While watching Outback Vampires, it was hard to know quite what to make of it. I was intrigued to see it since I generally enjoy these little known Australian films and Colin Eggleston directed the great Long Weekend and Cassandra. Plus I liked the idea of an oddball vampire comedy set in the Outback, such a reliable setting for genre films. Outback Vampires is an occasionally inspired, always watchable if flawed film with an overall entertainment value sustaining it. The set design is ace, giving a kind of ghoulish cobweb covered funhouse air, full of surreal quirks and a colorful but creepily subdued color scheme. The film is filled with quirky moments and a few pleasingly crazed ones. The acting and general characterisation hold this film back though. The heroes are not too interesting, with one just being a bit of an idiot. Also the baddies and general side characters are all pretty strange, but in a vaguely unsatisfying, grating way. They aren't really creepy or that funny, just strange and some scenes suffer from this, because the weird writing mixes with overt the top acting to make a weirdly ramshackle spoofy air that distracts from the pacey and surreal direction and visuals. However, John Doyle is good as the main vampire. The film suffers from a lack of gore or much in the way of death and not so many exciting ones, the general atmosphere keeps it very watchable but for horror fans this has little serious to offer. I still really liked it though, its quite unlike any other vampire film of indeed any other horror film that I can think of. It has a genuinely strange feel to it, some funny moments, a Lovecraft reference by one of the characters and some inspired trippy moments. I'd recommend this to fans of obscurity, odd humour and surrealism. Though I enjoyed it the least of the directors films that I've seen so far, it was still an entertaining time with particular credit for taking me on an unexpected, unpredictable journey. Worth a watch.
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