opinion) the ultimate female vampire set on screen, i can say the same thing of Claudia's role played by Kirsten Dunst in Interview with a Vampire but thats another history.Another highlight in this film is in charge of Kirsten Cerre as the gorgeous human pianist, she looks so lovely, so tender we all love her from the first scene she appears on screen and its very clear why Ash an Zachary fall in love with her she is simple beautiful. For those who like dark movies and Gothic creepy stages then this movie is for you you won't be disappointed, though I recognize that to get this movie its a little bit difficult but i can assure you that the searching its well worthy, all vampire lover most appreciate this movie and enjoy it and a personal thanks to Ted Nicolaou for giving us all this hours in vampire entertainment trough all this years. Hail Radu, Hail the Bloodstone but above all Hail Cassandra.
For die-hard fans of Gothic horror,like me, this film is a must-see. The dialogue is very archaic,yet modern. Ted Nicolaou combines the old world with the modern world in a film that is sure to be a cult classic. I loved the lighting, costumes, and the actors were wonderful. The love triangle story line is very familiar, but the atmosphere of the movie is so wonderfully Gothic(and somewhat erotic)that you don't care! It's still a great story and a great film. I highly recommend.
I found Vampire Journals to be the quality of a late 60s early 70s horror film. After watching it for the third or fourth time I discovered that I understood the plot line very well. For those who are into vampire films this is your movie, but if you are just passing by the horror section of your local video store and you think you would like to see this film I suggest watching Dracula first then come back to this movie, only then you would understand this film.
Vampire Journals tells the story of Zachary a vampire who has vowed to destroy the bloodline of blood suckers who made him the way he is.Along his travels Zachary meets Sofia a beautiful piano player. Zachary is immediately attracted to her but so is Ash the leader of an evil vampire cult. Ash takes Sofia and plans to torture her until she will agree to become his undead bride. Zachary makes it his mission to bring down Ash and his cult before he can succeed and save Sofia. Vampire Journals is a surprisingly beautiful looking movie. The cast is talented and the movie is well written. The movie is visually fantastic and is one of the most impressive looking vampire films.However I felt some parts of it were a little too close to Anne Rice for comfort,and there was some unnecessary gore,but all in all I would highly recommend it.It's a huge treat for vampire fans and is really one of the better Dracula/Vampire films.
Beginning with the haunting sound of a single piano, as scene after scene of a dark, foreboding, snow swept cemetary fill the screen, this movie sets standards for the dark, gothic Eastern European vampire genre. Though the dialogue is a bit thin in some parts, Ash & Zachary team up to create some of the most memorable, and haunting lines of their time, a must see for any vampire lovers!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Do you like vampire movies??? Do you feel that for a movie focusing on
this particular topic to be taken seriously,it has to be placed in
Romania??? Do you want to see a gorgeous scenery, hear great
atmospheric music and experience Vamipirism as it 's supposed to be???
Well,then you should get your hands on Vampire Journals ASAP!
*SPOILERS?* I have to point out that I am a huge fan of Ted Nicolaou and everything he's done on the subject of Vampires... The whole Subspecies series is absolutely great,with the most flawless Vampire I have ever seen (Radu Vladislas),but the subspecies effect with its little creatures seems to me like a stain on what is otherwise a work of art... And this is where Vampire Journals comes in. No silly effects are to be found here,all the visuals are simply PERFECT. From the beginning of the movie ,where a cemetery is shown, displaying beautiful statues covered in snow,and when one hears the movie's enrapturing music,to the very last moment when Zachary realises he's never going to erase the whole Vampire bloodline,everything clicks into place. Vampire Journals has it all: gore, romance(?), tragedy, darkness, you name it... It's simply ravishing!
So if, like me, you expect a movie that draws you in and allows you to experience what it's like to be a Vampire (regardless of who you identify with), then this is the right choice for you.If,however, you take such movies as a mere form of entertainment and are not interested in delving deep into the atmosphere and faithful portrayal of the Romanian legend, stay away and do not bash what you can't fathom!
"There's no mercy...... Only darkness eternal"
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